The Vasa Museum in Stockholm is one of the more exciting and rewarding attractions in Stockholm. At the Vasa Museum you will find the restored historic warship Vasa, which is the world’s only remaining ship from the 17th Century and astonishingly is on display with 95% of its surviving original parts.
As we were on our British Airways flight from London to Stockholm we got some really wonderful views of Sweden. One of them were the magnificent archipelago of Swedens many little islands. As it was the Easter weekend and a very untypical one at that – t’was sunny – I insisted we take a boats tour to see the archipelago.
While we were walking along the StrandvÃ¤gen, aiming to see the funfair (which luckily was shut – i won !) , we came across a small ship/a big boat that was just returning from a cruise. Next to it a sign post saying “3 hour brunch cruises or dinner cruises”. Â Back at our Hotel we used the non-existentÂ high speed wireless connection and our phones to visit the website www.stromma.se/enÂ to check out the tours available and found one departing the following day (Sunday) at noon. It costÂ 230SEK per Adult with an optional brunch buffet at an additional cost. Having had breakfast at the hotel in the morning, we chose to skip the brunch buffet part. The total came to 460SEK, which personally I thought was reasonable.
Do you too have all these club cards that give you points when you spend lots of Â£Â£Â£, just so you can make use of their offer by spending more money to get a discount on something you probably didn’t want in the first place? No, this didn’t happen to us. We collected Airmiles.
Through Airmiles we had collected enough mileage between us to book free flights to a European destination of our choosing. Since the choices weren’t that great and I had specific dates I wanted to travel on, choices were even more limited. In the end I chose to visit Stockholm. Why? Well to be frank, mainly because it was a city I don’t think I would have ever picked to visit.
So we flew out on the 6. April – Good Friday, a bank holiday. Because this travel was booked through Airmiles, we didn’t get a choice of the route. So we had to fly from Manchester to London and then from London to Stockholm. The flight with British Airways was pleasant. The food on board not so much. Had an angry moment with Jon, when he ordered Tomato juice for me WITHOUT Worcester sauce OR salt/pepper!
Once we landed in Stockholm, getting into the city was pretty easy. In the Arrivals Hall at T5 Arlanda Airport, all we had to do is go to the Information Desk and tell them, we needed to travel into the city. As it was Easter, they had an offer for the Arlanda Express; 2 single Adult ticktes for 280SEK. Jon insisted we travel to Stockholm city on the Arlanda Express. I knew it was a good offer, as usually 1 Adult ticket cost 260SEK! Next to the Information Desk were the lifts to the train and to our luck, one was ready to depart in just 3 minutes – so no waiting around!
The Arlanda Express was pretty awesome and definitely worth it if you are not on a budget or just want to travel into town really fast, as it only takes 20mins. The alternatives are either the Airport Coach Flygbussarna which takes 35 mins or public transportation which can take upto an hour.
So we made it to Stockholm City and equipped with a map of the city we walked in search for our Hotel Birger Jarls. I took the map and lead the way… the way to MacDonalds to get a coffee. From then on we were, thanks to my navigational skills, walking in the wrong direction. After 20mins we realised we are no where near where we should be. To my embarrassment Jon took the map and walked us in the right direction. Once we reached the main intersection between Kungsgatan and Birger Jarlsgatan. At this point neither of us knew which way, so we asked a group of coppers if they knew where Birger Jarls Hotel was. They didn’t know either but at least sent us in the right direction. We walked and walked and walked some more until we thought we might have passed it and asked at another hotel for directions. Yes, we had to walk some more. Finally, we got to our hotel Birger Jarls.
At reception, Daniel check us in and he was very nice and gave us some information about the hotel, like access to the high speed internet access, as well as Stockholm. Our room on the 5th floor was by any standard very small and the bathroom even tinier. I was not happy but then again I may be spoilt after my stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg!
Regardless of the size of the room and the fact that the high speed wireless internet connection did not exist, Â both of us were tired and simply looking forward to a good night sleep in the city that is Stockholm.