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Stopping in Stockholm on the way to the Northern Lights

Just come back from an incredible visit to Stockholm in Sweden. I found it be a city with a super mix of historical culture and learning with some outstanding museums, lots of relaxing on boat trips, quirky hotels and fun locations…and all with some delicious meals thrown in as well.

The Highlight was the Vasa Museum which houses a 17th Century Warship which sank 20 minutes into her Maiden Voyage in 1628. Having lain on the bottom for 333 years it was raised in 1961 and is virtually as sound and in as good condition as when she sank – the reason being she sank in mainly fresh water so was not subject to the usual rotting agents of salt. However it is still mind boggling to view the boat complete (she floated by herself when raised), the immaculate hat in the chest that lay in water for 333 years, the details of the myriad of carvings of sea serpents and mermaids on her hull, and even some of the remains of her sails! There is a great fun computer simulation where you can change the sail settings, ballast load and number of cannons to see how she should have been balanced to avoid sinking – a favourite with my 5 year old!

A trip to Stockholm cannot be complete without a trip on a boat around the city which we used as a hop on/hop off service to visit the main highlights and is a lovely way to take some scenic photos of the old city….and to rest the feet! Whilst we didn’t make it there are boat trips further afield to visit the Archipelago.

The Skansen Museum Stockholm offers an insight to houses throughout Sweden from the 17th Century as they have transplanted houses, farmsteads and windmills from throughout the country to this one location right behind the Vasa Museum. It even offers Reindeers, Moose and Seals to entertain the children and get the holiday balance right for the whole family.

For those interested in something a bit more highbrow the Nobel Museum stimulates thoughts on lifetime achievers and discoveries. I learnt all sorts of technical details – some of which I understood! However I did learn that there is a new Nobel Prize for Economics which was introduced in the early 60’s – Something I do have to confess that had passed me by.

For those considering taking a Northern Lights Trip to Lapland a stop in Stockholm on the way out, or back, can be a great fun and fascinating way to spend a couple of days.

Click here to view our Stockholm and Northern Lights Break

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