Saturday, April 28, 2012

Overwhelming Stockholm- Part III

After the previous day’s running around some of our friends were worn out and decided to rest for a day but we could not afford it so we started the day early.  The plan for the day was first visit the City Hall of Stockholm. Then visit Drottningholm Palace, from there go to Djurgården where Vasa Museum, Skansa, Nordiksa Museum et cetera are located.

The City Hall of Stockholm
We set out for City Hall which can be reached from metro station Rådhuset on blue line towards Akalla/Hjulsta. You have to walk approx. 500 meters to Hantverkargatan 1 to reach City Hall. According to their website “City Hall of Stockholm is one of Sweden's most fascinating and impressive buildings! You can visit the City Hall on a guided tour all year round. Since the venues can only be visited together with a guide, there are no general opening hours.” We reached City Hall just before one of the guided tours began. So were taken around the inside of the city hall with a lot of information about the building, its heritage, architect etc. It was truly amazing experience to be standing at the ‘blue hall’ where Nobel banquets are held every year. Then walk through the chambers where city council meets or the ‘golden hall’ which is made of gold. Well, some pictures again...

City Hall
City Hall from Hantverkargatan side
Blue Hall
The legendary ‘blue’ hall
Golden Hall
The 'golden' hall
City Hall outer courtyard
View from the outer courtyard of City Hall
Street outside City Hall
Street near T-Bana Rådhuset

After breath taking views outside the City Hall and other overwhelming information it was time to move towards our next destination, Drottningholm Palace.

Drottningholm Palace
We took blue line towards Akalla/Hjulsta and alighted at Fridhemsplan. Then took green line towards Åkeshov/Hässelby Strand and alighted at Brommaplan. From Brommaplan you can take bus 176 towards Stenhamra or bus 177 towards Ekerö, Skärvik and alight at Drottningholm. As per the official website “The Drottningholm Palace is on UNESCO's World Heritage list. It is the most well-preserved royal castle built in the 1600s in Sweden and at the same time is representative of all European architecture for the period.” When we reached the visitor center we were told that we had missed the guided tour and the next tour was scheduled about 2 hours later. Since we had the Stockholm card we could go around the palace and its garden. The royal garden is called Chinese pavilion which is open during summers but we could go around it. In summer and autumn, place seemed to be a very nice spot for day long excursion with loved ones. Well, it’s time for some more pictures…
Drottingholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace
Drottingholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace another view
Drottingholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace from Chinese Pavilion
Swan at Drottingholm Palace
Swan @ Drottningholm Palace lake

The place was so beautiful that eyes and heart wanted to soak it for some more time but the brain pushed us into a bus that was leaving. At Brommaplan we spotted a McDonalds’ and decided to have an American lunch. After lunch we took the green line towards Skarpnäck/Farsta strand/Hagsätra and alighted at T-Centralen to go to our next destination Djurgården.

Djurgården, Vasa Museum, Skansa, Nordiksa Museum.
We needed to take bus 69 from Sergels torg to Vasa Museum but we lost our way at City center (it’s really confusing for new visitors). After asking around we reached Nybroplan and took tram number 7 towards Waldemarsudde. The tram ride was an experience in itself. Once we reached Vasa museum stoppage we found the surrounding area of Djurgården was quite picturesque. Vasa museum according to their website is “the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world, and a unique art treasure. More than 95 percent of the ship is original, and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures.” The ship looked amazing with its masts, high decks, sculptures etc. and for a moment it felt that Captain Jack Sparrow will holler from the upper deck. Also, the technology with which the ship was salvaged is too overwhelming. Well enough of talking, it’s time for pictures ...
Vasa Museum
Vasa (front view)
Vasa Museum
Vasa (rear view)
Nordiksa Museum
Nordiksa Museum

Different views from  Djurgården bridge 

Sky View revisited
We returned from Djurgården to Sergels Torg by bus 69. Then took green line from T-Centralen towards Hagsätra and alighted at Globen for Sky view. We had about an hour before we go could go up the Ericsson Globe. So, we hung around Globen shopping mall, which is next to Sky view. The Sky view adventure (that’s what they call it) started with a short ten minute movie explaining what it is, its history, the challenges, technical details etc. Then they take you to the glass gondola. What happens next, when you go up, is something that needs to be experienced to express it. Fortunately, it was a very clear and bright day so we could see the entire Stockholm city’s skyline. It was quite amusing to look at the buildings which looked exactly like the cardboard models we build for our school projects. Ok, time for pictures…
Sky View
The gondolas view from the bottom of the globe
Stockholm skyline atop Sky view
Stockholm skyline from the Sky view gondola

After the spectacular experience it was time to return to base (friends’ apartment). The three days seemed to have gone by in a snip.

Northern lights – god’s bonus. 
As we were looking back and contemplating at the eventful and exciting trip, I noticed a pink aura in northern sky. When I showed my friend , he said that one of our Finnish friends had texted that there was a forecast of Northern lights in this region. You can read about northern lights from internet if you already do not know about it. We were looking for a chance to ‘see’ Northern lights from the time we were in Finland. Well, this wish too got fulfilled.
Northern Lights
Northern Lights
Northern Lights in sky

 With the Northern lights as icing to the trip it was the end of our stay in Stockholm but certainly not the end of the story, so wait for the return journey.

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