Ships, Planes, Trains and River boats taking us through Asia, Middle East, Africa, Baltic, England, Paris and Amsterdam through to Budapest...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

52 Stockholm, Sweden Day 1

We woke up early to be up on deck to watch the sail in through the archipelago that makes up Sweden. What we assume are the summer houses that dot the shores as we sail in ... some look like they have been built on their own private islands.
We were reminded of our journey along the Suez Canal as we looked out the back of the ship and saw that we were in a convoy of 4 ships making our way to Stockholm.
To make things easier for us the Captain arranged for us to Anchor just off the Old Town so we could tender straight in, then later in the day they were going to move the Ryndam to her berthing position for our second day in Stockholm.
We had the last of our TJ travel tours today, only around 18 of us but we were lucky to have a big coach to take us around.  Blonde haired, blue eyed Christoff was our guide today; he couldn’t be more Swedish.  He was an excellent guide as he corralled us through each of the attractions we visited.
First he took us to a view point where we could look out over the old town of Stockholm.  Stockholm is actually built on 14 different islands and you move from one island to another by road or ferry.
We then went on a tour of the Town Hall visiting the rooms where the Nobel Prizes are awarded and where the banquet takes place.  We had to move quickly through each of the rooms as today there was a large amount of tourists in town.
Next we drove onto the island of Djurgarden to the Vasa Museum.  It is the most visited museum in all of Europe.  Here is a 17th century warship that has been perfectly preserved after it sank on the first day it set sail.  As beautiful as the ship was it was too top heavy and toppled over when it set sail – after 20 minutes!  The museum is set out showing you different aspects of the ship and what life on board would have been like.
Travelling back onto the main island we were dropped off at the Kings Palace.  The royal family do not live here now only work here... though the royal family are leaders in name only.  From the palace we walked into the Old Town with its cobbled stone streets, restaurants and souvenir shops.
Here our tour finished – and with a flourish, Christoff gave us a rousing Swedish drinking song to send us on our way!  We stayed on longer to wander around.  We stopped for some traditional Swedish meatballs and mash potatoes and I couldn’t go past the seafood pasta they had on offer.  We took this time to catch up with home with some free wifi.
It was getting close to the time they were going to move the ship as we were starting to tire, so we decided to catch the tender back for the night....  Once we were settled in waiting to head back, word came that the as the wind had flared up the ship need to be moved into its berthing position as soon as possible.  The ship had moved dragging its anchor and you could see her tethered to a tug boat to prevent her from moving any further...
They told us we had to hop off the tender until the transfer was done.. not sure why and in the end they said we could stay on but we could be sitting there for over an hour.  We decided that we might as well start walking to our pier as it was starting to get colder.  The walk was going to take us about 30 minutes; we got about half way and the ship was still preparing for the move.  We decided to stop for coffee while we waited for her to move. It may have been an outside cafe but at least they had heaters, blankets and free wifi.
It is a funny feeling to be sitting there watching your ship sail by .... even funnier when 10 minutes later you see the tender  chugging along behind her.  We took this as our cue to get up and continue our trek to reboard.  We were frozen right through by the time we arrived and after a hot shower Garry decided that he was going to hop into bed and order room service and watch whatever movie we could find on tv.

No comments:

Post a Comment