Monday, July 25, 2016

Europe Trip Part 6! (Sweden!)

Our amazing time in Switzerland came to and end (sniff sniff) and we boarded a plane to Sweden.
It was really early and I was a tad bit tired...
We finally made it though!! After checking into our hotel we set off to see the city.  We went to City Hall first.  It was a really cool museum.  We skipped out on the tour and regretted it later.  Next time!
 Doug was happy to be back in his mission homeland.
 And what a beautiful land it was!!
On the day of our wedding Doug gave me a necklace that had these three crowns on it that he purchased at the gift shop in city hall.  It was neat to finally see the three crowns in person!
After seeing city hall we headed over to Gamlastan (or old town Stockholm).
Oops! One more of city hall
and that's Gamlastan across the river.
When we first got there we set off to find some lunch.  We happened to stumble across this restaurant and it did not disappoint.  It was so Swedish and made Doug so happy.  They had a little salad bar too that had lettuce, shredded carrots, kidney beans, corn and thousand island dressing.  And some delicious rolls.  There was also lingonberry juice in a self serve dispenser.  So yummy!! I got the meatballs because hello, Sweden!
 And Doug got pyttipanna (basically hashbrowns with cubed sausage and an egg on top) and was in absolute heaven. I'll admit that it was pretty tasty!
 We had to take a picture of the restaurant from the outside in case we make it back there someday!
 We toured old town a little more and stumbled upon the changing of the guard.  It was pretty cool!! The band marched around a little and even performed "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.  It was great!
 We then went to the cathedral nearby.  It was amazing inside!!
 This statue was crazy!! It was of St. Peter (or someone) slaying a dragon.  Pretty intense!!
 This organ was really cool.  I've never seen one made of ebony before.
 After the cathedral we walked around a little to find this statue.  Doug was so excited to find it!
 Apparently it's the smallest statue in Sweden and is called "iron boy". Legend has it if you rub his head he brings you luck...
More Gamlastan.
 We then went to the Nobel museum which was pretty cool.  We got to see some of the prizes and awards.  Each award is hand painted and is different every year.  Pretty cool!! We also learned about some of the recipients and the whole selection process.
 We explored a little more and found the most narrow street in Sweden,
And saw some other cool things.

Then we went on a little historic river tour.  Doug was a little hesitant about it but it turned out to be pretty cool and we saw things we most likely wouldn't have otherwise.
 Doug said the people swimming and suntanning on this rocks was such a typical Swedish thing to do.
 More sites from the cruise.
Then we headed back to Gamlastan to find some curry (with bananas) pizza.  We finally found one as well as the most delicious doner kebab I've ever had. It was all sooooo yummy!!
 More exploring...
 And here I am (looking sooooo tired!!) at 10:00 pm.  We took this picture to document how light it was at 10:00 pm!!
We finally went back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.  The next day we rented a car and headed to the darling island of Djurgarden for more exploring!! This was the nordic museum.  We saved this one for next time too but the building was incredible!! 
 Our first stop on this island was to Junibacken.  It was a darling little museum/play place celebrating Astrid Lindgren and her books.
We went on a story train ride where they had tons of these little displays and told some of her stories.  It was such a cute little ride.
 The whole place was so fun.  Our kids would have loved it!!
 This money was probably 15 feet tall!
After that we headed to the Vasa museum. 
A cross section model of the ship. 
The Vasa sailed for about 45 minutes before it sunk because it was too tall.  It sat at the bottom of the ocean for about 300 years before it was finally pulled from the bottom of the harbor and restored in the 1906's.
 It was a pretty cool museum and fun to see more about the ship. After that we went to Skansen which is an "open-air" museum about the history and culture of Sweden.  It was such an amazing place!! We could have spent the whole day there.  There was so much to see!

There was a little zoo inside too where we saw the most adorable bear cubs playing with their mom
We also saw other cool animals like reindeer and owls.  There was also this cool tree archway thing by the cutest cathedral
And I finally saw a windmill in Sweden! Even if it wasn't a real one!
We also stumbled upon some waterlillies for Lilly!!
and stopped for a moment to see some glass blowing.
And I got to try my hand at being a hedgehog...
Before leaving the island we stopped for one more Korv (hot dog) - once again, Doug was in heaven
 and some ice cream.
 Then we left Stockholm to head for Jonkoping to stay with Doug's companion for a few days.  On our way out of Stockholm we stopped at the temple.  It was so neat to see!! Absolutely beautiful!
We got stuck in traffic headed to Jonkoping and it took twice as long as it should have to get there!! When we finally got there Inga started making some delicious almond buns for Jonaton's birthday the next day.
 The next morning we had a delicious meal with their cute kids
 I loved their house!! They live in such a pretty area! Totally surrounded by a forest.  It was amazing.
 After breakfast we headed to Grenna which is famous for polkagrist (candy canes).
 It was the cutest little town and it was fun to see the candy canes being made.
 We then headed down to the lake which was gorgeous!! And I finally saw a real lighthouse in Sweden!
After spending a little bit of time in Grenna we headed back to Jonkoping to participate in some midsommer activities.  We were lucky to be there on a holiday and had fun watching the dancing around the maypole!
I loved all the flower wreaths that everyone was wearing too!
This is Selma in a traditional folk costume.  She was so adorable.  I loved it!
On the way back to Jonkoping we stopped for a little picnic along the way.  It was so fun and delicious!
 Jonatan and Inga and their kids.  Such an adorable family!
 Inga and Selma in their respective folk costumes from the regions where they're from.
 That night we had a delicious BBQ at Jonatan's parents house.  They were so hospitable and made such good company.  It was such a great night.  Her parents house was adorable too!! I couldn't get enough of it.  I loved this little tin for Knackebord (swedish cracker bread).  They were laughing at me for taking a picture of such a simple everyday thing.  I loved it thought and kind of want one!!
Some of his moms gorgeous flowers.  I was so jealous of how easily flowers grow there!! She had a beautiful garden!
We then went back to Jonatans and packed up and headed to bed.  This is how light it was at midnight.... It was about the same at 3 am.  I'm not sure the sun ever went down all the way!!
 The next day we drove to Gothenburg to board a plane for home!! We had such an amazing journey and it's something that we'll remember and cherish for the rest of our lives but we were so grateful and ready to come home!!

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