It is another long drive including a short 20-minute ferry from Helsingor, Denmark to Sweden. Buses, trucks and cars also board the ferry.
Helsingor has become famous because Shakespear wrote Hamlet based on this place. A Danish princess had a father, whose name was Hamlet. He was assassinated by his brother and revenges followed. The castle is still preserved and was once used as a fortress.
Sweden is famous for many things, such as Nobel prizes, Volvo, Ikea, H & M, Ericsson etc. Its
Stockholm is the capital city of Sweden. Its current population of 1.4 million or 2.2 million including its surrounding areas, has grown over the period of 750 years. Stockholm is now responsible for one third of Sweden's GDP. Stockholm consists of 14 islands with 57 bridges connecting the islands. Sweden has numerous islands of more than 30,000 islands.
We drove more than 560 km across the Swedish land with several stops. We had lunch by a long lake, called Vattern. It is the second largest in Sweden and the fifth largest in Europe. Apparently, this lake is a holiday destination. Many people enjoyed the lake and sun.
We arrived in Stockholm around 5:45PM. As soon as we checked into Park Inn by Radisson, we headed to the old town or Gamlastan where Royal Palace, Ship Hostel and many cathedrals and fortresses are located. We strolled along the sea side and walked through the old town, peeping into shops in the alleys. We found an Italian restaurant and we had an excellent seafood linguini. Wonderful! Of course, we indulged ourselves with ice cream on the waffle cones. Fantastic! I am sure we will have to do extra workout to lose the pounds we gained. But then, we just felt good and content.
|Group photo by the sea|
|The Yoons and Mr. Choi with us|
|An old town scene|
|A Kodak moment!|
We returned to our hotel by the subway or T-bahn around 11pm. Whew... it was a long day.
|With Mats Tunehag|
So I ended up skipping a trip in the morning. We checked out at noon and were ready to depart by 1:30pm. We headed out to the dock to board a ferry called Gabriela run by Viking Line. In fact, it was more than a ferry. It was a small cruise ship, probably boarding 1,500 people, plus cars, buses and trucks.
It departed at 4pm and arrived at 9:15am the following morning, after losing one hour. We had dinner at 7pm and slept in a small but private cabin with two bunk beds on the ferry.
The ferry cruised among the archepelagos, numbering more than 30,000 islands. There were some islets without any inhabitants, but any sizable islands had cute houses and boats. We saw several cruise ships passing by and many sailboats were also passing by our ferry. Overall, the scenery was panoramic and spectacular.
Stockholm was quite impressive beyond our expectation. It is definitely one of the cities to return to when we have more time. Mats said, "At this time of the year, I would not be anywhere but Stockholm, but when the winter comes, I would be anywhere but here." Well said. - Jeffrey