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Stockholm Journal

Stockholm is an international city with a mixture of old and new built on 14 islands on the Baltic Sea. The small medieval island of Gamla Stan (Old City) is at its center, and the ancient buildings that line the curving narrow streets are painted with warm Scandinavian shades of ochre and gold. The harbor is full of every kind of boat there is, from small private pleasure craft to huge ferry cruise ships on the way to Finland. Tiny ferry boats carry passengers from island to island as part of the public transport system. One destination is Djurgarden, formerly the island owned by the King for his hunting grounds, now home to museums and an entertainment park. A century ago my maternal grandmother worked in a shop in Gamla Stan and ice skated on the frozen Baltic in winter. She emmigrated to America in 1904 to begin a new life near Seattle, but never stopped being a 'city girl from Stockholm.' After graduate school I spent a year in Stockholm at the Royal Academy of Art and have visited it several times since then. The city continues to be a favorite of ours, and we spent some time there one summer walking through old town, Skansen and taking a boat ride through Stockholm's famed archipelago.

A Boat Ride Through the Archipelago - Just outside of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea is the archipelago, which includes 24,000 large and small wild islands spread across miles of water with the inhabited ones accessible only by ferries. This is where Stockholmers escape to during the summer months, and we took a ferry boat with them to one of the closer-in destinations. Along the way we crossed paths with huge ferry/cruise ships on their way to/from Finland, and numerous vessels of every description. The island ferries leave the city every hour to transport lucky vacationers to their summer houses, which for the most part are built in a romantic and nostalgic style facing the blue sea. In many cases the islands are too small to drive a car and transportation is bicycle only.

Stockholm's Old Town, Gamia Stan - In the center of Stockholm's harbor lies Gamla Stan, its oldest part of the city. Small narrow cobblestone streets and picturesque pedestrian walkways make this a favorite destination for both tourists and Stockholm's citizens. The stucco buildings that house small shops and restaurants are painted in traditional warm gold, ochre and russet hues. Since Gamla Stan is actually a small island, the sea is never far away.

An Afternoon at Millesgarden - One day we visited Millesgarden, home and garden of Sweden's best known sculptor, Carl Milles (1875-1955). Located on a high bluff overlooking Stockholm and the Baltic Sea, Millesgarden shows off the artist's work in a most dramatic way by deftly incorporating fountains, pools, flowers and terraces with the sculptures. Milles, who had studied with Rodin in Paris, excelled in creating fountains with playful, irreverent and nude figures frolicking in the waters. He came to America in 1931 to be head of the sculpture department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills MI. Together with Eliel Saarinen, the two created a campus renowned not only for its students but also for art and architecture on the grounds themselves. Cranbrook's artists-in-residence were expected to create major works for locations outside of Cranbrook itself, so you can find Milles' sculptures in St. Paul MN, Racine WI, St. Louis MO, and Falls Church VA. While a student at Cranbrook, I was able to enjoy Milles' work on a daily basis right outside my studio.

A Visit to the Hotorget Market - We found the popular Hotorget farmer's market in the middle of the city and were greeted by one of Stockholm's new citizens. Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and are in great demand during Sweden's relatively short summer.

A Visit to Skansen - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The day we were there it seemed there were more Swedish families than tourists as the park also holds a zoo with native animals and restaurants. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people. These "paintings" are simply painted directly on the wall.

The Dala Horse - Sweden's favorite icon is the Dala horse, a carved wooden figure originating in the Dalarna province. Now made in many sizes and colors, it was first created as a small toy for children and painted in vibrant red-orange with a white, yellow and green harness. These oversized Dala horses can be found in Skansen and children of all ages are invited to 'ride' on them.

The View from Herman's - Stockholm is a city surrounded by water, and in the summer the long days turn into beautiful twilight sunsets. High on a hill above the harbor we found Herman's, a casual family dining spot with live entertainment and an all-you-can eat vegetarian buffet. The cooks decide each day what the dinner food will be, so it's always fresh and tasty. Best of all, we felt like we were one of the Stockholmers ourselves, as the tables are set up family style. Great desserts too! This is the view toward the city from the restaurant late in the evening.

A Visit to Skansen - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The day we were there it seemed there were more Swedish families than tourists as the park also holds a zoo with native animals and restaurants. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people.

