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davidx Stockholm - A travel report by David
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Stockholm,  Sweden - flag Sweden -  Stockholms Lan
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davidx's travel reports

Stockholm - a few favourites

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To claim to cover all about Stockholm that’s worth saying in one report would take a braggart. I’ve not even tried. The trips out could be different ones later in the year when boats are running. – but should still include Uppsala.

Ouside station, Uppsala.
Castle in background
Ouside station, Uppsala. Castle in background
We spent time in Stockholm each side of a visit to Helsinki [Finland] in 2001. I will say straight away that we were very disappointed in the way the famous Old Town has turned into a giant tourist trap and I am surprised that many seem to rate the city much higher than Oslo or Helsinki. Having got that out of the way, I can concentrate on the things we found great. Before coming to specifics I have to praise the transport system, radiating out from the main station, the underground Centralen T and the coach station, all in close proximity to each other. VASA MUSEUM: I thought reports of this were almost bound to be hype – not at all! Both the ship and the museum, purpose built to house it, are outstandingly good. Particularly impressive for a person with a heart condition, which makes too many steps a hazard, were the lifts, allowing everyone to see the ship from several different heights [and the top surely is high] and to see the various stunning exhibitions. It’s strange to think of all the money, labour and love involved in making this boat being squandered as it sank on its maiden voyage but its retrieval makes a great story. If you’ve not been, don’t leave it too long – there are still press articles periodically about problems in preserving the timbers. CITY HALL: Yes, the one where the receptions and meal take place after the presentation of the Nobel prizes. Guided tours are the only way of seeing it now. I found this one most informative and the unforced humour of the guide was a delight. Take your own virtual tour at http:// events/vr-cityhall/ [without the spaces] The hall was built during the 1910s and its architect, Ragnar Östberg, attempted to add the principles of Sweden’s National Romantic style [a form of art nouveau] to historic architecture, principally in Italy. It’s controversial but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a marvel. MUSEUM The Mediaeval Museum, under the Parliament building, is well worth seeing.

Favourite spots:
Botanical Gardens, Uppsala
Botanical Gardens, Uppsala
Djurgården Peninsula, easily reached by bus or ferry, is near to the centre of Stockholm and yet parts could be a country suburb and other parts open country. It’s no surprise that it attracts so many picnickers. As well as the Vasa Museum, we enjoyed Skansen and Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde enormously. Skansen comprises an open air museum, Scandinavia’s first and a zoo. The combination I find unconvincing but the museum contains a wonderful assortment of buildings from all over Sweden. Go to http://www.skansen.s-e/html [english] and click on ‘Houses and farmsteads’, for more info. and photos. Prince Eugen, turn of 19/20th centuries, was a talented artist himself and had a great collection of art work. Fortunately he left his house and gardens, themselves beautifully situated at the tip of Djursgården, to the state along with all the contents.

What's really great:
Old town from City Hall, Stockholm
Old town from City Hall, Stockholm
A place well worth the journey to get there is Millesgården, the house, gardens and museum of the Swedish architect, Carl Milles. Take the subway [red line] to Ropsten and then bus 207 to Millesgården. It’s on the island of Lidingö and provides excellent views back towards the city and out towards the archipelago. However your eyes will mainly be on the sculptures outside and the paintings in the buildings. The sculptures are at various levels and consist of some of Milles’s collected works as well as his own. The website is very good. []

Millesgarden, Stockholm
Millesgarden, Stockholm
To get to Sigtuna get the Commuter train to Märsta, then transfer to bus 570/584.
There’s not a huge amount to see here but the historical importance is great enough. It was Sweden’s first capital, even before Uppsala. There is a delightful road with old shops parallel to the pleasing waterfront and an excellent cafe in a lovely garden on a corner with a road running to the water.

We were there in May and about a fortnight later various outings from Stockholm by boat, including Sigtuna, start up. In common with other Scandinavian countries, Sweden’s hotel rates are considerably lower in the summer proper than in the rest of the year [WHY?] I wish we had realised this..

Skansen 1, Stockholm
Skansen 1, Stockholm
We stayed at two places. The first we had pre-booked for the time before we planned to leave for Finland. This was the Ibis Stockholm Haegersten. You find it by taking the red line on the subway in the direction of Fruängen and get off at the penultimate station, Västertorp. Turn right on Västertorpsvägen and it’s about 10 minutes walk. The bus is night only. It’s vital to get the side away from the motorway if you can. If not, take earplugs. I reckon everybody knows what an Ibis is like and this is cheap by Stockholm standards. (+46)8/55632330
The other was Hotel Brunnen, Surbrunnsgatan 38 (NOT Brunnsgatan – parallel to it BUT a number of streets away.) Tel:- 46(Sweden) 8 15 04 20
This is very pleasant and very reasonably priced at least at weekends - I don’t know the weekday rate, which is almost certainly higher.

Cathedral, Uppsala
Cathedral, Uppsala
I can’t remember any in particular except for a cheap but good Italian on the main road near the Brunnen Hotel. You can certainly spend a fortune fairly quickly if you want but you can get help at the Tourist Office for finding reasonably priced and tasty meals. We even had a bank account left after eating in the Old Town one evening.

Other recommendations:
Skansen 2, Stockholm
Skansen 2, Stockholm
It’s easy to visit Uppsala in a day trip. It’s a lovely town, full of memories of the great botanist, Linnaeus, who specialised in plant classification. That and the presence of an active University department ensure that the botanical gardens are outstanding.
The cathedral was unfortunately but predictably –it was Sunday – in use for its main function. It’s built on a Gothic pattern but with red brick – very attractive in my view – and I should love to have seen inside.
Make sure you als get a local bus out to Old Uppsala, where there are massive Bronze Age mounds. Again an interesting looking church was otherwise occupied but there''s a very appealing cafe for a little refreshment.

Published on Tuesday January 11th, 2005

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Thu, Jan 13 2005 - 04:06 AM rating by downundergal

Great report!
It bought back many memories. The Wasa Museum has to be seen to be believed.
I was lucky enough to go to the Nobel prize ceremony when I was an exchange student living in Sweden.
I hope you managed to spend some time out on the water as cruising on the water to the many islands is a fantastic way to spend a day.
I can feel those itchy feet coming on...
Keep up the great stories.

Tue, Jan 11 2005 - 10:52 PM rating by gloriajames

bravo! i admire you for being able to write on so many place! well done. another 5*.

Tue, Jan 11 2005 - 06:57 PM rating by magsalex

Great piece of work

Tue, Jan 11 2005 - 05:21 PM rating by picasso

Wonderful report with a lot of valueable informatin and images.
It was a pleasure to read.


Tue, Jan 11 2005 - 02:58 PM rating by britman

Well done yet again David - another ***** report!

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