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Trip Report Trip Report: Stockholm, July 2009

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For the general plane travel information, the reader should go to my trip reports for France, 2009 (paragraph 2) and Norway, 2009 (paragraph 3).

Our arrival in Stockholm was the only one that occurred at a decent hour, allowing us to get to the B&B we had reserved ahead of time by mid-afternoon. We found the room through http://www.bedbreakfast.a.se/v1.0%20ram/index2.htm and chose #C7. The description on the web is accurate as far as it goes, and the room is quite small. But the breakfast table is so small that a full breakfast would not be congenial and we took the Continental breakfast that was offered at a lower price. We saw our hostess only on the first day when full payment in cash was required (2400 SEK + breakfast for 4 nights, about $80 a night), and when we asked for the location of a laundromat, she offered to do the laundry for free. My wife would have preferred to be more downtown, but I felt that the location was fine. We were within 5 minutes normal walking time from the metro station and 5 minutes from the end of two bus lines, one of which went to the museum island (Skansen, Vasa, etc.) and the other one to the downtown waterfront, both in 15 or 20 minutes. The one bothersome element was noise. The apartment building is on the top of a hill above the Valhallavägen, a major thoroughfare, which meant that we heard constant rumblings of delivery trucks in the early morning; it was warm and we had to leave the window open.

I had found another B&B site originally (http://www.stockholmguesthouse.com/rooms-city.html ) and made some inquiries, but never got a response, or so I thought. It turns out that their mail had gone into my spam box.

What we did not realize is that any location within what the B&B web sites identify as in the city are within reasonable reach of tourist sites. I was a little anxious about being far away from the downtown area, but in fact this was not a problem.

We did not get the Stockholm card that allows free transportation and entrance in museums. Given our limited mobility because of my wife's foot, we knew that we would not visit that many paying sites. But we got a three day transportation pass which allowed us to travel freely around the city. We visited Skansen, which is definitely worth while (the pictures might give you an idea) and the Vasa museum on the same day. The Vasa museum is a wonder of technical achievement in that an enormous boat was raised from the sea mud and preserved as a single piece. The Vasa itself is less of a technical achievement since it sank on its first cruise. We took one of the long cruises around the Stockholm islands, giving us a view of the older and newer waterfront developments. We did walk around Gamla Stan and visited the Royal Armory which, in terms of weapons and armor, is less interesting than the Dresden Armory. Its temporary exhibit seemed to be addressed more toward children and in any case was of little interest for the foreign visitor. We also saw the Nordiska Museet ($18) which we went to see as a decorative arts museum.

We had no striking meals in Stockholm except for a complete service disaster at Den Gyldene Freden ($190), for which they gave us complimentary desserts. The food was not interesting at all, perhaps we ordered the wrong thing. We ate in neighborhood restaurants (Turkish and Italian food), at the food court in Skansen (offering mainly hamburgers and hot dogs), the opera café ($57)--none of them overwhelming, some better than others.

Photographs can be seen at http://travel.webshots.com/album/573932872DNwRYc

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