Visiting Stockholm

By request I’m updating about our trip to Stockholm. Stockholm is a nice city, Sweden’s capitol. Stockholm and Helsinki have nice ferry cruises between them and on the cruise you can buy tax free shopping so it’s very popular in both countries I think. Finns buy cheap alcohol and Swedes the other things. The ship leaves on the evening, arrives to destination in the morning and leaves again in the evening so one has about 6 hours to visit the capitol cities at each end.

We usually make the cruise every spring and fall and use the VikingLine since hubby does some IT-things for them in the company he’s working. In Stockholm VikingLine is located a walking distance from the city centre and the shopping streets which is nice. The Stockholm Fotografiska is also on the route from the dock to city if it interests you. If you are a walking-kind of person the SiljaLine is also on easy walking distance but the underground trains are also easy from their dock.

This time we took a small ferry from Viking’s dock to Djurgården since it’s easier to travel between the small islands and walking to Djurgården takes almost an hour. Djurgården has many places to visit, i.e. the ABBA museum, Gröna Lund’s amusement park, Junibacken for everything Astrid Lindgren, Skansen’s outdoor museum and other things (i.e. Christmas market), Nordiska Museum and the Vasa Museum which we wanted to visit this time.

The Vasa museum consists of the ship Vasa which sank on it’s maiden voyage about 500 metres after leaving the dock. It was found in the late 60’s and now it’s been under conservation about 50 years. I’ve visited the Vasa first time in 1982 when it was still sort of outdoors experience, there was only a light shelter around it.

This time we spent few hours in the museum and then walked to the Old town which dates back to 13th century. I just adore it but it’s choked up with tourists (I don’t blame them). It has many nice little shops and cafeterias and it also hosts my favorite shop in Stockholm: The Sci-fi Bookshop. It’s a must for me since I can find books, films and tv-series there which are not available in Helsinki. There’s also lots of role playing games and things for them and anime and so on.

Finland and Sweden share a common history since Finland used to the Sweden’s dependency until Sweden gave it to Russia and that is probably why Finns feel a sort of envious towards Swedes. Sweden has also managed to avoid wars the last two hundred years unlike Finland.

Last December I spent some nights in Stockholm with my friend Mareetta. We were going to see BoyGeorge perform since Mareetta is a huge fan of his but the concert was cancelled. Mareetta got us invited to the shadow-Nobel literature price evening as she is a great fan of Alexandra Pascalidou, a Swedish columnist, television hostess and author, and we’ve been to watch a theater programme by her in Gothenburg.

Mareetta introduced me to a wonderful cafe called Mr. Cake in Stockholm and now also in Gothenburg. If you want to enjoy really great cakes and light lunch go there! We had cake overdose with Mareetta one night when we bought cakes to go so be careful. The ’Mr. Cakes’ themselves are Roy Fares who has made several cake books and is a cousin to film director Fares Fares and Mattias Ljungberg, several times awarded confectioner.

One other nice cafe is located in the Old town and it’s called Sten Sture, who was a real nobleman in the 15th century and the Lord Regent. The cafe is next to the Nobel Museum and it’s in the basement floor of the house. It used to be a prison in the 18th century. Unfortunately this time we couldn’t visit it since they were under construction, maybe next time will be better.