I love Stockholm. We already were in this great city a couple of times. Once we flew over the Stockholm Archipelago to do a shooting of the ferry VIKING GRACE. I was very happy to sail again through the green islands of the archipelago.
Stockholm is for me, also one of the prettiest towns to arrive by ship. Add magnificent weather and you understand how lucky we were. VIKING GRACE was actually lying in the city when we arrived, together with many other ships. Always a delight for Mike.
Our ship had the best possible berth, between the Viking Line terminal and the Photography museum. Gamla Stan, the old part of Stockholm was within walking distance. Ideal to do an early discovery walk before the tourists arrived. I passed the Swedish parliament building –the Riksdaghuset– on my way to the commercial centre.
When I saw my favourite shopping centre MOOD in the distance, I decided to go there as I remembered they have some nice bars inside. Good news for my wallet, the shops were not open yet but it was possible to have coffee at French Café Egoïste and I found out that they have an awesome outdoor area upstairs. The sun was shining, it was peaceful and quiet, right in the middle of town. Just perfect.
From there I walked to one of my favourite islands of the city. Skeppsholmen is very green and tranquil. There are a couple of museums, youth hostels and a hotel. That’s it.
I went for food and a Swedish organic beer at Café Blom in the Architecture and Design Museum. There was an interesting exposition; “Reprogramming the city” on how we can use what is already present in a city to make it smarter and more sustainable. Forty projects around the world are presented in an attractive way. For example there is the vegetable garden in the subway in London, and a billboard that generates drinking water in Peru.
Included in the price I visited an expo on architecture in Sweden. 1000 years of housing is displayed with a focus on the last 100 years. Definitely worth a visit.
While I was visiting the exposition all the lights went out. Later I found out that there was a blackout on the whole island.
After that I walked to Kastellholmen, the small island next to Skeppsholmen. Besides Kastellet (a small citadel) there is not a lot to see on the island but it offers nice views on the surrounding islands. Back on Skeppsholmen I wanted to take the ferry to Djurgården. When I wanted to pay for my ticket by card, someone from the crew said that I could come on for free as the machine was not functioning because of the blackout. Sometimes you are just lucky.
From the boat I saw the Gröna Lunds Tivoli amusement park. They have rollercoasters where you go flip head over heals. I hesitated to buy a ticket for the amusement park but when I saw the long lines I decided not to. I passed the ABBA museum, discovered it has also a hotel and a bar next to it. I was amazed to see what they sold in the shop: ABBA honey, wool to crochet an ABBA hat, ABBA’s Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly, ABBA water, etc. I just thought to myself that the ABBA members were so much more than that.
Junibacken is the place where the stories of Astrid Lindgren (remember Pipi Longstocking) come to life. There was an endless row of buggies, inside a couple of kids were crying. It’s holiday season in Sweden and I guess all the Swedish kids and tourists with their kids, decided to visit the museum that day.
At the Spirit Museum there was a temporary beer garden. Together with the Swedish Association of Independent Brewers they serve 15 craft beers on tap. Next I passed the famous Vasa Museum. A highlight in Stockholm but I was running out of time and the weather was too nice to be inside.
I started my long way back to the ship, passed Strandvägen, a wide prestigious boulevard on Östermalm, next to the waterfront. It was packed with people enjoying the sun and ice creams.
Conveniently close to the ship was the Photography Museum. They have a nice shop and a trendy terrace. Just enough time for a last espresso and a Kanelbulle before going back on the ship.
Ah I love Stockholm. I did not want to leave this city with is diverse islands, many activities, museums, shops and restaurants. I’ll be back.
Text and photos: Véronique
Next: Mike booked the All Ways “Stockholm, the best of” excursion.
We are travelling on board VOYAGER with Belgian cruise tour operator All Ways, discovering the Baltic Sea and St-Petersburg. Mike often joins the excursion, while I mainly go explore myself. In the evening we gather our stories and share on the blog the things we loved most.