Monday, April 15, 2013

Saturday in Stockholm

On Saturday, we took a day trip to visit the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm. I was sick on Friday with some sort of a stomach bug so I wasn't sure if I was gonna be able to make the trip, but I made through it and decided to go - no use in staying in on a Saturday when you're in Europe...

Nikki, Rhanda, and I on the train with our "flat" friends
We took the train from Linköping to Stockholm. It was about a two hour train ride - we traveled through pretty rural countryside filled with lots of water and ice. It was a very cold Saturday in the low 30's! It didn't help that it was also windy and occasionally raining. When we arrived in Stockholm we went to the tourist center to get a map of the city. We tried to map out where we would like to go for the day. Unfortunately, some of the museums and sites that we wanted to see were closed for some renovations. We wanted to go to the Vasa Museum, but it was closed, as well as the National Museum - all because of renovations. Apparently, Stockholm is not as busy as a tourist destination until at least May, so they work on their museums to update them before May. 

The Royal Palace of Stockholm (North Wing)
Everywhere we went in Stockholm we walked. By the end of the day we were definitely exhausted. My favorite and the main site that we saw was the Royal Palace. We went on a tour of the Royal Palace through the main museum giving us a history of the palace, the royal apartments, and the royal treasury. No pictures were allowed so unfortunately I don't have any to post from what we toured. The palace had a disastrous fire in 1697 that destroyed everything except the newly renovated north wing -  seen in the picture to the right- Plans were made for the palace to be rebuilt within 5 years, however it took 60 years until the royal family was able to live in the palace again. 

Royal Band during the Changing of the Guards
Hello Royal Guard!
One of the cool things to see at the royal palace was the changing of the royal guards. It happens everyday at 12:15 complete with the guards and the royal band. The royal guards protect the palace everyday and are very much like the British guards with their stern demeanor. There was a very large crowd of people to watch the changing of the guards so that they had us standing off in roped areas to watch it all. I loved the ceremony of it all, and how serious it all was. 

Katie and I - cuing in on my Swedish King roots
Inside the palace, we went on a tour. The history museum part of the palace discussed the different monarchs, the fire, historical events, etc. We got to see parts of the original old palace before it had the huge fire. Then, we went to see the royal apartments - there were different levels for different occasions or people. All were exquisitely decorated. The furniture and artwork definitely looked like they held their weight in gold. I liked that they were kept decorated in the baroque style for the most part. Lastly, we toured the royal treasury. In the treasury, we saw a lot of the royal regalia. The most prevalent thing in the treasury were all of the royal crowns. We learned that what the crowns look like with the different sizes, colors, and if they are open or closed signified what crown belonged to who. Open crowns are for princes and princesses, whereas closed crowns are for the king and queen. If they were red, then the crown was for the king or queen, but if they were blue, they were for the princes and princesses. Bigger crowns are for the males (of course), and the queens or princesses have the smaller crowns.  

Outside of the palace, we walked around mostly Old Stockholm - there was beautiful architecture, and so much water. Stockholm is a city made up of many islands so there were many waterways with us crossing many bridges. We also went through some of the shops shops they had. 

Along the way, we ran into a medieval festival of some sort with different booths and everyone dressed up in the traditional old way. I didn't waste the opportunity to shackle myself by arms and neck for a little bit just for fun.  

Overall, we had a great trip! We definitely all bonded together as we walked many miles in the freezing cold to see such a gorgeous, historical city :)

WKU Hilltopper pride! All the way from Stockholm, Sweden!

Additional Pictures: 



  1. I'm wondering, does the sun show itself in Sweden? That's just a question!

    It's a beautiful country!

    1. Ha well the weather here has been hit or miss especially this past weekend. Today, it was sunny! The temperature seems to be warming up slowly.