We knew we had been lucky with the weather, especially yesterday, so we shouldn’t really complain that the weather today was dreadful. But it really was terrible today !
We had breakfast first thing and luckily it wasn’t so busy in the dining room today. Muesli with 2 types of yogurt: mango and natural. There wasn’t any fruit salad today which was a shame. One plateful today with part of a crisp bread, butter, melon, pink grapefruit, sausage, bacon, boiled egg, tuna, cheese and sprouts. The melon today was wonderful as it was so sweet and juicy. We had to take the bicycles back so we cycled, in the rain, to Djurgarden which took about 20 minutes. Cycling in Stockholm is better than London as all the major roads have cycle lanes and there are virtually no pot holes so you can enjoy the ride more. Harvey, who has rarely cycled on the road, absolutely loved it and found it quite exhilarating. I was more anxious and much as I have enjoyed our 24 hours of cycling, was relieved that both we and the bikes survived the experience.
To get out of the rain I decided we should visit one of the many museums. My Aunty had recommended the Vasamuseet so we went in, with only low expectations. After all, how interesting could a ship that sank on its maiden voyage from Stockholm and was under water for 333 years be?
WOW! It was fascinating. The scale of the ship is incredible and to then think this survived in the water for so long is amazing. The detail of the ship was incredible. It would have been painted in bright colours in its day. The scale of the ship is hard to comprehend as it is massive. The museum building is 6 storeys high and you gradually climb higher and higher, seeing the boat from different angles and enjoying the exhibits on each floor. View from the top.
1 in 10 scale model to give you an idea of what it would have looked like when it was painted and with the sails up. The exhibits were fascinating too. This is one of many models showing how they raised the Vasa. I really liked this wooden relief map. It helped explain why the King of Sweden commissioned the building of the Vasa as Sweden was involved in the Thirty Years War in the Seventeenth Century. Hard to see but this is Harvey in the diving bell. One of our favourite exhibits was the recreation of crew faces. There were skeletons and personal possessions from the crew who died when the Vasa sank and these incredibly life like models of what their faces are calculated to look like. This was a fascinating and incredible exhibition and we would not have seen it if Aunty Marion had not recommended it so thank you Aunty M. for that. We then went on a ridiculously long walk in the rain to Sodermalm, an area of Stockholm I thought we would enjoy walking around. We actually tried to get a bus but you have to buy bus tickets from a shop, not on the bus and I never worked out which shop to go to. So we walked and walked in the wind and rain.
We went to Mellquist Kaffebar as it was recommended for its cardamom buns and coffee. The coffee was weak, served in a glass which I hate and I didn’t like the bun either ! We did both enjoy the sit down in the comfortable chairs which looked like they came from a theatre as we were both very tired today. We were not in the mood for pottering about Sodermalm in the rain so we headed back to the hotel. Stockholm is still pretty in the rain. Just not as enjoyable. We weren’t sure if this was a demo or a celebration. We stopped at Vete Katten, a traditional cake and tea shop but we were so wet by then we took cakes away to have at the hotel rather than sit inside in our wet clothes and shoes. I know I shouldn’t but it was a cake kind of an afternoon, enjoyed in bed while watching a film. Philomena was on the TV so I was happy and Harvey enjoyed some time on his iPad. This was a large (actually huge) delicious crunchy pastry and sugary something. This cake was incredible. I have admired them every day when we walked past and had to have one today. It is made of sponge, berries, whipped cream and covered in marzipan and it was just as good as I hoped. We went out for a late supper to Cloud Nine near the hotel. It is a French restaurant and cocktail bar. We just had one main each and I treated myself to a glass of wine as it is our last night here. I had a Boeuf Bourgignon which was good but such a small portion. About £60 for 2 small meals was expensive. Thank goodness we had cake earlier !!
We have really enjoyed our time in Stockhom. It is a lovely City and we would both happily return.