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* 


In Stockholm, celebrating 20 glorious years together!

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!


Crossing from the Gamla Stan to Helgeandsholmen to see the Parliament building.

The Swedish Parliament Building.


Views across the canals from the island of Helgeandsholmen.


Views back across to the Royal Palace from Nybroplan.


Walking along the Nybroplan, enjoying the sunshine and views.

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. 

Views of Stockholm on the way to Kastellholmen.


The 17th century fortress atop Views of Stockholm from the hill on Kastellholmen.

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.

The beautiful buildings of the Strandvagen.


The Strandvagen is one of Stockholm’s most prestigious addresses, and, as we disocovered, a great place to enjoy a coffee and people watch.

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!).

The rather grand entrance into the Djurgarden.


The gardens were full of people picnicking, walking their dogs, jogging or just relaxing in the sun.


Strolling through Djurgarden, looking for a picnic spot.


Rosendal Palace, one of the historical buildings within the Djurgarden. This small palace was built as a summer retreat for the royals, as an escape from the Royal Palace. Even royals need to get away from it all sometimes I guess.


The Orangerie – just a small pavilion for the royal fruit trees, so they don’t die over winter.


There were fields of summer flowers throughout the Djurgarden.


Picnicking Stockholm style, under an apple tree in the Djurgarden.


Hey look – we found all the King’s horses! (Or maybe just his ponies?)

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.] 

Our day’s activities, all mapped out (9.5 km of  walking and one ferry ride home).




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