This blog post was written and shared by Friend, Jim Scott.
Greece, Athens, Mykonos and Santorini were the main impetus of our most recent trip, and because early airfares direct to Athens had risen dramatically after the first of the year, we, my wife Teresa and I, began to look at other ways to get to our main destination.
It turns out that most any other European city was a cheaper option, then a direct flight to Greece. All things being equal, why not go to someplace that I have never been before, in the end it came down to Helsinki, Finland or Stockholm, Sweden……. I don’t really remember the deciding factor, other then Stockholm saved us about an hour or two of travel time, but both being wonderful cities.
We booked our flights and had two nights planned for Stockholm, so what do we do? Other then knowing it was a Scandinavian country, typically neutral in any dispute and that The Nobel Prizes were given from there, I didn’t have a lot of insight on Sweden, or Stockholm in general. In most European cities that we travel to, we will generally go to the “Old Town” or “City Center” to stay, because this is typically where the most history and origins of the city extend from. Stockholm was no different.
Gamla Stan is where the city of Stockholm was founded and keeps many of its medieval roots. Cobblestone streets rise above the Baltic Sea making for a beautiful setting. The Royal Place is located there, as well as The Nobel Museum and Parliament is on the outskirts nestled beside a waterway that connects Lake Maren with The Baltic. Stockholm is an archipelago that is made of many islands. I believe there are over 50 bridges spanning water in the city.
Stortorget is the original main square in Gamla Stan, it is the highest point in Stockholm and at the time Gustav founded Stockholm it overlooked the sea. It is also the site of a massacre by Danish soldiers when they invaded Sweden. Today it houses The Nobel Museum, the Swedish Stok Exchange and numerous Shops and restaurants. It is also right around the corner from The Royal Palace.
In all staying in the Gamla Stan section of town was a great choice, walking distance to Stortorget and many shops and restaurants, it also was along the waterway as we made our way across the bridge for a boat tour that took us out on The Baltic Sea, under many of the Bridges, and through a canal lock into Lake Maren. Stockholm was a pleasant surprise and a beautiful city. It would gladly go back to spend more time exploring the city.
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