SWEDEN – Stockholm

We arrived in Stockholm, Sweden after our overnight ride on the Viking Line from our last stop in Helsinki, Finland.  We walked off the boat around 10:30 am and found a bus transfer from the ferry dock to the Bus/Train terminal. I chatted with the clerk at the information desk and chose the 72 hour transit passes to help us get around by bus in Stockholm. She also mentioned that yes, we would be returning directly to this same station for our train departure in 2 days… what she did not mention was that although the bus terminal and train terminal were the same location, it was similar to saying that the trains & subways are both at the same location in Times Square (spoiler alert… they’re at opposite ends of a very, very large building)…. so I put our larger luggage pieces in a storage locker…. not realizing they were all the way at one end of the bus terminal and when we returned to make our train two days later… it would mean a long distance dash to pick them up and return in time to make our train… (which we did make! Yay me! LOL)

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Anyway… with a phone that was once again communicating with my google map (didn’t work so well in Helsinki) I thought I would be able to get us to the Army Museum in time to watch the changing of the guard (according to the website it was scheduled for 11:45)..

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since we could not drop our bags at the airBnB until after noon. Well.. it did not quite work out as planned… and we made it to the Army Museum at 11:55… but since the changing of the guard apparently did not happen that day as the website had suggested we did not actually “miss” it… but still did not see it… and instead found a yummy café inside for lunch and then toured the Army museum which I found absolutely rich with history. I’ll admit the Army Museum was not initially on my “must-see” stops, but it was amazing! As you walked through, each section started with a map that showed how countries and land was divided at that point in history… and a mini-history lesson as to why the land was divided the way it was at that time. Army Museum – Stockholm

And although it was a world view it was based on how it affected Sweden and the surrounding areas.

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After the Army Museum we made our way to our airBnB… a lovely place right in the centre of old town and only a couple of blocks from the Stromma – Royal Palace. We dropped off our bags and continued on our walking adventures with a tour at the Royal Palace which included the treasury and viewings of the crown jewels. We didn’t get many pictures because much of the interior is not allowed to have photos, but we did manage to get a few.

We then continued our walk thru old town and ended with a foodie dinner adventure at the restaurant directly across from our airBnB “17“… I discovered Kavring… a traditional dark rye Swedish bread that was amazing… and the kids sampled the goodies I found on the menu, but thoroughly enjoyed their steaks the most! Here is a link to a recipe for Kavring… although it isn’t the restaurants version Kavring RecipeIMG_1356

As to the pics of our airBnB… IKEA is doing well off the airBnB trade!

For our 2nd day, I was quite excited to find in my research that there was a mid-day concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall. It was a 45 minute organ concert including a soloist performing some off my very favourite songs from West Side Story & My Fair Lady. And it was only about 10 dollars per ticket… Alex said he would prefer to skip it, but Tim and Kaelee agreed to join me. It was a beautiful building and a wonderful concert. After the concert was over, I was able to walk the kids up to the edge of the stage and explain the organ to them and how it worked. (I was quite pleased the next day when we made it to Malmo and went by a church there with a smaller organ and Tim was able to explain to Alex most of what I had taught him!)

After the concert I had planned to visit Drottningholm Palace… but my friend Erick Gordon Larson who had visited Stockholm not too long ago sent us the suggestion to visit the Vasa Museum and the ABBA museum…and since we had already spent an afternoon with royalty… off we went to the Vasa. The Vasa museum is basically a museum built around an almost fully intact 17th century ship that was salvaged. thee 64 gun warship sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 just 20 minutes after it set sail. Part of the exhibit suggests that if the stones that were used as ballast had been smaller and thus able to be more concisely placed the ship may not have sunk. It was quite the vivid reminder how far technology has come and all we are now able to do with engineering, etc…

And then I “forced” the kids to go to the ABBA museum…. which we all agreed was AWESOME!!!!!! Like a really great interactive children’s museum… for the 40plus crowd! I’ll include a few of our pictures here but for a really great full museum review I suggest you read the blog post from Little Miss Traveler (ABBA).

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By the time we finished there and had a bite to eat it was definitely time to head “home”… but the next bus was at least 20 minutes away… lucky for us, there was a ferry we could take with our travel pass. The ticket person said it would make one stop on a smaller mid-island… then to old town which would end up dropping us just a block or so from our place. We got on the ferry and I promptly ignored the first stop and waited for the 2nd stop…. until I realized we were pulling back into our initial dock. Oh well.. that was a fun ride… back over to the bus stop to wait for the next bus and finely make our way back to our airBnB. Too late… kids fighting… Kaelee overtired… and Mommy frustrated meant a total breakdown (of Mommy, not the kids)… but Alex wisely called Dad who talked me down off the ledge… Kaelee went to sleep… Alex and Tim promised their Dad they’d try to stop bickering and listen to me… and I went across the street to “17” for a couple of adult beverages!

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Sometimes it is just all about balance! (on a tight-wire!)

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