Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stockholm - Glance through visited places

Duration of stay: 16th till 18th October 2015

We arrived at Stockholm Central Station at around 4 pm vide SJ train-ride from Copenhagen. The train station doesn't like any normal train station that we've at thus far. It looks so modern that I mistaken it for a newly built station. Apparently it was not. I will write a separate entry about Stockholm Central Station soon after. As soon as we check-in at Crystal Plaza Hotel, we spent the whole afternoon recovering from a roller coaster effect from a bumpy train rides. And yes, we had an early diner at the hotel before strolling the city heading towards the Glam Stan. Saddened that this part of the region seems deserted at night. The compound lights within Glam Stan was not even lite up for us to explore deeper. We were frustrated but still exploring a nearby site to see what a city can offer at night. Good things are, walking at night is quite save for us two and honestly, it was fun too as we got to explore some arts like in the photo, below.

The next day, we walked using the map provided free at the hotel lobby heading towards the first attraction, i.e. the Stockholm City Hall. The walk was quite lengthy to reach the place which is about 2km away from the hotel, but the view was priceless. The city hall does not allow its visitor to wander on their own inside, rather, they arranged for a paid tour that you may booked, pay and join, following their set schedule. You may asked the reception counter at City Hall souvenir shop for assistance. We were lucky to join the first group that was almost ready to start at 10.00 am. It was a great educational walk to some part of the municipal hall but sadly the guide did not take us to the upper tower which has many more to see, apart from the Golden Hall where an 18 million gold mosaic tiles were laid and the hall where the city council sits for hearing.

As soon as we finished with the tour, we were heading towards Glam Stan, a must visit destination for all tourist to Stockholm. There are many more to see here. I was eagerly excited to enter Riddarholm Church, one of the oldest building in Stockholm. It is a 745 years old building, parts of it dating to the late 13th century, when it was built as a greyfriars monastery.However, I was told that photography is forbidden inside. My excitement resided and decided to cancel my plan.

Later, we passed by rows of old lanes and street to reach the Royal Palace with magnificent view, having a feeling of being in the 13th century city. On the way, we first made a quick stop to buy souvenirs at Classic Swedish Souvenir since we found one. Slightly before noon, we saw a nice decor restaurant and peek inside to see what there's for lunch that we, Muslim can possibly takes. Good things that we saw mostly all is a local food with lots of seafood in it. We decided to have an early lunch and glad with our decision to stop by. The lunch was beyond excellent and the price that was charged for the meal we had was reasonable according to Scandinavian standard cost of living.

Right after lunch, we then went looking for the royal palace entrance and found a counter selling tickets to enter three main parts of this historic building. The Kronor museum was the first that we entered as we were coming from that part. The museum occupies largely on the old part of where the palace was first built. It still has part of what was left after series of major fire that erupted in the palace between 13th till 16th centuries.  

After we have done with exploring the Kronor Museum on the lower ground, we entered the Royal Apartments where many exhibits and personal collection of Queen Lilian has been displayed on the upper floors. It was quite fun to see the evolution of how the queen is used to dress from young age till present. In addition, the royal apartment has its own standing beauty in terms of its internal finishing which is at par with other palaces that we visited when in Munich and Paris.

The last place we made was entering where some of the royal treasures being kept safe, the building in below photo but on the basement. Though photos are not allowed inside, I managed some tricks suffice for me to share in a separate entry. I hope I will not get caught for sharing it. By the way, the price for the three entrances was charged at Swedish Kronor 150/pax.

It was another long walk by the harbour front to reach Vasa Museum from the royal palace. The distance between the two places is 2.3km and reachable by foot. There are two attraction seated side by side, Nordiska Museum and Vasa Museum as shared in 2 below photos. Since we arrived nearing the museum closing time, with one hour left to explore, we decided to only enter Vasa Museum. Ticket to the museum is slightly cheaper than the royal palace, i,e, Swdish kronor 130 per person.

The view on our walk back to the hotel was stunning, worth the mileage that we covered for the whole day, 15.2 km a return walks. We tried a short cut relying on the map and found a groceries store along the way. We bought some salmons, vegetables and prawns and had a noodle for diner that night.

I have completed writing an entry about four cities thus far, BrusselsAmsterdamHamburg and Copenhagen. Stockholm is the fifth city that I'm writing now and I'm so looking forward to complete the whole thing as I am now into exploring my own country. I had a lovely chat with a nice American lady while waiting for the children playing at Tasik Dayang Bunting in Langkawi over the weekend. We both were very happy with the lake beauty and started exchanging stories of how she and I did not made enough effort to explore and appreciate the attractions in our own country. Rather, we chose to fly abroad for vacations.

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