I convinced my friend Helena, who works as a local travel writer in Stockholm, to skip work and show me around her favorite places around Stockholm. We took one of the open-air boats in the docks next to Gamla Stan and took a ride between the many islands that make up Stockholm.
From here we cruised next to the Royal Palace, the central museums, and finally got off at Djurgarden, the island home to Stockholm’s largest park, an amusement park, and a recreated village of old Sweden. We grabbed an afternoon drink at Josefina, one of Stockholm’s most “in” bar/lounge that overlooks the bay. It’s normally packed after work with the city’s business elite and fashionistas, but because the next day was a national holiday — Midsummer — we had almost the entire lounge to ourselves.
We next hopped on a bus to Vaxholm, a small, boating island north of the city, where Helena was meeting her parents and heading into the countryside via schooner. This island is one of the main launching points for boats heading into the archipelago (the thousands of islands surrounding the city) and is known for its quaint houses and nautical past. I had a traditional herring dinner, saw Helena and her family off, and took a bus home as a light rain began to fall and the temperature dropped into the fifties. (Why did I pack all short-sleeved shirts and only one warm shirt?)
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