City of Islands

Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
1
72
168
Trip End Oct 15, 2008


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Flag of Sweden  ,
Monday, May 19, 2008

19/5-21/5

Stockholm is a beautiful city; it is set over 15 islands each with their own individual feel and look. The water ways and the elegant old buildings mixed with rock cliff faces and trees make this the best looking capital I have seen. The Camp site we stayed at was 10kms out, so we caught the metro in each day. One the first day the sun was shinning it was warmish so armed with just a small jacket we headed in. By the time we got off the metro, it was raining/hailing cold and windy, great. Actually it stayed like this most of our stay in Stockholm.

We had read about the elaborate changing of the guard ceremony that took place everyday and wanted to check it out. It takes place in the palace court yard on the island of Gamla Stan, the oldest and prettiest, building wise. As we were walking there we noticed a whole heap of soldiers lining up, and as we got closer they started to line the streets as if making a guard of honor. Now this was a little over the top we thought. A drum corps band was set up and playing the odd tune, so we watched them for a little while, they had a few good stick drills and sounded not too bad. As we followed the crowd into the court yard, we noticed a military marching band formed up and then more soldiers marching in. As it turns out the president of Greece was paying Sweden a visit and this was for him. Things were making more sense.

The Band was very good, but no better then our full timers I would think. The funniest thing about the whole thing was what we called the dresser boy and girl. Those of you not in the army might not find this so amusing, but it seems it was tasked to two junior ranked soldiers to make sure that the solders on parade were dressed properly. So once they had been lined up, the dresser boy and girl came running on from the side and started to work their way down the ranks fixing up there coats, belts hats, polishing their shoes, anything! It was hilarious!

As it was so cold, 8 degrees I think, we went for a hot chocolate to warm up. We then filled in the next day and a half doing our usual wander around the city thing. It would have been great if it wasn't so cold and wet. We were hoping to find somewhere to watch the state of origin, but no where was playing it (go the blues!) we got to have a coopers in an Australian bar though and chatted to the aussie bar tender who had been living there for a year. We also booked our ferry to Estonia, which tuned out to be a bit more expensive then we first thought.

The ferry for Estonia left at 6pm, and traveled over the Baltic Sea for 15hrs until it hit Tallinn. We thought we were getting a big car ferry and would be spending the night in a food court on uncomfortable seats not getting much sleep. As it turns out, it was more like a cruise liner! We had our own little room with shower, and were able to partake in a pub, disco, multiple restaurants shopping centre and a nightclub/casino! We realized why our room was a cheaper one at about 11pm when the night club music started pumping through the floor of our room, oh well.

We had a big buffet dinner, and ate a whole heap of prawns and smoked salmon and enjoyed a few Saku, Estonian beer. It was a nice and unexpected part of our journey, but means we will be spending a few weeks trying to catch up with the money. I was really looking forward to getting a boat around Stockholm, but I am glad we didn't now, as the cruise ship traveled through the Stockholm archipelago anyway, this was very beautiful, thousands of tiny islands dotted with huge houses set on clear water.

Miles so far: 3329
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