Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Packed Day of Tourism in Stockholm, Sweden on June 21, 2011

Regular readers may be pleased (I know I am) to know that I've figured out how to enlarge the images included in small size... just click any image you'd like to view in the larger size. If you found your way here from World Bird Wednesday, where I'll be posting later on this week, you may want to scroll down the page to the bird images which are towards the end.

Hang onto your hats for a parade of collages from a day so full that I cannot begin to share it all!
street scenes and buildings as described
We started our day wandering through Gamla Stan (the old part of Stockholm and the location of the Royal Palace) where we saw colorful fruit and vegetable stands, lovely building details, wandering tourists and a nursery school on parade, a gnome outside a shop door, a BIG bag (filled with construction debris and too heavy for any human to carry) and the Swedish Academy where the Nobel prize winners are chosen every year.

We tarried long enough in Gamla Stan to take numerous photographs of narrow streets, building facades, steeples, windows, and even a "pissoire" (urinal) near the Royal Palace. We also had coffee and a pastry (sorry, no photograph as I wasn't fully awake yet) and observed the changing of the guards afterwards.
Street filled with people, lovely facade reminiscent of Dutch architecture, quiet side street and window of a shop not yet open.
Steeples everywhere... so many different styles to catch the eye.
Another quiet street, what might be the most photographed pissoire in the world although it is apparently no longer in use as a urinal and a strange piece of wearing apparel, especially as shown with a jacket and tie! Can you imagine wearing a vest made of tiny skeletons? (photographer reflection in lower right)
Hotels along one of the many scenic waterfront areas in Stockholm, the Royal Chapel, the organ in the Royal Chapel and the church (kyrka) on Skeppsholmen (more about that later in my journey).

Much pageantry is associated with the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace in Stockholm... the outgoing guards were wearing blue uniforms whereas the incoming guards were wearing black uniforms. Those wearing white were members of the marching band providing music for the ceremony. The tiny inset showing tourists in the first of the two collages above is a small taste of the huge crowd gathered to watch the show... the two men wearing plaid on the right are my brother (nearest the camera) and his partner... the woman, also wearing plaid, with her back to the camera on the left is my sister. As the band marched past us (second collage of the two shown above), I was happy to note that the leader of the band was a woman!
The building in the upper left corner is a small portion of one of the wings of the Royal Palace (I believe it is the wing where the private apartments are located, hence the privacy covers over all the windows.); the building on the lower right was built from 1882-1889 and is the headquarters of Norstedts, Sweden's oldest publishing company. I'm not sure about the other buildings that caught my eye!
Leaving Gamla Stan, we wandered past the Opera House and through a park where I spotted a Black-backed Gull perched on a statue... it took me about 10 minutes to make my way closer and closer to capture the image in the bottom right. The wooden windmill is out of place in that it was seen in our next destination, Skansen Park on Djurgården, but I needed an image to fill up this collage.
Nude statue seen in a quiet courtyard, gorgeous steeple on the House of Lords and the Stockholm City Hall as seen from a distance.

The last set of images were all taken at Skansen Park on Djurgården. Stockholm is a city made up of many islands, Djurgården is where Skansen, the Gröna Lund amusement park and the Aquaria Water Museum are located. We spent our time on Djurgården at Skansen, Europe's first open air park. It was established in 1891 at a time when the rural way of life was changing and was designed to preserve how people lived before industrialization brought about sweeping changes. One can see buildings from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries and hear docents explain how people lived in the "old days." There is also a section of the park devoted to display of Nordic animals.

No one going to Skansen Park could miss this guy waiting to make balloon animals for anyone willing to pay him. The animals, a reindeer and a goat, were seen in the Sami area of Skansen Park and the building, maybe a schoolhouse (?), was seen while wandering the grounds after a nasty storm blew threw and soaked everything. I love the light!
The Peacocks and geese wander freely around Skansen Park; the Heron (young Great Blue?) was seen in the animal park. The Peacock was uncooperative when it came to displaying his tail feathers for me... but he knew enough to take shelter from the pouring rain that blew through the park later in the day. I don't know what kind of geese these are.
Some more of the geese (the gosling was wet with rain), a Moose grazing in an enclosure in the animal park and an unknown wee critter (maybe a bunny?).
collage of images as described
One last mystery bird... a Sparrow whose ID I have been unable to find so perhaps one of you will know it! A fitting end to our day at Skansen included dinner at the restaurant near the exit gate and a very fine beer! If you've stuck with me to the end, I hope you've enjoyed sharing my day. You've only seen a small subset of the many images I took that day... digital photography makes me picture happy... must learn to censor so I don't have quite so many images to go through on my return!


Ginnie said...

A few years back I had the good fortune of visiting the Gamla Stan section of Stockholm, Victoria. You're making me want to take a look at those images again!

Fabulous specimens of your time there, in beautiful collages. I LOVE the balloon man. The windmill, of course, and the Dutch-like architecture. I love the gull perfectly perched on that statue, just like it knew that's where you wanted him. :) I saw two peacocks on Saturday at one of our royal palaces, in Apeldoorn, but they were scraggly compared to yours. You can be proud. And of course you would like that Porter beer, D'Carnegie. Somehow it has your name all over it. :)

It's been a real treat to follow this vacation trip of yours, even getting to meet some of your family. Thank you.

Vagabonde said...

I really enjoyed going to Sweden with you – and I feel I have. It is quite picturesque – I like the architecture. That last little bird is so cute but I don’t know what type he is. It must have been grand listening to the marching band. You saw many sights – don’t censure yourself – that is the reason for digital pictures – to take many and then you can delete those you don’t like. One of my blogging friends told me that when she goes to Paris she usually takes about 500 pictures a day – for a week or more. Thanks for coming to my blog.

Gary said...

Great visit!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Springman said...

How beautiful it is there! All the pomp and circumstance simply adds to the glamour. However; There is that feeling of not wanting to take to many pictures because it blows your cover and shouts,"I am a tourist!" No harm in being what you are. Please take a miilion more! Fascinating post!

NatureFootstep said...

I recognice most of it. I visited teh castle and Old town in June, but they were repairing a lot so there was not much to see. :(

Andrew said...

A lovely post to read..
Your collages illustrate it really well

Neil said...

A very interesting post.

holdingmoments said...

A feast of excellent pictures from your visit.
Enjoyed them all Victoria.

To clear up your bird ID's;
the geese are Barnacle Geese, and the little sparrow in the last, a House Sparrow.

eileeninmd said...

Great post and photos from your tour. Love the birdies too. Have a great day!

Sondra said...

You saw some very cool birds!!! I love the collages!

Pat said...

I loved seeing the photos of your Stockholm visit! A lovely collection of shots!