Friday, December 1, 2017

Scandinavia 10b

Stockholm, the Amsterdam of Scandinavia.
Our last day of touring! Breakfast was included every morning of our hotel stay. the Breakfast Buffet was to die for!! It catered to any taste, foreign or not! We discovered Scandinavian breakfast pate which is delicious. Hope we can find it in the US. We also fell in love with Lingonberries. The lobby offered free tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. It was a gathering area for guests and visitors. We met many fascinating people especially from Nordic countries such as Iceland and several Lap Landers.

ABBA Museum
This was the first time we went to a museum dedicated to popular musicians. It was made up of multi-media displays of the band's history, music, and costumes. We had no idea the problems they faced just getting started. They broke up in 1982 but their music lives on in movies,  radio and in this museum.

Riddenholman Church
The church is where many of the kings and queens of Sweden are entombed along with many members of the Swedish nobility. It dates from the 12th century, founded by St Francis of Assisi and his order of monks. It was interesting to see the different phases of completion of the church.

We missed the bus back to our hotel and had to wait half an hour for the next one. Freezing cold, we slipped into a cafe called Brassieret. It looked like it was plucked right out of 1930s Paris. French accordion music played over the sound system.  We ordered a couple of hot chocolates to warm us up. This little brassiere was very romantic.

Royal Palace
We spent the morning at the Palace. The crown jewels were beautiful,  tasteful, simple and elegant. The upstairs of the palace were the living quarters of the King and Queen. However, when their children were young there was no place for them to play. So they moved and now use the palace as their office (they are there daily) as well as for receptions/ ceremonies. The second floor now is a showcase for the beautifully designed clothing royal clothes, historical items and history of the Monarchy. All of it was quite an education.

We found out that our timing was way off. There was to be a Royal Event scheduled for tomorrow 10:00am. The king was making an appearance to accept the credentials of the new Ambassadors to Sweden. They were arriving in traditional carriages and horses. Really wish we could attend but we would be at the airport leaving for home.
Just a note: When we finished the tour we were hungry. I asked one of the guides if there was a cafe on the Palace grounds.
"Oh there are many cafes in Old Town, just...throw a it"
We looked at each other, "You mean a stones' throw from here?"
"Oh yes, a stone's throw."

Grand Hotel
We were headed for the Opera House with a string of restaurants along the side. Across the street however, was the Grand Hotel built in 1874. We simultaneously said. "Let's go to the Grand."
The Grand Hotel was beautiful, very high class. We were afraid they wouldn't let us in since we were traveling and looked well...worse than casual. They were very nice and directed us to the "less formal" eating area, a lovely restaurant with large windows facing the harbor.


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