Here is another account of trip to Finland of a week I did in January. In today's delivery I take you to Stockholm, capital of Sweden and one of the most beautiful and interesting cities of the north Europe.
Stockholm is built on fourteen islands, which are linked by 57 bridges. It is the city of ABBA, the Nobel prizes and the Stieg Larsson novels, and that day we were going to explore it thoroughly.
Visit Stockholm photo
At five in the morning I began to receive signals that it was time to get up. First, the television turned on alone a couple of times. Later I heard two announcements in Swedish on the public address of the cabin and I sensed that they informed me that it was time to get up. Finally, someone knocked on the door with great insistence. We had to get up, we were coming to Stockholm.
The terminal of ferry Where we disembarked it was deserted. At half past six in the morning, the only thing that moved was the passengers who got off the ship and the guide who was going to accompany us that day. It was still night and it was a terrible cold, so without further delay we got into the coach that was waiting for us with the heating and the Wifi on.
Buildings of the old part of Stockholm
To start the day on the right foot we go to Collectors Hotel, a very unique building located in the old city of Stockholm where we had breakfast Upon entering, I was very surprised by the decoration, it was as if I had entered a museum of maritime antiques. This hotel belongs to the only family hotel chain in Stockholm, which has a total of three hotels in the city. In the breakfast room of the Collectors Hotel you can see a part of the old defensive wall of the city. They found it while they restored the hotel and integrated it into the design of the complex. The decoration of the hotel is very atypical, since it is based on antiques from the maritime world. In fact, this hotel contains one of the five best collections in the world of this type.
One of the rooms of the Hotel Collectors
Then we went out to explore the old city of Stockholm, which is located on a small island. This whole area is pedestrian and is one of the best preserved medieval neighborhoods in the world. This area is full of small narrow streets, cafes and interesting little shops. In the middle stands the Stockholm Cathedral, in which the figure of Saint George and the dragon is represented and, very close, the Royal Palace. Although we did not get into this building, we discovered that you can visit some rooms. If you can't visit everything, it's because the Swedish royal family doesn't live in this palace, but they do work in it. In the old part of the city there is also the Nobel Prize museum, while the gala party of these awards is celebrated in the Stockholm City Hall.
The Italian Renaissance style of Stockholm City Hall It gives it an old look, but it was actually built in the early 20th century. The town hall is the seat of the city government and you can explore with a guided tour. Just as we enter, we find the dishes used in the Nobel Prize gala banquet, which is held in a room shaped like a piazza chaired by a large staircase. Another of the most impressive halls of the town hall is the Golden Hall, of Byzantine inspiration (reminiscent of the Palermo Palatine Chapel), where all the walls are decorated with golden tiles and where the gala dance is celebrated.
Stockholm City Hall
Then we change third completely and go to the SOFO (or Södermalm) for stroll along Skanegatan street and its surroundings. It is one of the most neighborhoods trendy from Stockholm and for about 20 years it is home to artists, bohemians and young people from the Swedish capital. It is full of cafés and second-hand stores, and allows you to discover the most avant-garde trends in the city.
Another totally different area is the Östermalms neighborhood, one of the most select in the city. On Strandvägen Street stands one of Stockholm's most famous interior design stores, the Svenskt Tenn, famous for the design of the fabrics she uses, some of which were used in the filming of the film Mamma Mia.
Design in the Svenskt Tenn
Very close, we met the Östermalms Saluhall, he Stockholm's oldest covered market. It was inaugurated in 1888, a few years ago the interior was completely renovated and today it is one of the most sybarite and select markets in the city, according to the neighborhood where it is located. Apart from stops with the best cheeses, meats, fish and pastries, there are also several restaurants. At Lisa Elmqvist restaurantFor example, freshly brought fish from the sea is served and is a highly recommended place to eat. If you like smoked salmon, they prepare it deliciously (as they told me). You can also ask for a fish & chips, also called "battered fish and chips." It was great, even better than the ones I ate in Scotland or England, since the batter with which they prepare it is very crispy but surprisingly light.