While I was in Finland our family took a cruise ship from Helsinki to Stockholm on the Silja Line. The ship wasn’t one of those mega sized cruised ships but we had beautiful cabins and views, several dining and bar choices, a spa and saunas, duty free shopping and a place for children to play. The ship leaves Helsinki at 5 in the evening and docks in Stockholm at 9:30 the next morning. You have the choice of touring Stockholm for the day and taking the same boat back that evening or staying for an extended period of time and taking another ship back. We chose the first option due to some time constraints but we had enough time to visit Skansen and tour the Old town (Gamla Stan) a bit before he had to go back to the ship.
Skansen is an open air museum and zoo founded in 1891. You can walk around on well tended paths and view the animals in their natural farm enclosures and see the historical buildings and businesses with people in period dress. The animals are all native to Sweden, there are no exotic imported animals.
There are interesting pieces of history also such as rune stones and mile markers.
We also sampled some bread from a traditional Swedish bakery. We tasted a rolled bread topped with sesame seeds hot out of the oven. It was simple but delicious and comforting on a cool rainy spring day.
Stockholm is a beautiful city surrounded by water and we had the opportunity to explore a little in the afternoon. We started off by the Royal Palace although we didn’t try to explore inside the palace on this trip.
The Old Town (Gamla Stan) is beautiful and only for pedestrians. It evokes the old world in the architecture and atmosphere although there are modern restaurants, shops and hotels inside the ancient buildings.
After our whirlwind tour of Stockhold we headed back to the ship with four tired adults and two exhausted young children. We enjoyed a nap in our rooms and then had a delicious Nordic dinner in the restaurant. The food on the ship is quite good and the morning breakfast buffet is worth it just for the smoked fish and breads alone. We enjoyed the gorgeous views on the way back to Helsinki and already felt nostalgic memories for our taste of Sweden.
Good Night Sweden.