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From the heart of England to Finland: Day 6 / 5 August 2009

Mushrooms on Stall in Stockholm

Mushrooms on a Stall in Stockholm

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Paul Darke blogs a day in Stockholm

Drove in to the city: it is not far but it was a little hilly from our side to the city side of the island we were staying on. Stockholm is an archipelago: a place of thousands of little islands of varying sizes. We parked by Nationalmuseum (The National Museum) on the waterfront opposite the Royal Palace. The central tourist places are - I think - centred around three intersecting islands. We wandered on to another island - Skepps Holmen where the Moderna Museet and Arkitektur Museet are.  

The Modern Art Museum was 90 Kroner and the Architecture one was 60 (or a combined ticket price of 110.  I usually just do a decimal point shift left (so 110 Swedish Kroner is £11); it is not that accurate but easy. We went up to the museums with a view to handing a Motion Disabled brochure in for the Director (which we did) but we had a wander to. Lots of crazy sculptures littered the areas by the museums but they lack any spark. They consisted of mechanical paper machete beats that just seemed child-like in their desire to do little other than entertain - rather than challenge.

The sun was burning. It must have been 35 centigrade and there was almost no shade to be had. Where it was available it was just as hot given there was no breeze at all. It was glorious. Feeling hungry we went to the main shopping street called Drottninggaten and ate in a cafe (300 Kroner fro 2 lasagna and a quiche). We went on a long wander around the city. A trail of small sculptures were placed on every street corner. I took a few photos.  Fountains were dotted around, as you would expect in a city on the Baltic Sea. It was all typical - and none the less beautiful - of a major European city.  

On to the old town called Gamla Stan, situated on its own little island. It contains the Royal Palace and the Cathedral (inaccessible as far I could tell). Gamla Stan was the small island between the island we were staying on (Sodermalm) and the main shopping centre.  It was perhaps two miles round the perimeter. We managed despite the fact it was cobbled and we had some rather steep climbs. We could have got The Stockholm Card (museum entry, sight seeing canalboat trip, ferries across waterways and guide book) for 375 Kroner for a day (180 under 17s and cheaper for longer pro rata for two and three days) Instead we just enjoyed the sun as we had no idea how long it would last. Plus, who wants to see the trinkets of the rich in their palaces? When will the world learn!.

We also failed to go to the Ikea ‘exposition’ celebrating 50 years of the store at Liljevalchs.

Also failing to go to the Nobel Museum and the Armemuseum (Army Museum). Also, to my son Walker’s disappointment, we didn't get to the IceBar (a bar made of ice that cost 195 Kroner to go in. You get a drink, hat and gloves and it is then 95 Kroner to get another drink!  But we did stop for a coffee and a cake in the Kungstradgarden park near the Operan (Opera House). Exquisite fountain watching for a while. On drive back to Hostel we looked at the Ericsson Globe which does not open till December (and has Eddie Izzard as one of its first gigs) and is next to the new Football stadium.

After a long and exhausting day we went back to the hostel and had supper again at the cafe there: Nachos and dips for the same price as before. Knackered we went to bed and slept well.

Keywords: disability art