Sunday, 1 August 2010

Stockholm Day 1

We arrived in Stockholm in the afternoon, grabbed a map from the hotel and made our way down to the Gamla Stan, the old part of Stockholm.
Stockholm consists of 14 islands.  The group of islands is known as Stockholm archipelago.  (Nicole hopes that one day soon she can actually say this word without stumbling).   Gamla Stan is one of the prettiest islands (and the one most covered in tourists.)
The town dates back to the 13th century, and has the most fantastic cobblestoned streets, narrow lanes, and the most fascinating architecture. (lots of  photos of Gamla Stan architecture in another post).

The city gates.

Cameron invented "The Croc" game as we walked through the old city. The aim was to count as many pairs of crocs on people's feet that you could.  Cameron was winning by a fair margin, until Alexander caught up to him with this family eating ice cream. 

There were a lot of confused tourists wearing crocs who couldn't understand why the boys were yelling out "Pink Crocs,  Yellow Crocs", and pointing at the offending tourist.

The Royal Palace sits on Gamla Stan, the Kungliga slottet.  The King and Queen of Sweden have their offices here.  Every day after 12pm, there is a ceremony of the changing of the guards.  The guards arrive on horseback and change guard duty.  We didn't see the actual ceremony, but we saw the horses and guards riding through the street on their way to the palace.  We didn't attempt to see the changing of the guards as the pathway between the palace, footpath and street is quite narrow, and there were plenty of tour buses clogging up the way.

Across the Norrström River is the National Museum.

The buildings beside the Norrström River

Next to the Royal Palace is the Riksdagshuset, the Parliament House.

The Kungsträdgården (the Kings Garden) is a great place to listen to buskers, (we heard a great New Orleans group), and wander around the gardens.  The flower beds were bright.
The kids loved the statue of Karl XIII, (1748-1818), and the 4 lions surrounding him.
Alexander tried to mimic Karl's pose (much to the amusement of some local Swedish people).
Cameron enjoyed taming the lions...
until one turned on him.
We loved the ketchup and mustard dispensers at this sausage stand near the National  Museum.

The Dramatiska Teatern is a beautiful building, but hard to take a photo of with the amount of tram lines, buses and cars passing by.

The Riddarholmskyrkan, is the church where the Swedish Kings and Queens have been buried.  It is one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm, the oldest part of the church, which was originally a monastery, was built in the late 13th Century.

Some of the water features in the city were great.
The statues in front of the Konserthuset
The kids loved Stockholm
They through the troll sign was hilarious!
Nicole was upset that the wool shop in Gamla Stan was closed, and even had iron bars to keep her out!
The Storkyrkan church in Gamla Stan
The Skeppsholmskyrkan church on Skeppsholmen.

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