The few clouds in the sky can't hide the fact that it will be a very warm day. It is only a short drive to Stockholm and we don't have to embark on the boat to Finland before 7 in the evening.
So first we go to Trosa, a smal but very nice village lying on both sides of a small stream. Here we see a lot of typical Swedish houses,made of wood and paited with a dark red, brownish colour.
The atmosphere is quiet and it is very pleasant to take a walk along the river between the small houses. To the right the central square of Trosa with the old city council.
And then we arrive at Stockholm. We park the car near Gamla Stan (the old city). The central island (one of the many whereof Stockholm consists) is a collection of impressive buildings and cosy alleys, certainly a pleasant place to be with this beautiful weather (28°).
We start with a walk across the island, passing the royal palace (where the military band is playing), the Storkyrkan (right) and many other places of interest and finally arrive at an outdoor café. After having rested for a while we buy a tourist bus ticket so we can drive through all of Stockholm and go off and on the bus when we want.
Unfortunately, we don't have time left to take a trip on this reconstructed vikingship. A line with laundry is hanging 20 metres high between two buildings, representing some sort of modern art.
Next to the Parliaments building starts the Drottninggatan, te longest shopping street, where artists perform their acts, among them also some living statues, which we still remember very well from our trip to Barcelona. We take a stroll through this shopping street, enjoying the street theatre, but we have more to see this only day we ave in Stockholm.
For our relaxation we also visit Skansen which is situated on an island east of the old centre. Skansen is a large park (some square kilometres) and is in fact an open-air museum, with several museums, historical buildings and many animals, including a real zoo.
After playing with the ring tailed lemurs and meerkats which walk about freely, Elisabeth hurries to the chimpanzees. When staying in Stockholm for a few days we can recommend to pay a visit to this park. It is easy to spend a whole day there. We have only 8 hours to see all of Stockholm, so we only stay for two hours.
After a snack we hurry back to the centre to look for our car. The harbour of the Viking Line is only a few hundred metres from the car park and we are amply on time. With only 10 minutes delay the ship departs. We start with an inspection of our cabin: very luxurious, with a toilet and even a shower. Until now we have only taken ferries to England and we are not used to that sort of luxury.
After taking a quick shower we go upstairs to the upper deck to see Stockholm disappear in the distance. And we have to sit outside because there were only two places on the ship were smoking was allowed, very crowded places, understandably. This colourfast picture shows it isn't very dark yet, but it is taken around half past eleven (at night). We thought it was only 10:30, but, contrary to our travel guide, Finland also has daylight saving time.We are also surprised by the impertinence of a lot of people, most of them from Finland. They have a totally different mentality than the Swedes. Without wanting to generalise, we notice during our stay in Finland that many Finns are quite 'assertive', to say it decently.
This will also be one of our last nights that we can enjoy a real sunset. In 5 days we will cross the arctic circle and from then the sun will not set anymore. The differences in colour are caused by Teije experimenting with his digital camera.
Fortunately, the cabin is inside and has no windows which we need to cover. We sleep way too late and at 7 o'clock (Finnish time) tomorrow morning we have to leave the boat already. Little time to enjoy the luxury of our cabin.