On the second day of our short weekend in Berlin the weather gods smiled upon us again and gave us a sunny, warm day perfect for city sightseeing. Our first stop was the Potsdamer platz, another modern square. The reason for our visit was the Berlin Wall. I’d seen photos of this square with remains of the Berlin Wall. There’s an information panel about the wall at the square but what surprised me were the chewing gums at the remains of the wall. On the other side of the square you can see a small Korean temple and another block of the Wall as a sort of reminder that Korea is still divided in half just like Germany used to be.
the remains of the Berlin Wall
Berlin, Berlin..it was nice to meet you, hope to see you again! In a nutshell, that’s what I could write about our short weekend in Berlin. However, I decided to tell you all about our Berlin trip at the beginning of April so read on 🙂.
We had our very cheap flight for Berlin on Friday afternoon and after a couple of initial hiccups (the late departure, the long queue at the passport control and the long wait for the overcrowded airport bus) we finally arrived to the city center. For some unknown reason our airport bus stopped near the Brandenburg Gate and we had to find a different way of getting to the Alexanderplatz square. While we were already near the Brandenburg Gate we decided to have a look at it and to see the nearby Reichstag building too (parliament) even though that was planned for Saturday morning.
The first port of call on a cloudy Sunday morning in Stockholm was Vasa museum on Djurgården island. My husband and I strolled all around Gamla Stan (the Old Town) the previous day so we decided to use the underground today. You can read all about our visit to Vasa museum famous for its historical warship in a separate post.
Vasa ship in Vasa museum
Djurgården island is a peaceful retreat in Stockholm where you can find several museums, an amusement park and plenty of green space for a lovely picnic in the summer. Unfortunately, despite being April it wasn’t warm for such activities and it even started to rain heavily. Luckily, just about when my husband finally finished with all the exhibits in Vasa museum the rain stopped and we walked back towards the underground station.
interesting buildings near the Swedish history museum
The next item on my to-do Stockholm list for Sunday was the Swedish History Museum on the way to Karlaplan station. It’s got free admission and it was a great place to spend a few hours on a rainy day (yes, it started to rain again). What were the highlights of this museum for me? Firstly, the Gold room on the lower floor which contains 52 kilos of gold and over 200 kilos of silver in the form of jewelry, religious objects, crowns and other things from different periods. Impressive, right? Secondly, I really liked the Viking exhibition on the ground floor. I am a big fan of Vikings series. At the very entrance of the Viking room I read how Vikings were perceived differently through different historical periods (and political situations). The concern today is that current portrayals of Vikings as only cruel warriors (TV, video games etc.) might leave a confusing legacy to the future generations.
The museum displays Viking weapons, clothes, tools, model ships and an interesting model of a Viking village. It is a very fascinating and informative exhibition. Thirdly, I enjoyed the exhibition A thousand years of Swedish history. It’s got a lot of interactive elements. I especially enjoyed sniffing through a small cupboard to guess which spices were brought to Sweden. I didn’t guess them all:) I also did an interesting quiz to see if I was a witch ( after all I do have a cat!). Also, this was the first museum that I’ve visited where I saw a trail through various exhibitions with the comments of LGBTQ community offering their perspective on various historical events. The museum also has exhibitions on Prehistory and Medieval life and art. I preferred this museum to the Vasa museum, to be honest.
Riddarholmen island, Gamla Stan
If you follow my blog or just occasionally read my posts you know that I’m totally crazy about London. As it happened just three weeks before my 11th trip to London my husband and I spent a weekend in Stockholm, Sweden. Because I was creating my to-do list for my solo trip to London I didn’t really spend a lot of time on planning our Stockholm trip. Also, I didn’t want to over-plan our stay since we literally had just a bit more than 48h to enjoy Stockholm. Our plane landed on Friday evening and we had our return flight on Monday morning (this April).
on the way from the airport
On the drive from Skavsta airport to Stockholm we got to admire the Swedish landscape: forests and lakes and colourful wooden houses. The scenery resembled our drive from the airport to Oslo center two years ago. Our trip to Oslo influenced this trip because when I researched briefly Stockholm sights I found a lot of similar things/museums as in Oslo and I didn’t really want to do the same things twice (e.g we visited the Norwegian Folk museum in Oslo so I didn’t see the point in visiting a similar museum in Stockholm).
this doesn’t look like Stockholm but it is
On Saturday morning we had a big breakfast so that we could explore Stockholm on foot. The sun was shining and the temperature was around 6°C. We walked straight to the Central metro station and then turned left towards the Kungstradgarden which was in full bloom. I decided to follow more or less the suggested walk from a Lonely Planet guidebook to explore the Old Town (Gamla Stan) and a few other islands. We passed by a nice church and reached the water.
Stockholm is built on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges. So, yes any comparison with Amsterdam or Venice is valid. I was confused all the time whether I was standing by the lake or the sea or the river because Stockholm was founded at Lake Mälaren’s freshwater outflow to the Baltic Sea. Stockholm is an old city. Its beginnings date from the 13 century when Birger Jarl, the city’s official founder built a castle. The name of the city Stockholm could be translated as a tree-trunk islet. My main focus was to wander around the Old Town (Gamla Stan) spanning over several small islands.
Hello! Have you missed me? 😉 It’s been a while since my last post. Well, just 8 days exactly but it’s been the longest period between two published posts since I’ve started this blog. But I’ve got a good excuse. You see, I got back yesterday from my weekend trip (22.-25.April) to Stockholm, Sweden. My husband and I fell under Stockholm’s charm hard. He’s even said that Stockholm earned a place on his ˝best cities˝ in Europe list (FYI London’s not on that list! I know, a shocker!). I’ll write more about our Stockholm trip but for now let me show you the beautiful city of Stockholm: