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Well, on tuesday we took a train from Copenhagen to Stockholm, Sweden which required us to change trains in Malmö, Sweden. The total ride time was about 5.5 hours. In our first class carriage from Malmö to Stockholm, we got free lunch, coffee and candy (yeah for Michele!). After arriving in Stockholm, we took a few minutes to get online and book our accommodations for Helsinki, Finland (where we will be for some of next week) and we spoke to some nice people at the tourist information center and picked up a city map. Next we went to what we thought was the post office. Michele took a number, stood in line, and told the woman she wanted to buy post card stamps. It turns out she was standing in line at a bank in the train station and not the post office. Oops! Then we walked about 45 minutes to our budget hotel in the Vasastaden (northern) portion of the city. We were totally psyched to be stying in this hotel because we have a sink, shower and toilet all to ourselves right in our own room. Furthermore, we get a free buffet breakfast and the hotel is 7000 times quiter than any hostel we’ve stayed in.
Stockholm is comprised of 24000 islands and so far we have been to 3. On wednesday the 29th, we spent the most of the day reading through guidebooks, purchasing a Stockholm Card (which allows us free public transport and entrance into about 3 dozen museums and/or attractions for 48 hours) and booking a ferry trip from Stockholm to Helsinki (which will depart Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. and will arrive sunday morning at 9 a.m.). We were really excited about the ferry deal because for about $52 (U.S.) we get a private cabin with bathroom. This is less expensive than our hotel room here in Stockholm PLUS we get the transportation across the Gulf of Bothnia to Helsinki. We will actually be spending more time in Sweden after a week in Finland. We are sort of treating Sweden, Finland and Norway as one big country and will be jumping around a bit.
We started our Stockholm card wednesday afternoon at the Medeltidmuseet (the medieval museum). This museum sits on a spot that was originally allocated as parking space for members of the parliment. However, when excavations began in the late 1970′s a medieval town was discovered. So, this underground space is now the musuem. After the medieval museum, we rode the T (an underground train system much like the Metro of Washington D.C. or the subway of NYC) to the middle of Stockholm and took a short walk to a bar with 280 Belgian beers. The beer menu was quite overwhelming so we went with the recommendations of the bartender. Michele had Apple, Peach and Raspberry beers while Mike had Strawberry beer in addition to some more traditional ales and stouts.
Thursday, after having our traditional Scandanavian breakfast of granola, soured milk (which we have been thinking for the past 3 weeks was yogurt), deli meats and cheese, we made some quick plans for the day and headed out to explore some more attractions with our Stockholm cards. First, we went to National Museum, which housed an exhibit on Swedish Modern Design. Some might say this was very interesting while others (such as Mike) wonder what about it, exactly, constituted art. Next we headed to Djurgården, a small island that we walked to from Central Stockholm. There we visited the Vasa Museum that focused exclusively on the flagship Vasa which sank in 1628 and was resurrected from the sea 300 years later. You will have to see the pictures of this ship to belive it’s size and structure. Next we went to Skansen, a miniature Sweden and the world’s first open-air museum. The aquarium and zoo there were the best we’ve ever been to. You could actually go into the cages with some of the animals at the zoo and in the aquarium, there were actually vampire bats on the walls where we were walking. It was great!
Sorry no pictures this time. When we can post pictures we will.
Tomorrow we hit the museums again. Bye!
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