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Last stop: Stockholm Friday, 26 August 2016

Posted by Ian Cole in Europe 2016, Ian C, The Ians on Tour.

Here we are at the last stop for this trip, Stockholm. Staying at Hotell Rival, the hotel owned by Benny from ABBA, for the third time, in the same room we stayed in in 2013.

On arrival on Monday, we met with our friend Carl Magnus at the hotel bar and restaurant for a few beers then dinner. 

Tuesday our first destination was ABBA The Museum. There have been a few changes since our last visit in 2013, just a month after the museum opened, including life-size figures of ABBA. 

After a few hundred kroner in the gift shop, it was time for lunch at Pop House, the hotel on top of the museum, which is owned by Björn from ABBA. Yes, both of them own hotels in the same city. 

Tuesday night we enjoyed some lovely home-cooked Swedish cuisine with Carl Magnus. 

Wednesday we visited the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is a 17th century warship that sank in Stockholm Harbour on its maiden voyage in 1628. The ship was raised in 1961 almost intact and after conservation and restoration it has been housed in a carefully-controlled climate to preserve the ship. It’s a fascinating piece of history. 

After that we took a bit of a walk around Djurgården and a quick stop back at ABBA The Museum for some additional souvenirs. And passed by this famous park bench location:

Wednesday night we took a three-hour dinner cruise into the Stockholm archipelago with Carl Magnus.  Unfortunately it’s too late in the year for cruises to the outer archipelago, but we did travel as far as Vaxholm, about 1/3rd of the way out. It was very scenic and the food was great. 

Thursday was a quieter day. We took a walk around Gamla Stan, the old town. It’s the historic centre of Stockholm and also the site of Kungliga slottet (the royal palace). Later we met up with Carl Magnus for lunch and a beer. 

Thursday night we went to Mamma Mia! The Party, a dinner theatre concept extended out from the stage musical and movie. It was a lot of fun, with lots of interaction between cast, servers, and audience. With lots of ABBA songs. And food. And wine. 

Yes, that’s me singing back-up vocals for If It Wasn’t For The Nights with the band. 

Friday is our last full day in Stockholm, before flying for home on Saturday afternoon. Today we took a boat trip on Lake Mällaren to Drottningholms slott, a 16th century palace just outside Stockholm, which is now the official residence of the Swedish royal family. We took a walk around the public areas of the palace, many 17th and 18th century rooms. 

The palace is surrounded by huge formal gardens and several other buildings on the grounds, including the lovely Chinese Palace that we also visited. One of the fountains (photo above) is another recognisable site from an ABBA photo session. 

Tonight we will be sharing our last dinner with Carl Magnus at Erik’s Gondolen, one of Stockholm’s finest restaurants.  



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