Monday 2ndJuly 2018
It was an 8:00 am start today, so up early. We had breakfast at Moderno and then headed out to meet our group. Our tour guide was Jenny and she was amazing. She was explaining different things on our way in to the city (as it was an hour away), however the bus had free wi-fi so most of us were checking mail and sending messages home.
We drove through different parts of the city and Jenny explained that Stockholm was built on different islands. We went to a lookout and the view was unexpectedly brilliant. The view looked over the Old Town and other areas of Stockholm as well, including an amusement park. The sun was shining (and it wasn’t cold!). It was such a beautiful sight.
We then drove into the city, with Jenny pointing out different buildings all around us. We stopped at the Town Hall. This also afforded us a view across the lake. The view that we had before was on the side of the Baltic Sea, whilst this view was on the freshwater lake that fed into the Baltic. The water in the Baltic is less salty than other oceans due to the amount of fresh water that flows into it. The city is undertaking some major renovation and infrastructure works so there is construction taking place everywhere. Jenny also explained that the relationship that the Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Sweden and Norway have is like sisters – love each other very much, but fight like cats and dogs.
After the Town Hall, we did some more driving to see some sights and then stopped at the Vasa Museum. Initially, I felt we needed more time, but then realised that once you had gotten over seeing a ship the way that it was built in the 16444? and read some of the exhibits and walked around it a couple of times, an hour a half was fine. Phil and I ended up having morning tea as well.
We joined our group and headed to the Old Town. This was so surprisingly pretty. Jenny showed us where our group would meet at the agreed time. We walked up to the Big Square which was the back area of the gorgeous palace. There was some netting on some of the statues at the back of the palace. Jenny explained that the statues were made out of sandstone and were starting to crumble. The netting was there to prevent large pieces falling onto people below.
After this, we walked through some narrow alleys to get to this tiny little statue – The Iron Boy. Jenny explained that it was famous for being the smallest statue in Europe (it wasn’t a sculpture but a statue). It was so cute. Apparently if you rub his head and make a wish, you will work to make it come true. Jenny was also explaining that at night, there is a spotlight on him to make it look like he is sitting in a bed and gazing out at the moonlight. I thought he was pretty cute as he was.
After this we headed to the Town Hall and had about 45 minutes to wander on our own. We were checking out some souvenir shops and just taking it all in (well taking photos too). Wow! Another wow moment was that we had found some Diet Coke – well Coke Light over here anyway! Our ship only has Pepsi – no Coke at all!
We then went looking for some more to take back with us, but we didn’t want to be back late for the group and couldn’t find anymore. LWe met the group and headed back to the ship, once again enjoying the free wifi, with many people nodding off and having a snooze.
We got back to the ship early and we asked at the port for directions to the closest place we could get Diet Coke and Coke Zero. We headed up the hill into town and found a shop called Lido. It looked like a supermarket – which it was – but it was an Aldi type of supermarket. No Coca-cola at all!
We headed back to the ship disheartened. Kim got back shortly after us and we relaxed until 8:00. We had our final show – it was dinner and a show called Cirque Dreams and dinner jungle fantasy.
The show was absolutely amazing and the people performing were spectacular, doing feats that I couldn’t believe. It truly was fantastic. The meal on the other hand, was at best ordinary.
We were all so tired after the big days out, that we all just went to bed. Sea day tomorrow so no alarms!