After Estonia, we had another free day in Helsinki that we spent shopping and sightseeing. Then we boarded our overnight ferry to Stockholm, Sweden. We stood outside on the deck as our boat drifted away from Finland.
All of Contiki was at the bottom of the boat, but that was ok with us. The party goes wherever Contiki is anyways.
We spent the time having dinner, exploring and playing lots of Uno. (Traveler Tip: Bring Uno! Everyone knows how to play and it makes it easy to start conversations and groups together. We’ve taken it on every trip!)
We arrived in Stokholm in the morning and were surprised to learn that the Contiki bus was with us the whole time! If you look close, you can see the bus driving out of the boat!
YAY! We love our bus!
Even though Sweden is in the EU, they are still using their own currency, the Kronor. It is a little confusing when you go to multiple countries, but the tour manager always tells you in advance what you need and when. We use an international ATM card, and withdraw money from ATMs when we arrive. In our experience, that is the cheapest way to do it.
Our first stop was the Stokholm CIty Hall, which is located right on a beautiful river.
It might seem a little boring to visit a city hall, but this place has international significance.
It is the host venue for the Nobel Banquet (for all of the Nobel Prize winners).
Picture this great room looking like this with almost 1,500 guests!
After a tour of all the great rooms, we had some free time to explore Stokholm.
Europe sure does love it’s ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremonies. Sweden was no different. It was quite crowded, but we were able to see the processional.
That afternoon, we visited the Vasa Museum. Inside is an old Swedish Warship built in 1628! It sank less than a mile into it’s maiden voyage. Surprisingly, it renamed largely intact and they were able to put it together again in the 1960s.
Also inside the museum were artifacts found onboard and the remains of 15 people who were onboard.
We ended the day going to a Stokholm favorite: The Absolut Icebar!
Who doesn’t want to go to a bar made out of ice?! Everything from the shotglasses to the bar itself is made out of ice. They give you space suits to put on because it’s really really cold in there!
The next morning, our tour was over and it was time to head back to the States. It was an amazing trip, once of the best we’ve ever taken. We came home with a couple of bottles of Russian Champagne (which they call Shampanskoye!) It was so good!