On Stockholm

After a day in Helsinki, we were anxious to visit Stockholm, especially because my wife’s paternal ancestry is Swedish.

The night before, the cruise director encouraged passengers to see Stockholm’s 24,000-island archipelago, which we would be entering around 4 AM. We didn’t set the alarm clock, but as my eyes opened early, a quick glance revealed island – so I quickly dressed, and to one of the upper decks I went.

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Given the 4-hour trip through the islands each way, our time in port was short. Frequent drizzle and occasional hard rain was the order of the day, but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for being there. Stockholm is home to 2 million people, and located on a series of islands connect by bridges and water taxis. Stockholm’s architecture intrigued us.

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Vasa was a grand warship that sank about 30 minutes into its maiden voyage. For over 300 years, it remained submerged on the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor – yet, a salvage operation discovered much remained intact. After a length restoration, it is now in a worthwhile museum.

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With it shops, churches, the Royal Palace, and old buildings flanking the narrow, stone streets, Gramla Stan (Old Town) is picturesque and charming.

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At the end of the day, we went to a specialty restaurant on the ship’s upper deck as that was our night to celebrate our 35th anniversary (which was actually 5 months earlier). Given the view of the islands from our window table, it was a fabulous way to end the day – the day that our oldest nephew was getting married back in Ohio.

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Of all the ports on our trip, Stockholm remains the city that beckons our return, so enjoy the videos below of this beautiful city.

This 2+-minute aerial tour of Stockholm is outstanding, so hop aboard!

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For narration, The Expeditioner guides your 4+ minute video tour

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Viveka, a Swedish visitor here, provides this post about her recent visit to Stockholm. In her honor, as well as my wife’s family, enjoy this 2-minute video of Sweden to Du gamla, Du fria – the Swedish national anthem with beautiful images.


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After a 5-day whirlwind touring cities and with four time changes, we were ready for a full day cruising on the Celebrity Constellation … but Copenhagen yet to come … just click here to join the tour.

On a Safe Return

Greetings! I’ve missed my regular encounters with the friendly bloggers who visit my humble little site, and visiting your sites as well. Consider this as the start of me easing back into a regular routine. Then again, because of the side effect I have from the motion meds, I must limit my computer time for a few days as part of my plan of avoiding a very disturbing case of motion sickness.

We recently returned home from our belated (April) 35th anniversary celebration cruise of northern Europe on the Celebrity Constellation. Interestingly, this trip has been ten years in the making because we originally planned a similar trip for our 25th anniversary, but 9-11 caused a change in plans.

Besides the 2 ½ days we had in Amsterdam before departing on the 12-night adventure, our wonderful journey involved smooth sailing on a beautiful ship with good food, entertainment, dancing, activities, and glorious ports. The icing on the cake was being way from the political ads, conventions, and the accompanying crap of this election season.

Below is a snapshot of our ports. The interesting animation in the video uses the 2009 route that had the same stops but in different order and a route through the canal in Denmark instead of going around it.

Amsterdam – Bikes everywhere in this vibrant city with bountiful offerings. Wish I had worn a pedometer.

Warnemunde – A vacation town on Germany’s Baltic coast. Interestingly, this region was part of East Germany, so good English wasn’t common.

Tallinn – The capital of Estonia with its charming medieval sector is a treat.

St. Petersburg – As Russia’s second largest city, it was interesting to see how far they’ve come since the Soviet era, but with still a way to go. We had two great days here.

Helsinki – The youngest of the cities we visited. The Finnish language is supposedly one of the most difficult to learn, thus their long street names made self-navigation a bit of a challenge.

Stockholm – Passing through the 24,000-island archipelago was the biggest surprise of the trip. The city itself was awesome, and is the one we to return to the most.

Copenhagen – A beautiful city filled with friendly people who enjoy life. Interestingly, we spent time with a young man we know from our church.

Meanwhile, I look forward to reconnecting. Besides, I have a celebratory announcement to make soon. Have a good weekend.