7.20.2011

Abroad & Below: Trading In Crowns and Kronor

July 11th

We still had a lot of ground to cover my last day in Sweden. We rose early and headed to Drottingholm Palace, home to Princess Victoria and her new hubby. Well, seasonal home considering they have quite a few scattered around the world. The grounds were well-kept, the plants were trimmed to a T, and the windows didn’t have a single finger print. The palace is made of a muted yellow brick with green and other colorful accents, making it really unique. The palace also has guards of course, but not like any I will see in London. They looked out way for photos and definitely were abiding by the same strict protocol Buckingham has. We also caught the changing of the guard just before we headed to our next destination. It was a quick stop,  but definitely a must see.

Finally we arrived at the highlight of my trip: Stockholm’s Gamla Stan! I know it’s a bit of a tourist attraction but the buildings are so quaint and colorful, it’s everything my perfect European town would consist of. Freddie actually grew up in Gamla Stan so he was our personal tour guide too, telling us stories of his childhood and all the legends of old town that aren’t printed on the placards. Of course Gamla Stan was quite packed along its narrow streets, but we managed to make our way and grab all my last minute souvenirs. I was even able to find an original watercolor of the old church from the same street we had just walked. I would consider this the most popular church in Sweden, figuring this is where Princess Victoria wed and where most children are baptized. I was ecstatic with my find. We walked around for a couple hours, stopping at stores, stopping for a fika, and listening to Freddie’s stories of where the bodies of the beheaded used to be stored. It was perfect.

We also stopped at the Nobel Museum. Housing artifacts and information on Alfred Nobel and his Nobel Prize recipients, the museum is overflowing with information and genius. So many amazing minds have been given this honor and over 800 glass portraits glide along a cableway in the ceiling. If you had the time, you could sit and watch as inventions and discoveries are recognized with the human that had the potential. It’s amazing.

Finally we spent our last dinner with one of my farmor’s friend’s son. He came to live in Sweden on a two-year plan and has now been there for 15. He fell in love with the country. He took us to a little cafĂ© that dished up delicious gourmet sandwiches, salads, and desserts. As we were leaving I looked in the window of the store next door and saw the 3rd issue of StyleBy. It was fate! Now I am heading home with two copies of Elin Kling, hundreds of photos, an original watercolor, a new scarf, a one-of-a-kind necklace, silly souvenirs and enough memories to last until….well, until next time of course.