Yes! I became a victim of Stockholm syndrome. I choose to overlook the harsh winter experience and enjoy the beauty of the frozen yet alluring Baltic.
This vibrant city has streaks of both classical and modern architecture, and a fascinating old town called Gamla Stan which boasts of a rich history. In January I got the opportunity to visit the Indian embassy in Stockholm as a representative of Chalmers Indian Association, RANG with one of my fellow member. The city welcomed us with a bright sky and a thick blanket of snow around.
We started our day with visit to the Vasa Museum. One can see the fully intact 17th century warship “Vasa”, which sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. The restored ship is one of its kind being 98% original.Later in the day post our visit to the Indian embassy we went to the old town, Gamla Stan. It’s distinctively known for its medieval and archaic architecture, razor-thin alleys and cobbled streets, which dates back to the 13th century. Mårten Trotzigs grand alley in Gamla Stan is the narrowest street in Stockholm.
The large square in the center of Gamla Stan, is called Stortorget. It was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520s. The Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II and this eventually lead to the election of King Gustav I. The old town holds oodles of mysteries and the Stockholm ghost walk is the best way to explore them. It indeed gives one the opportunity “to see, touch, smell and taste history” as our guide said.
Gamla Stan is also home to the Stockholm Cathedral and the baroque Royal Palace. Despite the cold spells and temperature of around -10°C we made it a point to wander through the streets and explore the old city charm of Gamla Stan. Retro themed cafes, artfully shabby lamps, antique artifacts and the blissful calm and enigma is totally worth experiencing.
Another fascinating thing about Stockholm after its architecture and high street fashion is the Stockholm metro. Metro stations here are well known for their wall art and it has been named the longest art gallery in the world. Stockholm also hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremony and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall which facilitates the Noble laureates. The city definitely tops the must-visit list of every science and art lover.
The city of Stockholm with its scenic beauty and a vast archipelago is indeed a traveler's delight!
Written by Mrinalini Raina