We wake up at 0700. One of us (Charlie) slept fairly well, while the other did not and reminds me of one of the seven dwarfs ( not saying which one). Coffee and breakfast is in order. Breakfast is good and then we shower and finish packing. We have the room until 1200 so we can leave our stuff here until we get back. Where are we going, you ask? We are headed to city hall for the 0930 tour and then we may climb the tower as well. We get there at 0845, get our tickets and then get tickets at the connected tower for 1035. We are not only set but sit. We watch tour group after tour group shuffle in.
Finally, our tour starts. The City Hall was built in the 1920’s and was constructed to look much older than it is. The Blue room, which does not have any blue in it, is where they hold all of the Nobel Prize awards, except for the peace award. That is held in Oslo. I did learn yesterday that Mr. Nobel made all his money in dynamite, so maybe that is why the peace prize is awarded elsewhere. Next we visit the gold room, which does have a lot of gold in it.
Real gold in fact is used on all the mosaics, and the room is incredible. Right down to the one person at the top with no head. Apparently they started the mosaics at floor level and when they reached the ceiling in this one section realized they were off a it and could not fit a head on one of the figures, Oops!
The rest of the tour consists mostly of the city council rooms and when we are done, we scurry across the courtyard to the city hall tower. Somehow, Carol convinces me that we should walk up the whole way instead of the elevator which goes up 3/4 of the way. I think it is over 300 steps an then you go around and round a winding incline until you reach the wooden interior.
From there more steps to the top. It is tough but I have calories aplenty to burn after last night. We can see all of Stockholm from the top including our hotel and Carol spots our cruise ship off in the distance. Now for the walk down, where I give in and take the elevator while Carol continues her stairmaster.
We walk the short 10 minutes back to the hotel. I stop at the city bus terminal to see if the bus to the cruise terminal is running today which is Sunday. On line, there were many reports that it does not run on Sunday, and in Europe, service is often lacking to non existent. Our other option is a train that would require a 1.5 mile walk to the pier.
The lady at the bus information desk says it does run on Sunday’s and tells me where to pick it up. I check out the stop and since I can’t understand the posted schedule, I ask someone else who also says it runs on Sunday.
I go back to the hotel to get Carol, we check out and walk to the bus stop. One minute later the bus comes which ends the mystery and doubt for sure. The ride to the terminal is nice and only about twenty minutes. We get off and meet a couple from Near Sacramento, California ( Jerry and Bell) who are also on our ship. We all follow the blue painted line for what I would guess is a mile or more, to our ship. We fill out a few forms and join the check in line. It is very well organized and a pretty fast process considering the number of people. We get on the boat at 1255 and they open the doors to get to our room at 1:00 so our timing could not have been better. We are definitely on a timing roll since we started this trip.
After dropping off our packs, we head to the dining room for some lunch. Then back to the room to freshen up and wait for the infamous muster drill. After the drill, we set sail on what has turned out to be a beautiful day. We pass many inlets and islands as we cruise out to the Baltic Sea.
Someone told us it will take four hours to reach the sea from Stockholm. We have dinner at 6:00 so head to the dining room and get seated at a table for 10. The next couple to show up are from Norway, Terje and Inger, not sure on the spelling. As we start to converse, Jerry and Bell, stop and sit down. they are at our table. What are the odds that two people we met getting off the bus are sitting at our table. I guess it would be at least 2 in 2400, the number of people on our ship. Rudy from Texas joins us along with his imaginary wife. He keeps telling us she is supposed to be here but she doesn’t show up until a half hour later. Her name is Cecelia. Just after Cecelia shows up, Susan from California joins us and now you know all the characters we are sitting with. Dinner is nice, although we are not overly impressed with our waiter. We walk a bit around the ship and then go to our room to settle in. We lose an hour tonight going to Finland and we get to bed around 1130 Finnish time. Luckily, it is a late port arrival so we hope to sleep in. See you tomorrow.
One Week Cruise. 2183 USD
Did City Hall 200, tower 100, bus 76 SEK (SC)
Walked 5 miles
All total Stockholm card cost 1790 and we got 3156 SEK so it was a good value for us.