Friday, June 15, 2012

Stockholm, A City of Contrasts

Of the three hotels we used in Scandinavia (Karl Johan in Oslo, Hotel Alexandra in Copenhagen, and Rica Gamla Stan in Stockholm), the last was  my favorite. Our room was so lovely and comfortable, a little larger than the other rooms we'd had. The bathroom wasn't large, but it was efficiently organized and spiffy.

The breakfast room was on the first floor, spacious and beautifully furnished, with the most extensive breakfast buffet we'd had.


Rica Gamla Stan is tucked away on a winding street in the oldest part of the town. But it still had free internet (all of the hotels did), and this lovely parlor across from the reception area.

It was at the Rica that we learned two useful Swedish words while waiting for the elevator! The first was elevator itself, "hiss," and because there was a fire extinguisher right nearby, we also learned "skum," foaming fire extinguisher. We never needed these words, or any other Swedish, Norwegian or Danish words, because everyone spoke English. Perfect, unaccented English.

With its serpentine, cobbled streets, Gamla Stan positively oozed charm.

We loved how a little alleyway would appear and when we'd follow, it would open into a courtyard.

There were many, many shops in Gamla Stan and at least three absolutely wonderful restaurants. The first evening we dined at the elegant Marten Trotzig where we eschewed the dining room for the more intimate "vault" level downstairs. A first course of herring followed by reindeer was my choice and it was delicious and beautifully prepared. Our restaurant for the second evening was Movitz, where once again, we ate downstairs in an area that had been built sometime during the sixteenth century. Our last night in Scandinavia found us at Sally's where I enjoyed a most unusual pasta dish: Linguini with smoked reindeer, garlic, juniper berries, mushrooms, thyme and “Messmör” sauce
(Swedish sweet whey butter).


The Nobel Museum surprised us by appearing in one of the courtyards in Gamla Stan, and we had just a few minutes there before it closed. We both would enjoy a return visit: There was so much to see.

Joe particularly liked an exhibit about all of the winners of the prizes, and I was interested in another wing of the museum that was devoted to the life of Alfred Nobel.


Gamla Stan, for all of its enchantment, certainly is not all that Stockholm has to offer. When we took our canal boat tour, we went past some terrific contemporary buildings



And, speaking of contrasts, we saw these two fellows within a few hours of each other!





3 comments:

Gretchen said...

It looks like a marvelous city. How wonderful! Lovely hotel room too.

Blue Ridge Mountains said...

What a nice hotel. You are certainly enjoying the trip and I love hearing about your travels It brought back many memories. I have some beautiful amber beads my guy bought me in Copenhagen and a wonderful story that goes along with them.

Janet O. said...

I love the ambiance of your hotel.
Did you ever feel like you were in a maze with those narrow passageways?
What contrasting street musicians! : )