The Best Viewpoint in Stockholm

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The morning began with another search on the computers. Deciding a boat ride would be nice, we changed then walked down the hillside to catch the Hop On Hop Off boat next to the photography museum, Fotografiska. Just missing a boat when we reached the road, we took refuge from the heat in the shade of the building. A quarter of an hour later the next boat arrived. Jumping onboard we were greeted by the captain who asked where we were heading. “Djurgården” I replied, and he let us on, walking down the aisle to some benches at the back to sit by an open window.

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A little later the boat’s ship mate sauntered along holding a card machine, saying our card transaction hadn’t gone through earlier. Puzzled, we said we’d just got on and that we hadn’t paid anything yet. The man walked back up the boat to the captain… then never came back. Slightly perplexed, we settled down to enjoy the boat ride. The sun beat down through the large glass windows above us as we watched the pastel coloured city of Stockholm pass by. Getting off at the Vasa Museum stop, we slowly walked by the ship mate… and he just wished us good day.

Flo and I looked at each other.

Did we just accidently get away without paying 160kr..?

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Carrying on we followed the map to Skansen, a vast open air museum and accompanying zoo of Scandinavian animals. Arriving at the gate around 1pm, we were surprised when we were told the tickets only cost 110kr for both museum and zoo, considering the prices of everything else we’d seen so far. Paying up, we chose to climb the hill instead of riding the funicular. Inside Skansen were numerous traditional Swedish buildings from different eras, each with their own little explanation about what they were for and where they’d been moved from. We spent the next three hours or so wandering slowly along the paths and enjoying the sunshine. We dipped in and out of the zoo, not really following a route as such, choosing instead to see where our feet took us. As it was nearing the end of May, animals like the moose and reindeer had shed their antlers, so when we saw them they had only fuzzy stumps.

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We broke up the day with a chill out on a secluded bench on the hillside. The nice thing about Skansen was that there were plenty of places to explore and sit. Well worth visiting on a sunny day.

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Towards late afternoon we left the island of Djurgården, walking the 2km to the subway stop of Kungsträdgården again (we opted against risking getting charged getting the boat back). Rather unfortunately for us, I realised in the station that I’d absent-mindedly left our metro card back on the bed in Prison Room. And so we embarked on a long hard slog of a further 1.8km to our hostel in Södermalm.

After a rejuvenating shower and nap we set out for Gamla Stan for dinner. Returning to the same restaurant as the night before for convenience, I surprised myself by ordering a caesar salad (this is unheard of with me). It was a huge portion and absolutely delicious. Flo ordered the salmon. After dinner, he suggested we go for a walk. Consulting the map, we walked to the top left furthest corner of Gamla Stan to watch the sun set. We sat on the edge with our legs dangling above the water, our faces glowing orange with the slow departure of the sun’s rays. The view was lovely.

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It was quite a romantic moment, only marred momentarily by the hilarious splatter of seagull poo across both of Flo’s trouser legs.

I couldn’t take it. I lay backwards on the ground, howling with belly-splitting laughter. Moments before he’d been mimicking the sounds of a seagull.

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In an attempt to recover the romance we moved on, crossing a bridge back to Södermalm with the view of climbing the hillside further along for an even better viewpoint of the sunset. Walking along Söder Mälarstrand we found a secluded set of stairs which led upwards. We followed the stairs until we reached the top, where a number of other people had gathered with the same idea. Sitting on a bench, we settled in to watch the fading of the pink and orange sky.

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It was unexpectedly the best viewpoint of the city we’d discovered so far.

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