Day 8: Stockholm and a Ferry

Today we only had a few hours in Stockholm before boarding our ferry to Helsinki and Russia. We spent the morning wandering around Gamla Stan, the historic district. 

First, we went into Riddarholm Church. 
The church is used for burials of the monarchs. 

After seeing the church, we walked towards the Stockholm Palace, stopping and souvenir shipping along the way. 
We boarded the boat after that. We were the only ones aboard for a while as everyone was in the city! You can board or leave at any of the cities in the route. 
We stayed up top for a while watching and then explored the ship. After dinner, we went back up top to watch the sunset. It was around 11 pm our time. The boat stays in St Petersburg time. 

Day 7: We’re in Stockholm!

Country number 2!

We arrived in Sweden around 1 pm on Monday. We took the fast train from the airport into the city center and found our hotel right away! We got checked in and then headed for a walk around the coast to the Vasa Museum. 

The Vasa is a 17th century warship that sank on her maiden voyage. She was found in the 1950s and brought back to land. The ship was massive!! We got to explore several galleries with artifacts and see the ship from different heights and peer inside of it. 

This is a replica at 1/10 of the scale. Punted as if the real ship would have been. 

After the Vasa, we decided to book a sight-seeing cruise that we passed on the walk to the museum. It lasted right over two hours. Before we boarded, we HAD to have Swedish meatballs though. We found a park cafe and ordered up!
We had to cross a lock to the Baltic Sea so that was neat. We went into an area and then a gate closed behind us. The gate in front of us slowly opened to allow the water level to meet the outside. 

The coast of Stockholm was gorgeous! The clouds all looked like paintings. 

After the cruise, I had a chokladboll from a coffee shop. I’d seen them around so figured they were a traditional dessert of some sort. It was okay but I don’t like coconut. We board the boat around 2 tomorrow so will only get the morning to explore. Can’t wait!

Day 6: A Brighton Adventure

Today we took one last British day trip. We went to the coast! Brighton is about an hour out from London so it’s the perfect distance for a day trip. 

We started the day with a visit to the Royal Pavilion. It’s decorated like India and China though the King who had it built had never been to either. It was beautiful!!

We had lemon meringue tarts and coffee on one of the balconies of the palace. 

After finishing here, we started our journey to the pier. On the pier, we bought a bag of donuts! We also took tons of photos and just enjoyed the day. Brighton was my favorite place to visit so far. Photo collage following. 

Day 5: A Cambridge Adventure


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Today, we took another trip out of London. This time, we went to Cambridge! (Not Massachusetts)

We spent most of the time wandering the naturey parts of the city. We took a collegebacks punting tour on the River Cam and that was so fun. Our guide told us about all of the colleges and bridges. He also told us that Stephen Hawking still teaches at Cambridge! 

After punting, we went towards King’s College where we found out that the grounds were closed due to exams and graduation. We were still able to visit the chapel though so that was exciting. 

We had a lot of time left after the chapel so we once again ate fish and chips. We had passed a botanic garden on the way to the river earlier so we decided to return there and walk through it. They were having a plant festival so we got to see a bit more than normal!

We took an earlier train back to London than we had planned but that allowed me time to take this photo: 

I paid £20 to skip a massive line and be next to take my photo. We would have been in line for an hour! I got a lanyard that said VIP, a Hogwarts Express ticket, and a printed copy of my photo along with a digital copy. 

Now we are sitting in a Starbucks wasting time until closer to 6. We have dinner reservations before we see American in Paris tonight. Brazilian food!! Seeing American in Paris and eating Brazilian food all while we’re in London. Makes me laugh!

Tomorrow we will be taking another daytrip away from London as well as meeting up with some friends who are also on a “holiday” as the Brits call it. It’s so hard to believe tomorrow is our last day in the U.K. before heading up north to Scandinavia! 12 days left until we come home!