Thursday, June 15, 2006
On the road out of Stockholm we pass a number of bendiebuses. These double-jointed buses seem to be common in many parts of Europe, but are probably too long to be seen on narrow British roads. Some of them are labelled Biogasbus.
At Nynäshamn, before catching the tender back to the boat, I look in a small hut which belongs to the Nynäshamn Tourist Information. I was wanting to get a present for Christine and perhaps a souvenir. One item priced at SKr150 and another at SKr55 attract my attention. They seem a little over-priced in any case. I ask if I can have the two for SKr200 as I don't want to get any small change. They refuse my offer so I put the banknote back in my pocket. I'll convert it into Norwegian kroner later in the trip.
Back on board the coach we now head out of the city up to Fjallgatan, from where there is a panoramic view across the city and the inner islands. Beneath us is berthed another cruise ship.
Our driver, however, is a worried man. The engine is overheated.
Behind us is the magnificent steeple of Riddarholmen Church. It was the final resting place of the Swedish kings and Stockholm's only preserved medieval monastery church. With the one exception of Queen Christina, all succeeding rulers of Sweden from Gustav II Adolf (d. 1632) to Gustaf V (d. 1950) are buried in the Riddarholmen Church.
We drive past Berzelii Park, which in the hot summer of 1951, was the scene of the so called Berzelii Riots, when bored, and often drunk young people gathered in the park night after night. The continuing riots escalated and reached their peak on the night of August 26, when there was a stand off between 3000 young people and policemen called in from five different cites, including military police.
Now it looks so peaceful.
Passing the island of Skeppsholmen we see af-Chapman, a fine three-masted sailing ship.
Seemingly it entered service as the Dunboyne in 1888 and once carried passengers between Ireland and Australia. During World War II it was a Swedish Navy barracks ship.
Since 1949 however it has been used as a Youth Hostel
Waldemarsudde is the home of Prince Eugen. The prince was an artist who painted the Swedish landscape and the Nordic light during the late 19th and early 20th century. A picture gallery was added in 1913. Today it is a museum where one can view both the prince's home and his art collection.
In the gardens of Waldemarsudde is an old mill.
The building that we see behind the trees is Manilla. It was built in the 1770s, named after the capital founded by Spain in the Philippines by The Spanish Minister Ignacio de Coral who enlarged the area. The Public Institute for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind or Manillaskolan was founded here in 1819 by P.A. Borg.
Beyond the canal we are in the main shipping channels for the ferries that ply between Stockholm and outer islands such as Vaxholm.
Off Blockhusudden on the SE corner is one of the world's first automatic navigation lights, manufactured by AGA in 1905 and now electrified.
We pass Thielska Galleriet, a white, green-domed mansion, designed by Ferdinand Boberg and built for bank director Ernst Thiel in 1905. It houses the art collection which he assembled and the picture gallery is open to the public.
Djurgården, the island which we are circumnavigating, was until the end of the 18th century a royal hunting park. Now it is the green lung of the city, a place where one can spend the day on the grass with a picnic basket, walk the dog, or visit a museum. The houses along the shore used to be weekend cabins during the 18th and 19th century. Today these homes are permanent residences.
As it is another warm day, it is very pleasant to be low down in the water. There is a lot to be seen but turning one's neck to look at all the sights pointed out by the guide is very tiresome. So I just concentrate on enjoying the views from one side.
A large variety of craft are anchored along the shore of Skeppsholmen.
The coach drops us off outside the Grand Hôtel.
Once gathered together we all make our way the few yards to board the canal boat for a cruise around some of the 14 islands on which the city is built.
Most of the way the route passes through rural scenery with lots of woodland. We pass no fewer than four roadside McDonalds!
Shortly after mid-day we arrive in the centre of Stockholm opposite The Swedish Parliament Building.
As this is a tender port and Christine is confined to the ship, I am going to Visit Stockholm on one of the organised tours.
So it is off to the landing stage in Nynäshamn. There I board the coach that will take us to Stockholm.
About 9am Thursday morning we arrive off the Municipality of Nynäshamn situated around 50 kilometres from Stockholm at the southernmost point of Södertörn.
Aurora anchors among some lush tree-covered islands. The largest of these to the South are Bedaron and Norra Stegholmen.