Vasa Museum and the Island of Djurgarden

After disembarking from our ten minute ferry ride from the Island of Gamla Stan in Stockholm to Djurgarden Island, my Tour participants and I walked along the harbor in search of the famous Vasa Museum.

I noticed these little girls sitting on the dock, savoring their ice cream cone…


We all said, “Wow”–when we walked in and saw the Vasa Ship!  She sank on her maiden voyage back in 1628 and is the only fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged.  It was times like this when I wished I had my tripod and wide-angle lens with me.  We spent at least an hour and one-half engrossed in the fascinating exhibits that transported you back in time.  I believe there were six or seven floors to explore!


The Vasa measures 128 foot long and was submerged for 333 years before it was discovered again and raised… Continue reading

Taste of Stockholm and Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan is the oldest of the fourteen islands that comprises Stockholm and my group and I took a 10 minute ferry ride from that Island to the Island of Djurgarden, where the Vasa Ship Museum is located, amongst other sight-seeing places.  Here’s an interesting fellow I had my photo taken with…


First, we went to the Taste of Stockholm.  Here in Cincinnati there’s an annual event called Taste of Cincinnati, so we had a good idea what this would be like.  The first thing we saw was a cooking demonstration on the main stage, shown in the photo below.  We passed a Champagne booth, so my friend Richard purchased a small taste for $13.  I was trying to conserve money since I was in Europe for an entire month, so I didn’t taste anything while we were there.  In fact, I packed my own sandwich for lunch and ate it there.  Scandinavia is very expensive, but I had a good time people watching! Continue reading

The Opulent Stockholm City Hall and Changing of the Guards at the Royal Palace

Stockholm City Hall must be the most opulent City Hall in all of Europe!  After seeing photos online of its interior, I knew I had to include it in my tour.  It’s used for wedding ceremonies and the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held here.  The official tour is less than $16 and lasts about 45 minutes.

The view looking out through the leaded glass windows was beautiful…


That’s real gold in them there walls…


At first I was disappointed that there were chairs set up in the space, but then I liked the mathematical beauty of them!


Continue reading

Discovering Art in Stockholm

Discovering “Art” in Stockholm isn’t difficult!  I was inspired at every turn.  Although my Tour participants and I didn’t arrive by train from Copenhagen until late afternoon, we were eager to see some of Stockholm.  So after checking into the Courtyard by Marriott, we walked along the harbor area and it wasn’t long before I found lovely scenes to take photographs of.


These gentlemen relaxing by the waterfront appeared to be having a nice chat…


Continue reading

Champagne Cures Everything

Did you know Champagne cures everything?  Well, it certainly helped me after one of my Tour participants lost (or it was possibly stolen) her purse with her Passport, credit card and debit card!  It all started one morning in June when we were to meet at a certain time in the lobby of our hotel in Copenhagen to walk with our suitcases to the train station for our next destination…Stockholm.  The lady whose flight was delayed a day and who fell off of her bicycle was late coming downstairs.  Only twelve minutes…but that can mess up everything.  Once she arrived downstairs, we walked quickly to the Metro that would take us to the train station.  Once we arrived at the train station,  we were told we would be taking a bus to the main train station instead of a train because of a strike  going on in Sweden within the transportation department.  It’s all somewhat of a blur at this point, because we were rushing from metro to train to train, again and again.  All I remember is that we ran outside in the direction they pointed for the buses and arrived just as some buses were leaving, so we had to go back in and spend an unexpected $140 for a train ticket to Stockholm.  Around this time, the Tour participant said she couldn’t find her purse.  My friend Richard went outside in the rain and searched through a garbage can near where the buses were and couldn’t find anything.  As you can imagine, it was a frantic mess!

She was told she could make a police report and go to the Embassy once we arrived in Sweden, so we bought our tickets and were on our way.  We luckily had free WiFi on the train, so I researched where the embassy was, the location of a money wire transfer, and other sites for her and sent e-mails to notify people at home of her circumstances, since she lost her car and house keys also.   Upon arrival to our hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott, the front desk employees were of great help to the her.  She was able to get another Passport and replacement credit card within 24 hours!

Throughout the remainder of the trip, from time to time, she would say, with a frantic tone, “I can’t find my Transport ticket”, or “I can’t find my Passport”, and I began to have anxiety just being near her.

Champagne helped!


Continue reading