After a day of catching up washing, shopping and really a rest day after our journey from Karlstad we headed into Stockholm.
From the campground it was less than 700m to the T bana or underground station. We purchased our all day travel tickets at the kiosk (this time Daisy didn’t need a ticket) and quickly caught the train into Stockholm. Unlike Denmark the carriages were clearly marked on the outside which you could take a dog into. Daisy just got on and settled down like the well seasoned traveller she is.
Stockholm city is built on no fewer than 14 islands so the main focus for our first day of exploring was old Stockholm or Gamla Stan on the three islands of Riddarhomen, Staden and Helgeandsholmen. First impressions were good unlike Copenhagen and Amsterdam. There were quite a lot of tourists and a number of the streets were closed as there was a Triathlon event taking place.
Gamla Stan dates back to medieval times when Stockholm was founded in 1255 which is reflected in the narrow streets and alleys. However a lot of the buildings date back to the 17th and 18th century. Our first stop was Stroryrkan or Stockholm Cathedral. The original church was built on the highest point of the island around 1279. Over the centuries particularly the 14th, 15th and 17th centuries the church was extended and refurbished to the church seen today. The interior was impressive particularly the large sculpture of St. George and the Dragon consecrated in 1489; the Royal pews which were designed and carved in 1684; the pulpit that dates back to 1700; and the Silver Altar which was donated to the Cathedral in the 1650’s.
From the cathedral we wandered into Gamla Stan’s main square (Stororget) and then to the water front with views across to a number of the other islands. The main focus for visitors on Gamla Stan is the Royal Palace. This rather large imposing Baroque palace was completed in 1754 after the original castle was burnt down in 1697. This is the official residence of the King of Sweden.
Equally imposing and just next door was the Riksdagshuset or parliament building built in the 19th and restored in the 1970’s. Just below the parliament was the fascinating Medeltidsmuseum or Medieval museum. This museum was designed around the medieval ruins, tunnel and parts of Stockholm city walls dating from the 1530’s which had been discovered during excavations in the 1970’s restoration of the parliament building. The museum told about life in medieval Stockholm with some great comparisons with today.
We decided from there to walk across to the next island of Skeppsholmen. Although an island with several museums on it we decided to take the shoreline path around the island to get a different perspective of the city. The weather was starting to look a bit dodgy and by the end of our walk the heavens opened. However the walk was worthwhile as there was a large collection of privately owned old boats moored along the quays. They were a mixture of old tugs, naval vessels, fishing boats and ice breakers.
We walked back through Gamla Stan stopping quickly to admire the Riddarhset (House of the Nobility) and the Riddarholms Church before heading back to base before we got too wet.
A good day.