Before heading to Stockholm, Sweden, my husband and I drove 3 hours north from Vasteras airport to Alfta. We went to visit David’s uncle Mike who immigrated to Sweden around 17 years ago and his daughter Isabella. Only minutes after we started driving on the highway it felt like we were heading up to a cottage back in Ontario, Canada. The tall trees and lakes throughout the countryside created an immediate feeling of comfort and safety. After an excellent stay with family we headed back down to Stockholm and explored the city of islands. From Arlanda airport there is a frequent Arlanda Express train equipped with free WiFi that takes you into Stockholm in 20 minutes. The trains were refurbished 2 years ago and are the nicest trains we have traveled on while in Europe.
Stockholm is a combination of 14 islands in Lake Mälaren. We walked everywhere from our Best Western Hotel located on the main shopping street Drottninggatan. We started our day on Djurgården Island where the Scandinavian museum, boat museum, theme park and national park are located. From there we walked across to parliament, sitting on it’s own island connected by a bridge, and across to the Old Town (Gamla Stan) where the royal palace is. The guards stand out front in a bright blue wardrobe and appear to be friendlier then the ones we have encountered in other cities so far. The old town of Stockholm is filled with little shops along cobble stone roads. Most of the buildings in the old town are from the 1700s and 1800s however the town dates from the 13th century.
Here we went into an old cellar that was turned into a restaurant to try some traditional Swedish meatballs. They were amazing and covered in a creamy sauce placed on top of some mashed potatoes. Stockholm is not very large city with primary sites located within walking distance of each other. I highly recommend renting a vehicle in Sweden to visit some of the small towns, go camping and fishing on the lakes. You can even stay in a camper in a parking lot or camp out for at least one day without paying a penny.