Last weekend, with visiting family, we rented a car and drove to Stockholm. It's been a bit cold and rainy here in Oslo this past week, but fortunately, we had some wonderful sunshine in Sweden. Stockholm, Sweden's capital, comprises 14 islands of a much larger archipelago in the Baltic Sea. Its old town -- Gamla Stan -- dates from medieval times and has charming walking streets, a 13th century cathedral, the royal palace, interesting shops and cafes, and much more. We were lucky that Gamla Stan was located just across a bridge a short walk from our hotel.
We enjoyed the quiet and beauty inside the cathedral.
St. George and the Dragon
The royal palace and one of its guards.
Shop windows and displays
Unusual marketing humility
We bought a 24-hour hop-on-and-off boat ticket for transportation. It gave us a chance to see many sights from the water and to get a lay of the land.
The sunny day brings everybody outside to sit in cafes, eat pastries or sandwiches, and enjoy the free street entertainment.
Sten and Elmar soaking up the rays in true Nordic fashion.
This houseboat was pretty cute. The owners were serenading the boat traffic with their music.
The Vasa Museum houses a 17th century warship which sank 20 minutes into its maiden voyage. The wreckage is almost completely intact.
The Skansen Museum is an open-air zoo and museum on one of Stockholm's islands which has been established to show pre-industrial-era life in Sweden. The buildings have been brought from various parts of Sweden and show life from earlier times. Here are some tempting pastries from the bakery.
These women were using traditional materials and techniques to reupholster chair seats.
The general store
The rose garden was special because tulip bulbs have been planted amongst the rose bushes. They were in full bloom while the roses will come later.
A statue of Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist
Flowers in the Swedish flag colors of yellow and blue
These tiny houses were used as places to stay when tending the surrounding garden plot. Precursors to the minimalist tiny houses around today.
Pippi Longstocking, the Dalarna horses, and tomtens -- icons of Sweden.
Thanks go to Stockholm for a wonderful visit, and to our travel companions -- Aren, Darilee, and Elmar -- for great company.