Thursday, 1 March 2012


Last Thursday (23 February) was a public holiday in Russia – Defenders of the Motherland Day – to honour veterans and soldiers. 

We took the opportunity to visit Stockholm, Sweden, which is only a two hour flight away. 

Stockholm is an orderly and beautiful city. The people smile. They do not park their cars on the pavement, spit in the street and few of them smoke. A refreshing change.

Stortoget, a square in Gamla Stan, the old city of Stockholm
 There are signs of spring in Stockholm. Green grass showing and only a relatively light dusting of snow here and there. Seasonally, it feels several weeks in advance of Moscow. It’s amazing the difference being beside the sea and the influence of the Gulf Stream makes.

Stockholm is expensive. But there are ways of keeping costs under control. Avoid using public toilets for a start – even the ones in the shopping malls charge 5 kroners (almost $1AUS). 

Stockholm Opera House at dusk

We stayed in a quirky and reasonably-priced place near the city centre called the Story Hotel. And for good meals at a fraction of the cost of regular restaurants, I can recommend Kungshallen. Right in the city centre, this eating hall, containing a number of restaurants, will make you feel like a student in the university cafeteria once again.

Gamla Stan street
Spring thaw in the Stockholm waterways
The last picture should be a sunset...right?

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