Baltic Cruise: Stockholm, Sweden
Our first stop was Nynashamn, Sweden. At the port, they boasted about the extendible SeaWalk pier, so the ship doesn’t have to park right next to the dock; who would have known that this would be our saving grace.
We opted to take the train into Stockholm, which was approximately an hour away. The walk to the station was roughly 22 minutes, but we never lost sight of our path, as they intentionally painted coloured lines that took you from the port to key areas in town, not unlike some hospital wayfinding markers. In Stockholm, we joined a parliamentary tour (as I’m not really into politics, one difference that stood out was that the prime minister isn’t elected, but appointed by the coalition of parties), walked through a museum, and meandered around – here is where I learned that it’s a city on 14 islands that’s surrounded by water.
The highlight for me, which caused us to almost miss our ship, was actually exploring the art painted throughout the metro / subway stations (reminded me of some stations along the TTC)! We thought we had time, so we went to check out one more stop: King’s Garden Station / Kungstdgrden. Our last metro stop was interesting, but it ate into the buffer time we had, as we took the train in the wrong direction! Oops.
Oh, and although the world’s largest Ikea was 30 minutes away, we didn’t end up going there, but we did have to try Swedish meatballs. j.w took us to meatballs: for the people – to me it looked touristy, and pricing wise was over $20 for a meal of meatballs. But, it was delicious – the mashed potatoes, ligonberry sauce, everything!
On our last metro stop, it suddenly occurred to me that we had 1/2 hour less than I initially buffered; it didn’t help that we took the train in the wrong direction as well. However, j.w found a train schedule that said that it would only take around 45 minutes to get back, so we would be fine. We got on the first train (with the number we needed) but quickly realized that it didn’t go to the final station, and would need to switch trains, so we got off. As we were waiting for the next train to come by on our side of the platform, j.w happened to check out the other train on the other side of the platform; it was departing in less than a minute. Turned out, this was the train we wanted to get on! So, we hurried over and jumped in. Well, 45 minutes soon passed, then 50, 55…needless to say, I was quite anxious / stressed / worried and all I could do was pray that the ship wouldn’t leave. By 1 hour 5 minutes (or was it 1hr10m?), we finally arrived. We mostly ran the 1.8 km back to the ship ( 12 mins?), while I was hoping, praying, and trying to catch my breath (thankful that I had ran a few times off and on throughout the summer). j.w got there first as he had taken a shortcut and rule-follower me decided to follow the coloured lines instead.
As we got to the end of the extendible walkway, the guard at the port asked us what our cabin number was, and if there was anyone else behind us; there weren’t. She radioed ahead to let them know we were coming, and then as soon as we got onto the ship and through the security scanners, they closed the doors! PHEW, and THANK YOU, GOD THAT WE MADE IT! While Stockholm wasn’t my favourite stop, that was probably one of the most memorable almost-missed-the-ship experiences.
Next stop: Helsinki, Finland