By luck and interesting corporate policies, we were “forced” to have a hotel in Gamla Stan, the oldest part of Stockholm. Wonderfully clean, incredibly well preserved, very very touristy. A few doors down from the hotel was Kungliga Slottet, the King’s Palace – precisely like Buckingham Palace, complete with a changing-of-the-guard ceremony.
I didn’t figure it out, but on this side of the building they had what I presume were “traditional” uniforms and rifles. On the other side were real active duty soldiers in modern uniform with automatic weapons…. doing their own changing-of-the-guard thing.
Apparently the King has cats that play with ping-pong balls too. He even had statues made.
A few blocks over is Stortorget – Market Square – the original real market, centrally located between the docks and the local villagers. They still have a market there in the winter. The ground floors of all the buildings in the area are now restaurants, cafes, and stores; the upper floors are most likely offices, or flats for very rich folk. There is NO parking to speak of, and no grocery store in the entire neighbourhood.
Right on the square is the Nobel Museum. One fact I didn’t know: Alfred Nobel, the originator of the World Peace Prize, earned his substantial fortune by…. inventing dynamite.
This is a typical Swedish restaurant, also right on the square. They all have blankets so you can sit outside even when it’s cold.
We ate there, I had the meatballs. (No, really, I had the meatballs – when in Sweden you may as well try them once – not bad, but the moose carpacchio appetizer was better).