Monday, July 21, 2014

Beautiful Stockholm, Sweden……

Early on a cool June morning aboard Queen Victoria - embarkation of Swedish pilots - then careful 
negotiation of the narrow 57 mile passage towards Stockholm. Those of us who were early
 risers were treated to spectacular scenes of small villages, islands, lighthouses, inlets and lush forests.

Glimpses of the many Swedish islands on the way to Stockholm port.

Stockholm is the largest city and capital of Sweden, site of the Swedish government, parliament, 
and the official residence of the Swedish monarch.  Central part of the city consists of 14 islands 
and the geographical city center is virtually situated on the water. I loved the parts of the city we 
visited - comfortable temperatures and a partly sunny day made lots of walking enjoyable.

Royal palace mounted guards.

Along the cobbled streets the buildings surprised me……all those warm almost Italian feeling colors. 
I thought for sure Sweden would be all white and blue!

Lots of neat shops with great handcrafted items lined the streets.  Have to admit we found prices very high - we'd already been warned they would be in all the Scandinavian countries, so shopping was minimal………

………however I managed to purchase the one Swedish item I wanted for my home, an authentic white painted Dala Horse, the symbol of the Kingdom of Sweden.  Finding a non massed-produced horse was a little difficult, they were the only offerings in souvenir shops. Fortunately I found this made in Sweden beauty in a tiny home decor shop.  The earliest reference to wooden horses is from 1624 and the pattern used today is 150 years old.  The style of painting the pine horse is known as 'Kurbits' where two colors are used in the same brush, this is the traditional way, and these authentic horses are now only made in one Swedish village, Nusnas.

Stockholm was entrancing - more time in Sweden would have been better, to look up old friends,
see more of the countryside etc. - another time hopefully.


  1. Great photos and such a cheerfull looking city

  2. What a perfect choice of a memento to bring home. It will look beautiful in your home.
    Oh the sights must have just been breathe taking floating slowly into port that morning.
    I can only imagine slightly as I see your beautiful photos. I had to smile at the comment
    on thinking everything would be blue and white. I would have thought that too. Did you
    partake of any wonderful goodies at a sidewalk cafe? I always think of open faced sandwiches
    when I think of Sweden and little cafes.

  3. Very interesting and delightful takes. How do you get them so larger on your blog. I have mine large but they do not go that big. What program do you use.

    What size are they?

    1. Hi Ms. Sparkle - thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

      I use some basic edits in iPhoto on my MacBook Air, especially cropping and straightening. Then more editing in PicMonkey - love that program and have the 'Royale' version which is just a few dollars for a year's subscription - there's a free version too which you may like to try first. In PicMonkey I resize my photos setting the width at 800 - this way I can post the pic at 'original size' if I want it larger (or you can still use med./large/x-tra large) and it will still fit into my blog layout. I like that setting because any collages I make show up much more clearly. I would love to learn another more in depth editing program some day, just need to stay home and make more time for something like that!

      Hope this helps - you might need to play with changing the photo sizing depending on the blog template you use. Have fun.

  4. Love the photos for yet another tour. Sweden looks beautiful!

  5. I am taking a blog break, but had to pop in when I saw your Sweden post. Kent is part Swedish and we have always talked about going their. Kent has a traditional red dala horse and we also have a copper mold with a dala horse on it. The pictures of Sweden are beautiful.

  6. Oh Mary, your photos are just breathtaking. Makes me want to hop on a plane and travel to a foreign land. Sweden looks like a destination I would enjoy very much.
    I think your one, well chosen, souvenir is just perfect. Authentic and a lovely reminder of your time spent in Sweden.

  7. Sweden is a beautiful country. I love the countryside with the red buildings dotted among the green fields and forests. Can you imagine how lovely they would look in the winter? The red colour would help one find her way home! Stockholm was my daughter's favourite city on her visit to Scandinavia a few years ago. The elegant design appealed to her. Such lovely light in your photos. I'd love to sit at one of those cafes and enjoy people watching.
    Your one souvenir is a winner - perfect for remembering this beautiful city.

  8. Wow! Wow! and then even more Wow!!! Beautiful photos of a beautiful place. I have just come home after a cruise holiday myself and I know just how tricky it can be to get really photos like these. Well done indeed.

  9. Mary you photos are beautiful. I visited Sweden a year or so ago, and found it charming even in the dead of winter. I did not have the chance to visit Stockholm at that time, but now I feel as if I walked those streets with you. I adore the pony, it is perfect.

  10. Absolutely stunning - the colors are amazing. Aren't you glad you got up early? I knew so little about Stockholm and loved the photos and the info about all the islands. With your blog I get to go places I know I'll never see any other way - and your photos are always so fabulous, it is almost like being there. Thank you.

  11. Thank you for your spectacular photos of an equally spectacular country. Beautiful, indeed. I loved sailing into Stockholm with the incredible buildings along the coast. Aren't we glad we got up early?! I was fortunate to spend a couple of days there and would love to return. Thanks again.
    Farm Gal in VA

  12. Very nice blog post. I definitely love this site. Thanks!

    My blog post; diy projects for home improvements (

  13. Hello Mary, long time no see. I have been a summer lazy blogger :-)
    Love your photos. Really this is all just on our doorstep but I have never been further north than Scotland. I must try harder.
    Hope you are having a wonderful summer.

  14. Your little Swedish horse is lovely. I a glad you found a hand-made one. I had not heard of the Dala Horse before.

  15. This is one city we have shared, you and I, tho I was there back in 1969.

    I have only ever seen red Dala horses. I like yours a lot and it fits with your personality

  16. Wonderful...sending the link to my Swedish husband whose paternal grandparents came to the U.S. in the 1920s.

  17. Now I want a Dala horse! Enjoyed your beautiful photos of Sweden Mary, I feel as if I made a visit, although it's on my bucket list maybe one day!


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