The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

Yoo-Hoo!

I’m back from Sweden!

And what an adventure.

It was Wow!

This summer is going to be so awesome!

If you’re just joining us, I have plans for the summer. Fantastic plans!

Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

I’ll be travelling to Sweden & Slovenia. By bus. OMG!

I have a million things to tell you so I’ll be breaking the posts down. This week is about the absolute best things to do in Stockholm, and next week will be where we stayed and what we ate and drank. Oh goodness me!

After that, I’ll be giving you some details about my up-coming trip to Slovenia.

E-X-C-I-T-I-N-G!

Look beneath your feet! It’s the beauty that is Slovenia!

But first, Sweden.

Today, I’m going to tell you why the winner takes it all, in Stockholm!

HELLO SWEDEN!

Sweden, really needs no introduction!

Sweden, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Sweden, really needs no introduction, and is a small Scandinavian country in Northern Europe.

It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest, by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund.

Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union with a whopping mass area of 450,295 square kilometres or 173,860 square miles, and a population of just 10 million people!

The capital city is Stockholm.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO STOCKHOLM!

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!
The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous city in the Nordic countries. It is also the capital of Stockholm County.

Stockholm has been a settlement area since the Stone Ages around roughly 6 B.C. and was founded as a city in 1252!

It is spread across 17 islands on the coast at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, and to the Baltic Sea!

Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government & the official residencies of the Swedish monarch & the Prime Minister!

Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government and the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister. The Stockholm Palace is the official residence and workplace of the Swedish monarch, while the Drottningholm Palace, is the Royal Family’s private residence.

Stockholm is the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden. It is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita, is a very important global city, and the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region!

The Nordic region is defined as Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, including their associated territories (Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Åland Islands)!

The Nordic Nations are quite trendy and all the range right now!

I had never been to Sweden before as the prices used to frighten me, but right now, the Nordic Nations are trendy, fashionable, and pretty much all the rage, and I absolutely adooooore ABBA!

In fact, I was actually supposed to go to Sweden for the TBEX conference last year, but opted to go to the Philippines instead!

And I annoyingly regret it now!

Book your hotel here!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

I so wish I had been able to do both TBEX Europe & TBEX Asia Pacific, but it just isn’t possible as I have a family, and a respectable job!

Ah well! This year, I’ve chosen TBEX Europe. In Killarney, Ireland!

Exciting stuff. Back to Stockholm.

THE TOP 10 BEST INTERESTING THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM. BECAUSE THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL!

Stockholm is a most fascinating city, that is why EVERYONE is here!

Stockholm is a most fascinating city of trendy music, design, fashion and technology. It also has a rich history comprising exciting architecture, museums, a medieval urban core, and is home to the Nobel Prize!

  1.  ABBA – THE MUSEUM:
There is a reason why millions of people around the world go mad for ABBA. it. And we were no exception. We loved it!

OMG! We absolutely loved it! I brought along The Tall Young Gentleman who at 15 years old, is sceptical about everything, and he loved it too!

At first, he whinged and whined, because as a toddler, he loved the music of ABBA, until he saw the film MAMMA MIA! And then he was totally turned off!

However, what he liked most was not ABBA itself, but the Good Evening Europe new official exhibition dedicated to 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest!

In the first section of the ABBA Museum is an interactive exhibition that celebrates the story of the world’s longest running annual television competition first held in 1956. Yep! The Eurovision Song Contest! There is a reason why millions of people around the world go mad for it. And my teenage son was no exception. He loved it!

The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest – Kyiv2017

And why?

Because of the songs, the singers, the live performances, the fact that you get to see Celine Dion with a hideous mullet but winning the Eurovision in 1998 for Switzerland, and taking off in her career, Ms. Conchita Wurst the winner of 2013 for Austria, the Irish Jedward twins in 2011, with the largest shoulder pads that TV has ever seen! Michael Flatley’s Riverdance for the very first time in 1994, and the fact that Ireland holds the world record for the highest number of wins, having won the contest seven times! Sweden six times, the UK along with France and Luxembourg, five times, and Germany, along with Austria, Italy, Spain, Ukraine and Switzerland, only twice!

Where would we be without ABBA who won the Eurovision in 1974, with Waterloo!

And of course, where would we be without ABBA who won the Eurovision in 1974, with Waterloo, wearing those fabulous glam sparkly clothes and huge platform shoes, thus changing the Song Contest forever. Previously before that, everyone wore tuxedos and bow ties!

The Museum also includes a new exhibition with more than 250 swedish and international artists, otherwise known as the Pop House, and the Gröna Lund Backstage – Photo Exhibition.

Note: The Swedish Music Hall of Fame is no longer located at ABBA – The Museum!

