Stockholm, We’re Not Worthy

Published on: November 21, 2012

Filled Under: Europe, Stockholm, Sweden

Views: 1252

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A drifter at anchor
Photograph by Susan Henry
Harmonious harbor
Photograph By: Michael Henry
Picture perfect progeny
Photograph By: Michael Henry
Hotel Skeppsholmen, stylish urban oasis
Courtesy of: Hotel Skeppsholmen
Hotel Skeppsholmen: barracks for the über cool
Hotel Skeppsholmen, savor the view
Photograph By: Michael Henry
Vassa - imperfections intact
Photograph By: Michael Henry
Perhaps more engineers and fewer artists would have been better
Photograph By: Michael Henry
Snotty Sounds in Sodermalm
Courtesy of: Dear Joe
A pull my finger moment
Photograph By: Michael Henry

The first thing we notice upon arrival in Stockholm is how it is all so excruciatingly clean, youthful and vibrant. What do they do with all the tired, old, dirty stuff here in Stockholm?

As it happens, we are none too fresh ourselves, having just overnighted on the boat from Finland. Are we at risk of being whisked away by some baby-faced-but-spotlessly-groomed officer of the Prosperity Police?

We ride the tidy tunnelbanna, walk to and across a picture perfect bridge, and arrive on a pristine island oasis in the very heart of the city. There we find our roost, the Hotel Skeppsholmen, a stylish refuge in a reconstructed circa 1699 building which previously served as barracks for the Swedish Royal Marines. After checking in with the Taylor Lautner look-alike at the front desk, we head to our room, an expansive design-centric suite with an idyllic view of the city across the harbor.

Feeling the need to see something aged and faulty, we cast off for the Vassa Museum. The Vassa is a 1628 vintage warship which sank on its maiden voyage, having sailed less than one nautical mile. Apparently, the ship was built top-heavy, a fact known to everyone but the commissioning king, Gustavus Adolphus, who his subordinates were afraid to tell. The extravagantly decorated and heavily armed Vassa was salvaged virtually intact in 1961. It looks like Captain Hook’s ship, but much more intriguing, because it is real. The museum engagingly tells the stories of the Vassa’s construction, failure to launch, and resurrection from the sea.

Buoyed by our visit to the Vassa, we head for the previously gritty, but now boho-hip district of Södermalm. Stieg Larsson fans will recognize the Södermalm neighborhood as the scene of much of the action in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I am not sure what it says about us, but we began to feel at home there in Södermalm, listening to Dear Joe croon tunes at the diminutive Snotty Sounds Bar. Likewise, we savored our commune with locals while dining at nearby Chutney, a vegetarian café serving creative, satisfying fare at digestible prices.

It took us a few days to dig a bit below the shiny veneer of Stockholm. We did eventually find our travel groove, but by then it was time to pack our imperfections and head for Copenhagen.



2 Comments on Stockholm, We’re Not Worthy

  1. Patsy Flora says:

    Well, you entertained me again. I had heard about the ship that hit bottom as it was launched, just never knew where it happened and who was responsible. Bet it would be fun to travel with you both.

  2. Jackie DeKoning says:

    I agree with Ms. Flora, I’d love to travel with you. What fun!

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