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Day #11: Stockholm

We started our day with a short walk to Gamla Stan. The weather was again beautiful, though a little cloudier and cooler (fine by me). First, we visited the Royal Palace, which we hadn’t seen before. Rick Steves throws some shade on it in his guidebook, suggesting that it’s kind of dull compared to other palaces in Europe and mostly crowded with folks from cruise ship shore excursions who don’t know that Stockholm offers better sightseeing. While the excursion point is true, we actually enjoyed the apartments, which felt a little more intimate and far more alive because they’re actually still regularly used for functions (e.g., accommodations for state visits, meal following Noble awards, etc.). 

I especially liked the paintings in the Guest Apartments’ Margareta Room by Crown Princess Margareta of Connaught:

I also laughed at the thought that this statue of St. Mathew in the Royal Chapel depicts him using an iPad:

The end of our visit coincided with the daily military parade and changing of the guard. So, we caught a glimpse of that before wandering off to look around Gamla Stan and grab some lunch. We picked the Hairy Pig Deli, a homemade sausage and tapas place that received excellent reviews online. We were not disappointed! 

We tried their sausage and pulled pork sandwiches along with a variety of tapas: baked provolone, sour roasted potatoes, wild boar salami, etc. I also had a local saison beer, which was really good too. The price was decent too, about $80, for food and drinks. 

After lunch, we did a little shopping–Libby got a cool pendant at ETENA from a gold-and silversmith who handcrafts her designs at her shop/studio near the Hairy Pig–before walking over to the Museum of Modern Art  and Architecture and Design Center. The art collection was modest but enjoyable. 

I was especially struck by this Munch…

this early Mondrian (where you can see his style evolving)…

these Soviet posters (witness to the power of art and artists to reinforce or subvert culture)…

and this late Matisse (joyful to the end):

On our way back to the hotel, we walked along the waterfront strolling past a number of interesting boats. Many of them had a colorful history (as told on signs posted on pier) of prior military and/or commercial use before being turned into what seemed to be idiosyncratic residences along the Stockholm waterfront. 

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