Friday, August 28, 2020

Splendor, surpise in Stockholm, from Abba Museum to Nobel Hall

Stockholm, with its beautiful location on the water, is considered one of the world's prettiest cities.

From street bazaars to Nobel pomp, Stockholm spells variety. 

STOCKHOLM is a city of water, museums, street markets, stately squares, lively arts, buskers, pomp and subway art to knock your socks off.  
It's a city of contrasts, home to the Nobel Prize ceremonies, a museum celebrating the musical group, ABBA, a famous ship museum and a connection to rock legend Frank Zappa.
Inhabited for years by the Danes, it has been Swedish territory since 1523 and underwent a renaissance in the 18th century.  This enrichment era included architectural, artistic, government and economic expansion, along with development of the sciences, medicine and literature. 
IT SEEMS fitting that Stockholm is home to the revered Nobel prizes, six international awards given annually for outstanding work in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics and the promotion
Stockholm's imposing City Hall has a prime location.

 of peace. The Nobel Prizes, first awarded in 1901, were established by the will of inventor Alfred Nobel and are traditionally awarded on Dec. 10, the anniversary of his death. We Americans proudly recall that the  2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to our U.S. President Barack Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people".
The colorful Swedish flag waves on a boat trip with Stockholm skyline behind.
FOR ANYONE who loves ABBA or "Mamma Mia," the flashy ABBA Museum is worth a visit with its interactive displays and narratives from the artists. Find it near the impressive displays in the Vasa Museum.  Its wares include the 17th century war ship, salvaged centuries after she sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628.
Besides ABBA (acronym for the four singers' names), there's another musical tie to the city.  A famous 1973 Stockholm concert was immortalized because singer Frank Zappa's group appeared in transition,
The ABBA museum celebrates one the successful music groups.

between the subversive vaudeville of the original Mothers of Invention and the juvenile obscenities of later albums. Zappa memorabilia abounds.
THE CITY's modern subway system, Tunnelbanan, has flashy art and is among the most dramatic in the world, with its elegant ceramic figures, glass prisms and colorful murals contributed by 70 imaginative Swedish artists.

Stockholm's subway system offers wild art.
Narrow streets, winding alleys, medieval charm and a sophisticated cultural life all beckon the traveler, with some of the world's most posh waterway architecture, a beautiful Royal Palace, a Parliament to rival London's and the Nobel Prize reception hall.  Grand architecture, street fairs, buskers, street food, fine eateries and the relic of that mighty warship point to the variety that personifies Stockholm and its love affair with the water.
We had only a couple of days, and could easily have stayed a month, to further explore the city's enticing green gardens, cobblestone walkways and a Swedish food feast we barely sampled. If all this sounds appealing, toss in a 700-year old Old town and one of the world's most elegant cathedrals -- and prepare to enjoy a Stockholm visit.

Traditional yellow houses date to early 19th Century painters.
UP NEXT: While we're in Scandinavia, let's pop over to Skagen, Denmark, a picturesque port town at the north end of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. The famous Skagen Painters are inspired by the area's special light and landscape. On Skagen’s northeastern outskirts, locals go to Grenen Beach, to step one foot each in two bodies of water. Here is the convergence of the Skagerrak and Kattegat seas. The artful homes have a distinct style -- traditionally yellow with orange tiled roofs, many inhabited by artists . Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us each Friday for a fresh look at nature, travel, family and the arts:


  1. Fun piece on a lovely, exciting the pace and variety of Sweden.....

  2. Fort Lauderdale HikersAugust 29, 2020 at 3:45 PM

    Always fun to read your adventures ...our tastes run parallel.

  3. Athens Arts AdvocatesSeptember 1, 2020 at 3:29 PM

    Fun piece on Stockholm, where we have roots. Also in Skagen, so look forward to that piece. Spent time there as a young painter.

  4. New Hampshire BikersSeptember 2, 2020 at 7:54 AM

    Nice arm-chair traveling with you two explorers. Have our fingers crossed for a vaccine.