Sunday, June 29, 2014

Drottningholm and the Middle Ages

We decided to visit Drottningholm Palace early, before the big tourist rush, which meant we needed to be at the palace at the crack of 10:00!  We got there, by subway and bus, just in time to join an English tour, and we were very lucky.  The tour guide was extremely good, knowledgable and funny.  The tour took about an hour, and we learned a bit of history of the royal families of Sweden.  Very complicated.  The interior of the palace has a fair amount of illusion built in.  The walls are painted to look like finest Italian marble, and there are painted scenes to look like rooms and windows beyond the actual walls, all intended to give the impression of a much bigger and more expensive building. It's pretty big and impressive anyway.  After the tour we walked through the gardens, had coffee near the Chinese outbuilding, and then headed back.  One neat aspect of one of the buildings in the Chinese compound is a dining room, which is a standalone building with glass on all sides so the public could observe the royals while eating.  A main feature of the building is a table which is completely prepared for dinner in a room underneath the dining room, then elevated up to the diners, so the royals could dine without the presence of servants.  A very large dumb waiter !  
We returned to downtown Stockholm, had a grillad korv (fancy hotdog) at the NK takeout, then went to the Middle Ages Museum, which tells the story of Stockholm in the period of about 1200 to 1500.  It is a very good museum, literally entirely underground, with vaulted ceilings, sections of the original city wall still in place.  Then time for a rest before dinner at Herman's, a vegetarian buffet, where we stuffed ourselves with all kinds of spicy, tasty veggie dishes.  Now back to the hotel to recover.

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