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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm

I thought I would pause the China posts and return to Europe for this one. Stockholm is one of the favourite places that I've visited in Europe (well OK I have many favourites, but Stockholm is truly lovely!)

I was there mid June and got the most fantastic weather which helped make the city look even more beautiful. What makes the city so special is its location, the city sits on an archipelago, there's water everywhere! At the time I was recovering from a leg injury so was limited by where I could go but still managed to cover a reasonable amount of ground in a few days!

The Royal Palace, Sweden is a monarchy and the Royal Palace is used for official functions, although the royals themselves live in another palace not in the centre of the city.



The palace building is huge, this is only a small corner section of it!





Entrance into the palace with a palace guard in the official Swedish colours of blue and yellow. The entrance leads to a courtyard which is where the public stand to see the King on his birthday and the Crown Princess on her name day.

Not the cathedral but rather the church where the royals were buried, now they're laid to rest in the Royal Cemetery. Called the Riddarholm and it's one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm.



Just next to the palace is the cathedral called the Storkyrkan, this is part of the interior.

The palace and the cathedral are in the Old Town called Gamla Stan, it's a small island with lots of narrow roads and laneways, a really lovely area to walk around in.



A fabulous way of seeing Stockholm is from the water, I took a boat trip tour that went among the islands of the city centre.




This is now an art museum, it had been the residence built for Prince Eugen, the artist prince. When he died in 1947 it was bequeathed to the country and opened to the public.


According to the commentary on the boat, this is a very expensive part of Stockholm to live in!

I visited the Town Hall as it's famous for hosting the Nobel Prize banquet after the awards (which are presented elsewhere) The Town Hall has organised tours that proved to be quite interesting.


This is the Blue Hall where the Nobel Banquet takes place. And it's not blue! When it was built it was supposed to have blue walls but the architect liked the look of the natural brick so much he wouldn't cover it up and so the exposed brick remained, as did the name.


The Golden Hall where the dancing takes place after the banquet, those are tiny gold mosaic tiles, 18 million of them apparently!



The murals were painted by Prince Eugen, the artist prince. (This is a reception area)

Stockholm well worth visiting, in the summer months it just glows. (Mid summer is their big celebration time as well) It does have a reputation as being quite an expensive city (all of Scandinavia is considered expensive) and I know that in my backpacking days I avoided travelling to northern Europe because of the cost. But I discovered that staying for a few days and experiencing Stockholm wasn't horrifically expensive, and it was very enjoyable. (Making it even cheaper was the fact I got really cheap Ryanair flights in and out)





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