We spent our 20th anniversary in Stockholm!
Today is officially our 20th anniversary so we decided to celebrate with a year off and a trip around the world. We don’t put a lot of weight on ceremony or grand gestures so we aren’t doing anything too spectacular for today; it’s enough being together….oh and this whole YEAR OFF TRAVELLING thing is a pretty good way to celebrate 20 years of married bliss. It’s awesome being able to spend every day, all day together. Or at least I think it’s awesome – not sure how Shane feels about it exactly, but I’m going to assume he’s ecstatically happy about it too. *GRINS*
It was a lovely day in Stockholm today, a great day to celebrate 20 glorious years together and to see more of this great city. It feels like ages since we did a decent 10km hike so we decided to take ourselves on a walking tour of Stockholm. There are boats that cruise through the canals, covering all the main scenic sights of the city, but we seem to have an aversion to doing things the easy way, so we put our walking booties on instead and set off nice and early this morning.
First stop was the Swedish Parliament building, set on its own on the island of Helgeandsholmen, just North of the Gamla Stan. Very impressive. From there we walked around to the Nybroplan, where most of the sightseeing boats that cruise around Stockholm leave from. From there the views back across to to the Royal Palace and the Gamla Stan were epic. This is such a pretty city!
We then wandered across the bridge to Skeppsholmen, a small island that used to be a military base and home for Stockholm’s defensive personnel. It is now all parkland, with the old military buildings converted into museums. From there we were able to walk on to Kastellholmen, an even smaller island that is basically just a little hill sticking out of the water. Atop the hill there is a fortress, built in 1667 as part of the city’s defences, from which we got some great views of Stockholm.
Our self-guided walking tour then continued all the way across the Strandvagen, where lots of Stockholmers were relaxing in the morning sun, sharing their Saturday morning with friends over coffee. The Strandvagen is a beautiful, wide boulevard facing the water that is apparently one of Stockholm’s most prestigious addresses, and has been since the 18th century. The buildings along this street were really beautiful, and we were so captivated by the view across the water that we had to stop for a coffee too and join the locals for some rays.
Our final destination for the morning was the Kungliga Djurgarden(translation the Royal Game Park). This 689 acre park was once the Swedish Royal family’s private garden, woods and hunting grounds, but is now Stockholm’s biggest green space. It’s a beautiful park, containing areas of manicured lawns and perfect flower beds, as well vast tracts of relatively untouched woodland. Djurgarden is also home to historical buildings and monuments, museums, galleries, restaurants, cafes, an amusement park (Gröna Lund), and a small residential area (no doubt another very prestigious address!). We spent hours strolling through the gardens and even enjoyed our own picnic, Stockholm style, under an apple tree on the lawns of the Djurgarden (we found a supermarket and a way to feed ourselves for less than $50AUD per meal – yay!).
Once we’d had enough of strolling through the Djurgarden (relaxing in the sun gets tiresome after a while), we found the closest ferry stop and cruised back to the Gamal Stan – much easier than walking! The map below outlines our journey for the day, including our ferry trip home. After our adventures we had a quick shower and headed back to the old town for dinner where Shane enjoyed his $10AUD Heineken and $50AUD reindeer* steak, and I had a $40AUD serve of lamb. We’re still trying to get our heads around how expensive it is to eat out here, but at least dinner was good. All in all, not a bad way to spend the day! Hejda until the morrow good people…
*Shane says: Xmas presents might be late this year as I think I just ate Rudolf. Reindeer is even more delicious than wallaby; like baby panda but gamier. [PETA please note: No actual baby pandas have been eaten. Not even nibbled.]