Stockholm Day 2: Vasastaden, Östermalm and Gamla Stan
Stockholm Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
After a good night sleep and a great English breakfast, saturday morning found us eager to explore Stockholm. Armed with a 72 hour travel card for public transport, which we acquired after several tries in the subway and the newsstands, we took the Tunnelbana from the hotel to Radmansgatan, 6 stops to the north.
Our walk started at the Adolf Frederika Kyrka where we found the grave of Olaf Palme, Sweden's prime minister who was murdered in Stockholm in 1986.
The sky was grey and it was a bit chilly, but we enjoyed the walk along Stockholm's streets. The snow had only recently melted and there was gravel everywhere. I figure it is used instead of salt to keep the roads driveable.
We checked out the stalls at Hötorget Market and then walked past the Orpheus fountain, along Kungsgatan and past the Kungstornen to Stureplan, which was a bit busier.
We spent about 45 minutes inside the Saluhall market, exploring the stalls of this beautiful foodhall, but were disappointed by the high prices. It had by now become painfully clear that Stockholm was not cheap. A shame, as there were many things we would have liked to have tasted or taken home with us.
Down Sibyllegatan we walked past the Hedvig Eleonora Kyrkan, the Army Museum, the Music Museum, the Royal Stables and then turned right and somehow stumbled into Hallwylska Palatset, where someone had made a giant wallpainting/sculpture with (by now) rotting apples.
This also reminded us it was time to eat, so we found some pastries down in a shop in T-Centralen, right next to the Kulturhuset.
Every other square we went seemed to have its christmas market: in front of the Saluhalls, at Kungsträdgarden, right next to the Kulturhuset. No doubt we would find another one in Gamla Stan, which is where we were heading. I didn't like them. I've never been much of a fan of Christmas to be honest.
We crossed the bridge to the island at the Riksdaghuset, which was crowded. The streets of Gamla Stan in front of us were infested by people, so it was quite strange that when we crossed the bridge to Riddarholmen, we were all alone again. Now ok, besides the imposing Riddarholmskyrka, there isn't really that much to see.
And then we re-entered the madness of Gamla Stan and got swept away by hordes of holiday shoppers and tourists (see, we weren't the only 2 idiots visiting Sweden in late November!) We explored Vasterlanggatan all the way to Mynnttorget and then walked along Osterlanggatan back to the Royal Palace, completely missing Tyska Kyrkan. So we headed back there and then suddenly were amazed by 2 things.
1. It was getting dark.
2. It wasn't even 3.30pm yet!!!
Now that was something we hadn't taken into account. Sure I knew it was going to get dark sooner, but not at 3 bloody 30 pm!!!
The world showed us a totally different face now, and when we hit Stortorget's Christmas Market, I finally got into the spirit of things.
Ofcourse I was quickly brought back to reality when some idiot ran his cart over my foot.
So maybe it was a good thing that we had reached the end of our walking tour and since our feet were killing us, we walked back to T-Centralen and caught the subway back to the hotel, after doing some groceries, where we had a little rest.
We went out for dinner around 6pm, expecting empty restaurants and being told 'we don't open till 7pm' like in France, but apparently, people go out for dinner early. We found a Chinese restaurant which was crowded, and it seemed to us that despite the price of alcohol, people didn't really bother coughing up 70 kronor or more for a beer. We had a great meal and stuck to Coke, and then walked back to the hotel and just crashed.