Tim Foolery

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The Sights of Stockholm

I didn’t have much time to spend in Stockholm so I put together a list of things that I just had to see before I boarded my return flight home.  The first thing on the list was the Vasa Museum, which I wrote about recently.  I had also heard many good things about the ABBA Museum, but I’m not a huge ABBA Fan (perish the thought, I know) and the museum entry was quite steep – I just couldn’t pull the trigger.

Interestingly enough, Stockholm was dramatically warmer than Chicago the week I visited.  Chicago was -40C (-40F) when I left and Stockholm was 5C (41F), which was downright balmy!  By my second day in Stockholm the temperature had dropped closer to freezing and a bit of snow dropped overnight.  Despite the weather change it was still quite comfortable and didn’t impact my plans at all.

My visit list included a walk around Gamla Stan – or old town Stockholm – and while there I visited the Royal Palace and Museum and the Nobel Museum (which was undergoing some reconstruction work).  In addition to these main attractions, I wanted to get a better feel for the City – see the architecture and learn more about the people and history of the City.  This last goal required me to just wander around the City, turning down streets that looked interesting, popping into bars and restaurants that had an appeal and chatting it up with the locals.

The view of Gamla Stan from my hotel room…before the snow came in.

Old Stockholm. Despite being a bleak and dreary January day, the colors of these buildings and boats just popped.

The Nordiska Museum is dedicated to the cultural history and ethnography of Sweden. A truly stunning piece of architecture.

The Royal Guard – all buttoned up and warm. Unlike the Beefeaters, he was very friendly and we chatted for a bit.

The canons standing guard at the Royal Palace Museum with a fresh blanket of snow from the previous night.

My appetizer of herring with a potato, cheese and crackers.

Proper Swedish Meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. What trip to Sweden would be complete without eating your weight in the delicious meatballs.

I will usually check out TripAdvisor and see if there are any places that hadn’t made my list, but should have – or to check out the self-guided walking tours offered on the TripAdvisor App.  There was an interesting one for Stockholm – a tour of the various art pieces found in the Stockholm Subway Stations. Yes, I used my three-day transit pass to schlep between stations to checkout the modern and classical installations.  At a couple stations, locals asked me what I was photographing – so I told them about the self-guided tour I was on, and talked to them about the object I was there to see.  It was a really unique way to explore the art of the City.  At each stop, I also made sure to go above ground and at least take a walk around a block or two to see where I was and what the neighborhood was like.

Station Art depicting the devastation of the natural environment.

Ancient statuary adorned one of the Subway Station Art Stops.

Portuguese tiling surprised me at one of the stations. Beautiful, but completely unexpected.

The people of Stockholm were very welcoming and anytime I had a question (if I had gotten myself lost or needed a recommendation, for example). Even when I was just walking around the City, I didn’t hear Swedish being spoken – only English – which was a little disappointing.  On the flight the announcements were only in English and not Swedish.  I understand that everyone (or nearly) in Stockholm speaks English, but I was hoping to hear some of their native tongue.

What was the thing you just loved about Stockholm?  What did I miss on my visit?  Am I nuts for going to Sweden in January?


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