Disclaimer: I’m sorry this has taken me so long. I’ve been sick. Honest. I’ve been to the doctor and everything. I might have to have that engraved on my tombstone, in the style of Spike Milligan whose tombstone reads, in Gaelic, “I told you I was sick.”
Oh, I’m not dying, by the way, just a drama queen. Anyway…
Mr Mac and I slept like logs in our hotel overlooking the water on Friday night. So much so that we nearly didn’t make it for breakfast in the morning. Oh, and that would have been a shame because the hotel breakfast (incidentally, one of my most favourite things in life, a hotel breakfast) was superb. Hot things for the Anglo-saxons, cold things for the continentals, sweet things for the Italians and croissants for the French. And all the things for gutsoes, like me. There was even a DIY waffle bar which made waffles the size of your head!
Not long after breakfast, we made plans to meet up with Dominik, Katja and our new friends, Marcus & Kathy in the Gamla stan to get some touristy sightseeing done. Mr Mac and I took the Tunnelbana one stop from Slussen to Gamla stan. Actually, we could see the station from our hotel room but we didn’t know that at the time. (Not that it stopped us taking the train such a short way later, mind.) While we were taking the public transport that morning, we noticed a whole load of women, dressed in running gear taking the train with us. It was obvious that there was some sort of women’s event in the city that day and since the majority of them were flashing a vast amount of pink (running gear! Get your mind out of the gutter!), we figured it must be some sort of charity run for a breast cancer foundation.
First of all, we went for a walk up to the palace, to see the king. Because we hadn’t called ahead, the king was a bit busy to see us but he managed to throw together a quick changing of the guard in our honour.
There was a band and everything!
The palace was guarded by the Swedish army’s Livgardet, the Life Guards.
After the changing of the guard, we walked a couple of hundred metres to one of the most picturesque places I’ve seen; an old square, surrounded by fabulous architecture and home to the Nobel Museum, the Stororget.
Mr Mac and I were still fairly full from our huge breakfasts but our friends were hankering for something to eat. While the square has loads of little cafes and restaurants around to sit down it was incredibly busy so we headed to a place on the edge of Gamla stan for a bit of lunch instead.
We had the most amazing weather while we were in Stockholm and I would recommend anyone organise sunshine and temps in the low 20°s while visiting. We were able to sit outside this lovely little bar/resto and enjoy the sun while eating their fantastic food. Mr Mac and I did actually order something after all, a couple of starters, but I’ll tell you about the Swedish food we tried in another, separate, post. (Hint: OMG!)
So, after a good couple of hours sitting in the sun, soaking up the atmosphere we decided to head over the see Stockholm’s famous Guldrummet (Gold Room) in the Swedish History Museum. To do this, we took one of the passenger ferries, which are part of the public transport system in Stockholm from Gamla stan across the water to Djurgarden and then through Ostermalm, where the rich folks (who aren’t the king and queen) live.
Since we were walking through the classy part of town, when I saw a statue of a naked man…
Hey, they say you get good luck if you rub his willy and it was glinting in the sun so invitingly. I’m not passing up an opportunity like that!
The walk through this part of town was leafy and green and we discovered what all the women were up to as we stumbled upon their run through the Djurgarden.
As we found out later that night, it was a Swedish Mile run. A Swedish mile is 10Km! The woman who told is this is worth a blog post of her own, by the way. She love, love, LOVED my curly hair, “The most beautiful curly hair I’ve seen!” She was also drunk. But friendly. Have I mentioned yet how friendly the Swedish were?
We crossed the Djurgarden bridge which connects Djurgarden to Ostermalm and eventually found ourselves at the museum.
Jeez, but the Swedish know how to museum. This museum was wonderful, with a tour through viking times on the ground floor and a tour through Swedish history on a higher floor. The viking exhibition had exhibits from archaelogical digs, with lots of English for foreign visitors to tell the stories. Great for children too, with interactive displays using different media. Upstairs, the story of the history of Sweden was fascinating with some wonderful costumes on display with the rest of the exhibits. The Guldrummet was just as fabulous as you would expect, and expertly designed to create atmosphere and mystery around the treasures. We got kicked out of there. Not, as you might imagine, for planning a heist to steal the treasure, but because it was kicking-out time. If you find yourself in Stockholm, because who hasn’t, right?, I would highly recommend this museum for a visit.
And then we went and had more beers in the sun before a Nanna-nap and a night out on the tiles.