S: Cruising the Baltic Sea - Book 2
BC: We had a wonderful time. Hope to visit again soon. | To: Everyone
FC: Cruising the Baltic Sea
1: Previous ports on cruise | Tallinn Estonia | St Petersburg Russia | Porvoo Finland | Helsinki Finland
2: Stockholm Sweden | We wanted time to stroll the streets of Stockholm, so we chose a shorter tour today. Old Town & City Hall - Visit City Hall beautifully situated by the shores of the Lake Maelaren. Inaugurated in 1923. Pass through the city center to finally reach Stockholm's oldest and coziest quarter, the Old Town. Witness the historic elegant exterior of the dominating Royal Palace and enjoy a stroll along the narrow, twisting alleys and cobblestone streets with buildings dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries with baroque doorways and coat of arms. | Stockholm is a beautiful city of lush parks and majestic buildings. It occupies 14 islands which are connected by over 50 bridges. It is often referred to as "the Venice of the North" or "Beauty on Water". Stockholm's harbor opens into an archipelage of 24,000 islands and islets. A popular area with 50,000 summer homes and chalets that are reached by some of the 250,000 private boats registered with the city.
5: It took 3 hours to reach Stockholm as the ship passed many of the islands surrounding Stockholm. | Stockholm
8: Our first stop was City Hall. We could see the three crowns before the building came into view. Renowned for its architecture, murals, mosaics and for being the site for the annual Nobel Prize banquet.
9: Dala Horse Legend -During the war, people were required to house soldiers but didn't have to feed them. They didn't like giving them shelter. One soldier was a painter and carried his paints with him everywhere. He noticed the children playing with the plain wooden horses. He painted them and made the children happy. He was offered a meal for his kindness. Other soldiers heard of this and began painting horses for a meal.
11: The Nobel Prize Banquet is held in the spectacular Golden Hall | It is covered with 19 million mosaic tiles.
14: Outside City Hall, we could look across Lake Maelaren.
19: The Royal Palace is located in Old Town (Gamla Stan), at the foot of the Norrbro Bridge and is said to be one of the largest palaces in Europe, dating from the 18th century.
20: We walked through Old Town (Gamla Stan) enjoying all the narrow streets and colorful buildings.
23: We wanted to stay in Stockholm, so we left the group to explore on our own. We stumbled across the front of the Royal Palace a few minutes before changing of the guard.
24: Several other guards were out to make sure the crowd stayed back. They had to change the guard at several locations - even across the street.
25: We continued our stroll through the narrow streets and saw our ship waiting in the harbor.
29: Opera House
31: The day was over way too quick and we had to make our way back to the ship. We could watch the roller coaster whisk people around the track as we prepared to leave Stockholm.
32: The guard was zipping around in his little 'truck' | Our balcony faced the island with the amusement park. We could hear the screams as the roller coaster zoomed around.
34: We slowly made our way through the many islands back to the Baltic Sea.
35: Several sailboats were on the water enjoying the beautiful day.
36: Our last day at sea, we had a parade of flags. The flags represented the countries for all staff members. They called out each country and told how many were on board.
37: Copenhagen Denmark
38: Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical palaces (1750 -58) around an octagonal courtyard; in the center of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V. When the Queen and other members of the royal family are in residence in any of the palaces the swallow-tailed Danish flag (Dannebrog) will be flying over the palace.
39: Amalienborg Palace is always guarded day and night all year round by The Royal Danish Life Guards, as this special regiment has had the closes connection to the Royal House since 1658. The brigade was established by King Frederik III (1609-1670 and the main duty was to protect the King and the Royal Castles and Palaces as well as being present during ceremonial occasions and Royal receptions.
40: The dark blue uniform of the Life Guards while they are on ordinary guard duty is dated back to 1848. | On special occasions and when specific events within the Royal House are celebrated, the Life Guards will wear the red full-dress uniform, which dates back to about 1660.
41: Stunning waterways with colorful buildings and many boats
44: Old Stock Exchange built in 1620 to rival Amsterdam's thriving money markets. The tower is four intertwined dragon's tails.
46: Elaborate permanent bridge over Frederiksholm Canal forming the main entrance to Christiansborg Palace and two portal pavilions flanking an open drive and closing the complex off between the two wings.
47: Christiansborg Palace is the seat of the Danish parliament, Prime Minister's Office and Supreme Court. Several parts of the palace are used by the monarchy, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the palace chapel and the royal stables. A series of successive castles and palaces constructed in the same site since the erection of the first castle in 1167. | King Christian IX
48: The gates of Tivoli and their main transportation - the bicycle.
49: Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in the center of Copenhagen. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606. The castle was used by Danish regents as a royal residence until around 1710. | The guard made sure no one walked behind him.
50: The golden clock has several levels that move on the hour - the men go by the queen and bow with each chime. When all chimes have sounded the bird flaps his wings. | The room had dark paneling with many paintings.
51: The ceiling had many sections of paintings
52: The Royal 'Throne' with many hand painted blue tiles | This room had walls of marble and the most important room was accessed in here...
53: The walls were covered with a red wallpaper that appeared to be sewn. The ceiling had a painting of people looking in the room
54: It was fashionable to display your family tree to show royalty ties
55: Christian V had tapestries depicting the King's victories in the Scanian War. The stucco ceiling is from the beginning of the 18th century. It shows the Danish Coat of Arms surrounded by the Orders of the Elephant and of Dannebrog. | the coronation chair of the absolutist kings and the throne of the queens with the three silver lions standing in front
56: After touring the upstairs, we made our way down to the museum exhibiting the Royal Collections
58: The Crown Jewels and the Danish Crown Regalia | Crown of King Christian IV | Christian V crown was first used for the coronation of Christian V and the last time was Christian VIII in 1840. | Christian III's State Sword | Chalice
59: Oldenburg Horn. It is said it was given to Count Otto, the 1st member of House of Oldenburg, while hunting in 989 by a mysterious young girl. However, it was not made until 1400.
60: The small blue homes were built for the homeless. They have to be drug free and not drink on property. It provides a safe place for many down on their luck. | Spotted a small raft going down the canal
61: We checked into the Hilton Hotel at Copenhagen Airport and took the subway back into the city.
62: Church of Our Savior - Vor Freisers Kirke - completed in 1696. Famed for gilded staircase that runs up the spire
65: As we walked toward Tivoli, we ran across Hare Krishna provided free food - a silver street performer and a bicycle for eight.
66: Hans Christian Andersen sits gazing towards Tivoli | Radhus (town hall) was built at the turn of the 20th century. It is surrounded by carvings of mythical creatures.
69: Every spot of Tivoli had a ride, shop, cafe or game.
71: Many ponds and gardens were sprinkled throughout the park. The fish were biting the ducks because they stole all the food being thrown in.
72: Replica of The Little Mermaid in Tivoli
73: We were surprised to see a small casino in Tivoli | Wayne had to check it out - all cheap slot machines. | Lots of games were lined up on the boardwalk tempting everyone to try for a stuffed animal.
74: The late afternoon parade featured kids acting as if they are part of the royal court
75: We made our way to Central Station to take the train back to the airport. I was surprised to see the cowboy with his McDonald's bag walk up on the platform. I guess it's fitting since we'll be heading home to Texas early in the morning.
76: This time we had the renovated plane with the new lie flat first class seats. Each seat is in a hard shell, so the space is all yours. Of course, we were fed well on the way back too.
77: The rack of lamb was surprising good.