Monday, May 01, 2006
Jag kom , Jag såg , Jag utforska *
With the snow finally melted and the days getting longer, it was an ideal time to finally get to explore Stockholm properly. I stayed the weekend and my sis came over for a visit.
The weather was dry and sunny but the chilly wind (especially when we were facing the sea), took the average temperature to around 11 degrees C.
What I realised about Stockholm whilst wandering around was that for a big city, there wasn't a lot of people around. Nice weather on a weekend, Manchester city centre (never mind London!) would be crammed full with jostling people. In Stockholm, you got to walk around with a lot of space and freedom. Refreshing!
It was the Swedish King's 60th birthday this weekend and there was a band and military parade at the Royal Palace. There were crowds watching but you still had space to walk around without being squashed to claustrophobic oblivion. Also, as me and sis were about to cross the road, we were stopped by police as a procession of royal cars drove by and Princess Madeleine waved at us! Was too royalty-struck to take a photo...doh!
Where else did we go? We spent a few hours in Skansen, the world's first outdoor museum and even so, covered less than half of the place, it was huge. Deffo need to visit again, to see all the old Scandinavian farmhouses, and see the indigenous Swedish animals again such as wolves, lynx, bears, wolverines and elk. One scary thing that we nearly witnessed was a tiny little monkey that just about escaped the clutches of a large iguana - ok, monkeys and iguanas aren't indigenous to Sweden but these were in a little tropical zoo part of the park.
Visited the Vasa Museum again as sis wanted to see the recovered battleship and wandered around the Nordiska Museum just before it closed.
When sis left this morning, I wandered over to Skeppsholmen, another of Stockholm's islands and saw the Af Chapman (below pic) a 100 year old sailing ship which is now used as an unusual hostel. Sat by the quayside for an hour or so to absorb the glorious views before heading back to the hotel.
Stockholm is beautiful. The buildings, the waterways, the boats, the people. All in all, a great weekend, different from the usual bank holiday back home and one which I hope will be repeated soon with the bf, who's last impression of Stockholm was of snow blizzards and Gulag-like conditions!
Back to work tomorrow, ho hum!
* I came, I saw, I explored