At 2:45 a.m., I awoke to a gorgeous pastel sky. As I watched with awe, an early morning Baltic sunrise painted the sky with delicate shades of yellow, gold and pink.
Gradually some of the 30,000 islands and islets comprising the Swedish archipelago appeared. Sweden’s beautiful capital city is built on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges.
Two of Stockholm’s top attractions are the Vasa Museum, displaying the restored warship Vasa which sank in 1628, and the Skansen, an open air museum with folk dancers and a zoo. We took a guided tour of City Hall where the famous Nobel prizes are awarded every December. Our well-educated English-speaking guide made the annual event come alive as we toured the massive building.
After a coffee break at the Grand Hotel, we found great photo opportunities during a canal boat cruise. While strolling through Old Town, we passed the royal palace and briefly visited the Nobel museum. We found Stockholm especially photogenic, clean and cruise friendly. Like other Scandinavian countries, English is taught in Swedish schools.
Like many others on our ship, we found it hard to say good bye to Stockholm. As we sailed off into the afternoon sun, everyone crowded the decks to photograph the thousands of beautiful islands and islets, some of which are privately owned. The onboard commentator said one in seven Swedes own a boat.
At dinner that night, the consensus was beautiful Stockholm was the favorite port city on this Gems of Baltic cruise.