The lovely apartment we rented in Stockholm was in the Syndbyberg area, and literally 2 minutes of walk away from the Syndbyberg Centrum Metro Station. Easy!! I thought… Until I saw the Stockholm Rail Network map.
I must say I was very impressed by the number of people working to give information to lost travelers. And every time I had to ask for directions, I got clear and easy instructions, always with a smile. We could learn from the Swedes here, in Montréal, although our Metro network is a lot less intricate!
We got to the apartment in (almost) no time, and after a short show-around, our lovely hosts let us to settle in our temporary home.
It was pouring rain on our first morning in Stockholm. We weren’t surprised, the forecast being clear about rainy weather all week long. It didn’t really matter, since we had planned to go get our Stockholm passes, and have a first tour around the city in one of those big red busses.
We had a quick breakfast, and headed to the tourists’ bureau, dressed to face the shower outside.
The Stockholm Pass is a card that allows you access to more than 60 of the city’s most popular attractions. It also gives you access to Hop On – Hop Off busses that drive you to all major sites, and allow you to get historical information about Stockholm while going along. Note though, that the Hop On – Hop Off boats might not be included as indicated on the website. We were denied access to the little red boats, because apparently there were some issues with the contract between the Tourists’ bureau and boat company. There are other cruises along the canals included, so just ask when buying your card, if you are visiting Stockholm.
We also took 72 hours transportation cards. These give you a convenient access to as many train, metro or bus rides as you need during your stay. Which is especially nice and money-saving, if you don’t live downtown.
We had decided to ride one of the Red Busses, and stop by the Vasa Museum. The busses were supposed to pass by every stop on a twenty (or about) cycle. Probably due to heavy traffic downtown, we had to wait almost an hour. Cold and soaked, we “hopped in”, hoping that the heavy rain would stop while we were visiting our first museum.
Many people were heading straight to the Vasa Museum, so we decided to take a walk around and were tempted by the Vikingaliv Museum. Unfortunately, it wasn’t part of the attractions included with our pass, so we settled for our previous plan.
The Vasa Museum isn’t too impressive from the outside, put aside its size. It just looks like a big brown box in the middle of the trees.
But don’t get fooled. It is absolutely amazing.
The ship built in the 1620s at the request of King Gustav II Adolf sank during its maiden voyage, in Stockholm’s harbour. 333 years later, after much efforts, the ship was brought out of the water, restored and displayed at the Vasa Museum.
Walking around the ship is just breathtaking. It gives the feeling of jumping back in time, and I couldn’t help but wonder how human hands could built such huge, yet detailed vessels… The story around the Vasa is also very interesting, and the many pieces of history displayed around the sailing war-boat are fascinating.
And a couple more details from the ship itself…
It was still raining when we finally left the museum, so we decided to finish the Red Bus tour, thinking it would help us plan the days to come. Those pictures aren’t my best, but they were taken from the bus, with wet windows… The best I could do at that time!
It made me smile to see this Sweden supermarket. Anyone living in Québec knows the major chain “IGA”… Who also uses red signs.
It was the last shot taken on this grey but fun day… Hopefully, day 2 would be less cold and wet!