Monday, June 26, 2006

Redux: Stockholm, Sweden

At this point, if you're counting, we're halfway through the cruise albums, since this is the 3rd of our 6 ports. Technically, we're not halfway because I plan to do a separate album of the Great Dame all by herself: Miss "Jewel of the Seas!" Later.

But for now, here's Stockholm. Besides the coming-and-going shots as we sailed in and out, this Stockholm album is divided into two main parts: Gamla Stan (the Old Town) and the City Hall, which hosts the Nobel Prize banquet every December 10.

It actually astounded me, as I saw the photos again, how colorful this city is. The colors you see on the outside walls, here in Old Town, are true. Even on a mostly rainy/overcast day, they were bright and often quite surreal. This particular photo (above) reminded me of a painting. And the narrow, cobble-stoned streets were my idea of old Europe!

The City Hall is one of Stockholm's greatest treasures, not only because it is visible from the harbor, an architectural masterpiece of Ragnar Östberg, and decorated with scenes from the city and the country as a whole, but because it is renown for its banquet of the Nobel prize winners and their guests. Each winner is allowed to bring 16 guests, which, along with Sweden's Royal Family, totals around 1300 people. So when you see the Blue Hall in the pics, imagine it full of tables!

Upstairs from the Blue Hall (which is not in fact blue, but was originally planned to be painted so), along one side of the wall (the Blue Hall is high-ceilinged and has nothing above it), is the Golden Hall, pictured above. It's adorned by more than 18 million crystal and gold mosaic pieces featuring motifs alluding to the history of Sweden. It's also where the dance is held after the banquet! The date of the banquet, BTW, is always held on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.

All of the above took place on a 3-hour morning tour, to be followed in the afternoon by a canal boat tour. You don't want to know how it happened that we totally messed up and missed that excursion (so don't ask!). But because it was raining and we were already tired, it was probably for the best. The Stockholm album already has 190 pics. Thank God we didn't make the canal tour, right?!

Once again, enjoy! (Remember that you can just look at the thumbnails and then pick-n-choose any you might want to enlarge.)

Happy birthday, Mom! Just think: you'd be 90 today (speaking of a Great Dame!).


  1. Oh I love the pic of old town! That's my kind of shot. Now I'm off to see the rest. I'm sure they are just as pleasant!

    PS. Did you miss my Bern clock?

  2. See? What's not to love about Sweden? :-) Your pictures are just gorgeous - I'm looking at the thumbnails for now to absorb the whole picture and will look at some in detail later.

    And Happy Birthday to your mom. I'm sure she's enjoying your photos as well, wherever she may be.

  3. I have no comments about your travel pictures. Just enjoying them. But I wanted to say happy birthday to your mom, even she is not with us anymore.

  4. ET: I just realized I made the comment on your Bern clock on MY site yesterday. HA. Well, now I've rectified it :)

    Christina: Thanks for looking, my friend. I hadn't thought about Mom seeing my pics but I really like that thought! I bet she has!! She'd like all those little islands and the old buildings and the Nobel shenanigans. All of it.

    Mei: Thanks to you as well for birthday wishes to my mom. I wonder if Dad and Bennett surprised her with something special. Maybe a trip out to a new galaxy for them all!

  5. I especially love that second photo. The colors are amazing! Thanks for taking us on this journey with you, Mom! :-)

  6. Awww. Thanks, Amy. You're more than welcome :)

  7. I love these shots too, and I will look at your whole album soon. So much eye candy!

    BTW, I had a major hip hitch yesterday (6/26) and I couldn't help but think Mom came along and blessed me on her b-day (every time I stood up I swear I looked like her when she had hip hobbles).

  8. It's so cool to be able to picture the Nobel prize ceremony now!

  9. Ruth: Thanks! And I wonder what THAT was about--the hip thing--on Mom's birthday!

  10. I have meant to tell you and just remembered. I have enjoyed the high vantage point of the port cities from your ship. It's like the view from a helicopter, so high.

  11. Isn't that the truth, Ruth. Thanks for mentioning it. It IS a fun vantage point.

  12. Just wanted to pop in and say I've been enjoying your albums. I'm one of those people who look in detail at so...I'm still on your Oslo album, it's on my desktop, waiting for me to continue onward (I'm currently at the photo of the gorgeous woodwork at the Open Air Folk Museum - Gol Stave church).
    You're an amazing photographer and you capture not only the images but the story behind them, too. I LoveLoveLove the sculptures at Vigland Park - I wanna be there!
    All the work in putting these albums, though I know ultimate are for you, Donica and your family, are a treat to me, too. Definitely brings out the wanderlust in me.

  13. Mad, you have just made my day! Thanks a million.

  14. Okay. I won't ask about why you missed the canal boat tour! *sigh* Hehe. Just kidding :)

    That City Hall must be such a sight (like so many other places you shot!) Wow. I'll make my way through your album this weekend... when our visitors are gone and I have more time :)

  15. Well, I don't mind telling you, CS, that we messed up on where we were supposed to meet the tour guide. We thought it was near the shuttle buses in town and found out it was on the pier by our ship. Of course! We just were discombobulated! Since we were already in town for our first tour, we never made it back to the pier in time for the next tour. UGH.