A Boat Ride Through the Archipelago - Just outside of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea is the archipelago, which includes 24,000 large and small wild islands spread across miles of water with the inhabited ones accessible only by ferries. This is where Stockholmers escape to during the summer months, and we took a ferry boat with them to one of the closer-in destinations. Along the way we crossed paths with huge ferry/cruise ships on their way to/from Finland, and numerous vessels of every description. The island ferries leave the city every hour to transport lucky vacationers to their summer houses, which for the most part are built in a romantic and nostalgic style facing the blue sea. In many cases the islands are too small to drive a car and transportation is bicycle only.

Stockholm's Old Town, Gamia Stan - In the center of Stockholm's harbor lies Gamla Stan, its oldest part of the city. Small narrow cobblestone streets and picturesque pedestrian walkways make this a favorite destination for both tourists and Stockholm's citizens. The stucco buildings that house small shops and restaurants are painted in traditional warm gold, ochre and russet hues. Since Gamla Stan is actually a small island, the sea is never far away.

An Afternoon at Millesgarden - One day we visited Millesgarden, home and garden of Sweden's best known sculptor, Carl Milles (1875-1955). Located on a high bluff overlooking Stockholm and the Baltic Sea, Millesgarden shows off the artist's work in a most dramatic way by deftly incorporating fountains, pools, flowers and terraces with the sculptures. Milles, who had studied with Rodin in Paris, excelled in creating fountains with playful, irreverent and nude figures frolicking in the waters. He came to America in 1931 to be head of the sculpture department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills MI. Together with Eliel Saarinen, the two created a campus renowned not only for its students but also for art and architecture on the grounds themselves. Cranbrook's artists-in-residence were expected to create major works for locations outside of Cranbrook itself, so you can find Milles' sculptures in St. Paul MN, Racine WI, St. Louis MO, and Falls Church VA. While a student at Cranbrook, I was able to enjoy Milles' work on a daily basis right outside my studio. This is the view from Milles' studio, looking toward Stockholm.

Traditions at Skansen - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people. Here a women is knitting a traditional patterned sweater using hand spun wool from the sheep that graze in Skansen that is dyed with vegetable dyes made from traditional sources. Every process is carefully recreated to match the original methods.

A Walk Around Town - Stockholm is definitely a modern city that still honors its past yet looks to the future. Street life is energetic, yet people have time to sit in the parks or enjoy a game of chess.

A Visit to Skansen - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The day we were there it seemed there were more Swedish families than tourists as the park also holds a zoo with native animals and restaurants. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people.

The Nordiska Museum From the Harbor - Just outside of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea is the archipelago, which includes 24,000 large and small wild islands spread across miles of water with the inhabited ones accessible only by ferries. This is where Stockholmers escape to during the summer months, and we took a ferry boat with them to one of the closer-in destinations. Along the way we crossed paths with huge ferry/cruise ships on their way to/from Finland, and numerous vessels of every description. The island ferries leave the city every hour to transport lucky vacationers to their summer houses, which for the most part are built in a romantic and nostalgic style facing the blue sea. In many cases the islands are too small to drive a car and transportation is bicycle only. Here we are passing the Nordiska Museum and Vasa Exhibit in Stockholm's harbor.

Skansen's Small Details - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The day we were there it seemed there were more Swedish families than tourists as the park also holds a zoo with native animals and restaurants. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people. These hand spun yarns have been readied for a weaving a traditional hand woven fabric.

A Boat Ride Through the Archipelago - Just outside of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea is the archipelago, which includes 24,000 large and small wild islands spread across miles of water with the inhabited ones accessible only by ferries. This is where Stockholmers escape to during the summer months, and we took a ferry boat with them to one of the closer-in destinations. Along the way we crossed paths with huge ferry/cruise ships on their way to/from Finland, and numerous vessels of every description. The island ferries leave the city every hour to transport lucky vacationers to their summer houses, which for the most part are built in a romantic and nostalgic style facing the blue sea. In many cases the islands are too small to drive a car and transportation is bicycle only. Here a boat house is painted with non-traditional colors.

A Visit to Skansen - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The day we were there it seemed there were more Swedish families than tourists as the park also holds a zoo with native animals and restaurants. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people.

