Day One: Walking Tour of downtown Stockholm and Gamla Stan

 

The Arlanda Express, a train that runs from the Arlanda Airport to downtown Stockholm.

Stockholm’s subway system is known as the T-bana. This is a picture of central station.

We got to stay in a beautiful, authentic Swedish apartment thanks to Malin. The company Malin works for, the Swedish department store H & M, owns the building and rents the apartments to foreign employees. Malin and Anders are taking a break on the white leather couches in the sitting room (notice the funky Swedish lighting!).

A picture of the living room (again, notice the cool Swedish candle chandelier and the weird wooden flower arrangement).

Our very white and efficient kitchen. The entire apartment had beautiful wood floors.

Our bedroom, also white, of course, had two twin beds with separate comforters, pushed together and then covered with a large white bedspread.

One of the many very weird, white, paper light fixtures.

The bathroom complete with a shower on a rope and a machine that both washes and dries clothes.

Our Swedish apartment in downtown Stockholm was simply awesome!!

The Johannes Kyrka was just around the corner from our apartment. On our first day in Stockholm we took a walking tour of central downtown Stockholm and the island of Gamla Stan.

The church is surrounded by a large cemetery with ancient, decorative tombstones and crypts.

Chris, Malin, Anders and Greg (a fellow Coloradoan) walking through the cemetery.

The entrance to Johannes Kyrka.

An old bell tower in front of the church. We saw lots of these throughout Sweden.

One of many pictures Nina took of Swedish architecture. She was a bit obsessed.

Another beautiful old building in downtown Stockholm. The buildings reminded Nina of Amsterdam and Brussels.

This building looks like a castle!  More so even than the actual castle on Gamla Stan.

A street in downtown Stockholm decked out for the holidays.

Malin standing in front of an H & M department store holiday window display of dancing troll-like puppets.

The giant Christmas tree inside NK (Stockholm’s premier department store, along with H&M, where Malin works, of course!). NK is similar to Macys in NYC, Printemps in Paris or Harrods in London. It’s huge and has everything!

Kungsträdgården, a beautiful, water’s edge park, filled with holiday ice skaters and a statue of Karl XII.

An example of typical Swedish architecture. Many buildings and houses were this color of yellow or red. In true holiday spirit, many of the houses in the country were red with green roofs.

Jakobs Kyrka, alongside the park and behind the Opera house.

Riksdagshuset, the Swedish parliament building, on the tiny island of Helgeandsholmen.

A statue of Gustav Adolf in front of the Opera house.

 

The Operan (Stockholm’s Opera house), which is right on the water.

Another view of the statue of Gustav Adolf, Jakobs Kyrka and the Operan.

Riksbron, the bridge leading to the island of Helgeandsholmen.

 

Malin and Nina stop for a photo on Riksbron.

 

Chris and Nina decide it’s a nice place to get their photo taken too!

 

A view of the ridiculously tiny island of Strömsborg, which is so small, there appears to be only one building.

Entering the historic island of Gamla Stan, the oldest area of Stockholm. Central Stockholm consists of 14 islands.

A view of downtown and the beautiful Grand Hotel.

Gamla Stan is made up of ridiculously narrow streets, quaint buildings, historic sites and museums and lots of shopping.

Finska Kyrka, a Finnish church on Gamla Stan island.

One of many great streets for shopping on Gamla Stan.

Gamla Stan offers hours of window shopping!

Malin, Anders, Chris and Greg pose for a picture on the way to lunch at Tapas.

Chris and Nina get their picture taken in front of a flower shop.

A view of the island of Södermalm, where Malin and Anders live, from the island of Gamla Stan.

Malin, Anders, Chris and Greg (and Nina) having lunch at a very tiny and very cozy table!

Martin Trötzigs Gränd, the narrowest street in all of Stockholm. In the states, we would call this a sidewalk!

Sundbergs Konditori, the oldest bakery in Stockholm, established in 1785. We stopped in the bakery for apple strudel and marzipan pastries and the thickest hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted.

A picture of the pastry counter at Sundbergs Konditori.

This picture reminds Nina of the Pont di Respire in Venice.

 

The “gang” stopping for a photo on a rather scenic and colorful street in Gamla Stan.

A lovely picture of a street in Gamla Stan and a lone park bench.

This photo shows off Gamla Stan’s cobble stone streets.

A photo very reminiscent of the central square in Brussels, Belgium. It may look scenic now, but these lovely buildings face a monument where hundreds of Swedes were killed.

Chris and Malin posing in font of the Science Fiction bookstore that Chris found during one of his previous trips to Stockholm. Reunited at last!!  He almost walked right past it after complaining about not being able to find anything twice on Gamla Stan.

 

A view of the island of Södermalm.

A view of downtown Stockholm from the Katarinahissen (observation tower) on the island of Södermalm.

Another aerial view of Stockholm from Katarinahissen.

Malin, showing off her frustrated, stressed out, future bride face, while trapped in an elevator.

The boys keeping calm while being trapped in our apartment’s elevator for an hour. The elevator was trapped between two floors!

Ahhhh… don’t the “twins” look cute!?