We had the fortune of spending two days in Stockholm, which was my second favorite city to visit behind St. Petersburg. During our first day we spent time driving around the city, and got a chance to see the Concert Hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year. The Peace Prize is the only Nobel Award given outside of Norway, and this was at Nobel’s request upon his death.
We then visited the City Hall building, that has been in its current location since 1907. Our guide spent some time telling us the interesting story behind how Ragnar Ostberg constructed the building, and how it holds the Nobel Peace Prize banquet every year in its impressive Golden Hall that has over 18 million mosaic tiles on its walls. City hall was impressive, and is one of the most easily recognizable places in the city.
Later that day we had a walking tour of the downtown area, and got to visit the city’s old center. The buildings were very colorful and the overall architectural quality of the area was quite quaint. There were plenty of small cobble stone streets to explore, and the shopping was certainly plentiful. We also got a chance to visit the Royal Palace, but have to say that it paled in comparison to many of the others that we’d seen.
Finally, we visited the Vasa Museum. This is a museum that was built around the dry dock holding the famous Vasa ship. It originally sank in the Stockholm Harbor in 1628 on its maiden voyage. To clear the way for other ships, the city had the masts chopped off and left the ship there. Then in the 20th century, the city attempted to try and find the ship once again. After the located the vessel again, they raised it and found that it was in nearly perfect condition as the low salt content in the waters had done little to damage it.
The following day we spent the day walking around the downtown area just taking in the city/streets/people. On our ride from the ship to the city center, we got a ride with a cab driver who enjoyed taking trips over to New York City because the clothes were so cheap. Gives you an idea of how expensive things are over in in Sweden.
One final things to say about Scandinavia: they have a lot of blondes there! Kim noticed how much she fit in with the general population there as those with fair skin and light hair certainly out numbered those that didn’t.
Have to say Stockholm was a great city! My favorite from those in Scandinavia.