A Farmer's Market - Stockholm is a modern city that still treasures its traditions, including a daily Farmer's Market at Hortorget in the city center.

Claus pa Hornet Restaurant - Claus pa Hornet, founded in 1731, is one of the best known and oldest restaurants in Stockholm. In 1963 I visited Stockholm with my family and we met all of our Swedish cousins. They took us to this restaurant for dinner, and I was happy to see that it still is there, 50 years later.

A Walk Around Town - We love wandering through a city's streets and discovering interesting architectural details. This Music Museum is one of my favorites. The stark black and white exterior feels modern.

A Boat Ride Through the Archipelago - Just outside of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea is the archipelago, which includes 24,000 large and small wild islands spread across miles of water with the inhabited ones accessible only by ferries. This is where Stockholmers escape to during the summer months, and we took a ferry boat with them to one of the closer-in destinations. Along the way we crossed paths with huge ferry/cruise ships on their way to/from Finland, and numerous vessels of every description. The island ferries leave the city every hour to transport lucky vacationers to their summer houses, which for the most part are built in a romantic and nostalgic style facing the blue sea. In many cases the islands are too small to drive a car and transportation is bicycle only.

A Visit to Skansen - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The day we were there it seemed there were more Swedish families than tourists as the park also holds a zoo with native animals and restaurants. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people. Here is the interior of an late 18th c. home with original furnishings. The pale blue colors and wood floor were popular at the time and remain a favorite still.

Skansen's Garden Houses - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. In larger cities like Stockholm it was impossible for everyone to have a house with a garden. Parks were created in the outskirts of the city that had private plots one could purchase and plant with vegetables and flowers. Small sheds were built on the plots to hold tools and provided a place to sit and rest during the day. Painted in the traditional Falun iron-ore red and golden tones, these are typical of those small structures. The tradition of the privately held garden plots continues, and we were able to visit a few during our stay.

Traditions in Skansen - Skansen is an outdoor museum founded in the 1870's to preserve Sweden's old buildings that otherwise might have fallen into ruin. Located in right in the city on Djurgarden, it is immediately accessible to tourists and Swedes. The buildings include beautiful manor houses and primitive huts, from southern Sweden to the northern Lapland. The most amazing thing was how authentic everything is. In the 'village' there are stores that sell objects typical of the era shown, and each building's guide is dressed in a costume hand sewn with fabrics woven from hand spun yarns, all done in Skansen. When repairs are needed for the buildings, the wood used is the same age as the original building, and of course they use old fashioned tools to fix everything. It shows that a commitment can be made and kept to teach future generations the history of its people. Here is a shop outfitted with items from the 'old days' that are available for sale.

A Boat Ride Through the Archipelago - Just outside of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea is the archipelago, which includes 24,000 large and small wild islands spread across miles of water with the inhabited ones accessible only by ferries. This is where Stockholmers escape to during the summer months, and we took a ferry boat with them to one of the closer-in destinations. Along the way we crossed paths with huge ferry/cruise ships on their way to/from Finland, and numerous vessels of every description. The island ferries leave the city every hour to transport lucky vacationers to their summer houses, which for the most part are built in a romantic and nostalgic style facing the blue sea. In many cases the islands are to small to drive a car and transportation is bicycle only.

An Afternoon at Millesgarden - One day we visited Millesgarden, home and garden of Sweden's best known sculptor, Carl Milles (1875-1955). Located on a high bluff overlooking Stockholm and the Baltic Sea, Millesgarden shows off the artist's work in a most dramatic way by deftly incorporating fountains, pools, flowers and terraces with the sculptures. Milles, who had studied with Rodin in Paris, excelled in creating fountains with playful, irreverent and nude figures frolicking in the waters. He came to America in 1931 to be head of the sculpture department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills MI. Together with Eliel Saarinen, the two created a campus renowned not only for its students but also for art and architecture on the grounds themselves. Cranbrook's artists-in-residence were expected to create major works for locations outside of Cranbrook itself, so you can find Milles' sculptures in St. Paul MN, Racine WI, St. Louis MO, and Falls Church VA. While a student at Cranbrook, I was able to enjoy Milles' work on a daily basis right outside my studio.