Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden  (June 9 - June 11, 2015) 

Our arrival in the early morning gave a us a good view of the waterfront.

Stockholm waterfront

We took a taxi to our hotel, which was a few miles from the center.  Our room wasn't ready, so we headed back into town, using the excellent  subway system. The tunnels were cut into the native rock, so they had a distinct subterranean, cave like feel. Not unpleasant, but very different from other subways, like London or New York.

Cave-like tunnels in the subway system

We encountered a horse parade on the streets almost immediately. Could they have been rehearsing for the upcoming Royal Wedding ? We never did found out.

Stockholm horse parade

We took a walk around the town center and even took a sightseeing jump on / jump off water taxi.

The Royal Opera House

The Royal Palace

The hop-on / hop-off water bus service.

We took the water bus to see the Vasa, which turned out to be a highlight of our stay in Stockholm. The Vasa sank in Stockholm harbor in 1628 and was raised and restored in 1961, although the restoration will have to continue forever, as the hull is made of wood and needs to be continuously maintained. It may require a complete additional restoration in due course. Computer simulations proved that the ship was inherently unstable and it was sure to have capsized sooner or later.

The Vasa was a warship. Here you can see the gun ports

The highly carved stern of the ship

Looking from stern to bow

And a view from the bow of the ship

That evening, we were met an old friend of Kristine's, Katerina, who used to work in Orlando. She treated us to a traditional Swedish meal (lots of fish) in a trendy downtown restaurant.

Dinner with Katerina

Next day, the sun was shining and we headed for the Stockholm City Hall. Every year Nobel Prizes are awarded at the Stockholm  Concert Hall and followed with a banquet at the Blue Room of the City Hall. All except the Peace Prize, which is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

Stockholm City Hall

City Hall

City Hall is located on the river,  with nice views of the town.

The Blue Hall where the Nobel Prize banquet is held every year.

Nobel Banquet 2005 (not my picture, of course)

Once the banquet is over, the guests mover upstairs to the The Golden Hall for a ball. The walls of the Golden Hall are covered in mosaics depicting allegories and people from Swedish history 

A detail from the Southern Wall

Although not part of the ceremony or the banquet, the rest of City Hall is also quite interesting.

The City Council Chamber has a very impressive ceiling

Council Chamber ceiling

Interior Hall leading to the Golden Hall

Having spent a couple of hours at the City Hall, we took advantage of the sunshine to explore more of the city.

We ended our walking tour at The Ostermalms Saluhall, which is a renovated traditional market. The Saluhall was built in 1888. 

The Interior is still very traditional

With every kind of food on sale, especially fish of course.

Not to forget dessert

We ate dinner at one of the restaurants recommended by Katerina, but we had to hurry, as the place was closing. 

Once we had eaten dinner, we went back to our hotel. The next morning, we left early for the airport and flew back to Manchester, where we stayed for several days before flying to Dublin.