Yes. I danced with the holograms. It’s ABBA. What can I say!

You also get to walk, dance and sing as many ABBA songs as you like, which you can save and record. And for once, my teenage son wasn’t embarrassed by my singing, he actually thought my voice and ahem! my dance moves were pretty alright.

Yes. I danced with the holograms. It’s ABBA. What can I say!

Because ABBA!
©APA – dpa

ABBA – The Museum is modern, interactive, and a non-stop musical experience. A Must Do!

Cost: Adults 250 SEK or €26.00. Children between 7-15 years – 95 SEK or €10.00. Family tickets – Up to 2 adults and 4 children between 7 – 15 – 595 SEK or €61.50. Children under 7 – free of charge.

NOTE: NO cash accepted. Cards only.

2.  THE VASA MUSEUM:

We loved the VASA Museum in Stockholm – Sweden!

Another fantastic win. Again, we loved it! The VASA Museum is a unique museum that was built around the 17th century royal warship that sank on it’s maiden voyage in 1628!

I know!

What a disaster!

I mean, people were still waving goodbye with their handkerchiefs when it sank! Honestly speaking, I was expecting heads to roll for that, but you’ll need to find out what happens yourself!

The VASA was submerged at the bottom of the Stockholm harbour, pretty much outside the museum, for 333 years! It was finally found by an amateur archaeologist – Anders Franzén – in 1956 and rescued from the seabed in 1961!

VASA is the only preserved 17th century ship in the world & is on record as having the shortest maiden voyage in history, ever!

VASA is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. It’s also the only preserved 17th century ship in the world, and is on record as having the shortest maiden voyage in history. Ever!

I had planned to spend only an hour, as we wanted to go to the SKANSEN Open-Air Museum too. Ha! Ha! That was a mistake, as in fact, we spent over three (3) hours at the VASA Museum instead!

The VASA is presented in all it’s glory, and there’s loads of things to do!

The VASA MUSEUM is presented in all it’s glory. There’s loads to do, with film screens, guided tours, interactive exhibitions, pictures, and of course, the enormous beautiful ship – the VASA – herself. A must do!

Cost: Adults 130 SEK or €13.50. Students – 110 SEK or €11.50. Children under 18 – Absolutely free of charge!

3.  THE SKANSEN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM:

Skansen – Easter witches in Stockholm – Sweden!
©Marie Andersson

This was supposed to have been one of the highlights of our trip, but we never did it!

We got to the front of the gate, and then turned around, as I wanted to go on the boat, one more time, AND visit the Old Town!

We were going to spend a few hours here because I am obsessed with open-air museums! 

I am disappointed that we didn’t make it, but I’m absolutely sure that we’ll be back to Stockholm, and when we do, it’ll be on the top of my list!

The Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world & so I weep, as I write!
©Christina Westberg

The Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world. I weep as I write!

This museum was founded in 1891 and tells the story of five (5) centuries of Swedish history. It comes complete with historical buildings, Nordic animals, a zoo, an aquarium, costumed characters clothed in period dress, and doing the work their ancestors probably would have done.

It would have been a crime to rush through it, so perhaps on reflection I was right to leave the open-air museum, to another day. Sob!

The best way to get to Skansen is by the ferry, as it’s on the Island of Djurgården!

You’ll probably need a minimum of two (2) hours, perhaps even three (3). And the best way to get there is actually to take the ferry, as it’s on the Island of Djurgården! Do it!

Cost: There are a variety of prices depending on what you want to see but generally, adults 180 SEK or €18.50. Students – 160 SEK or €16.50. Children between 4-15 years – 60 SEK or €6.00. Children under 4 – free of charge!

4.  THE ICEBAR:

Having a great time in Stockholm – Sweden
©Icebar by IceHotel

OMG! This. Was. Awesome!

I didn’t know what to expect, but we were invited by the Sales Manager of the Hotel C Stockholm!

We had been in communication whilst I was at the ITB Berlin, but we weren’t actually able to meet, as I was fully booked up! However, we stayed in contact, and once she realised that I was going to be in Stockholm, and even though I had already had my hotel organised, she invited us to an evening of cocktails at the ICEBAR by Ice Hotel!

ICEBAR by Ice Hotel in Stockholm is the world’s first permanent ice bar. Created 100% out of ice from the Torne River in Northern Sweden, it’s the Stockholm branch of the original ICEHOTEL created in Jukkasjärvi, back in 1994!

Book Hotel C Stockholm here or here!

Once you step into the ICEBAR by IceHotel in Stockholm, you’re bundled up in a warm coat with a furry hood, and gloves!

Once you step in, you’re bundled up in a warm coat with a furry hood, and gloves. You then step into the beautifully sculptured interior where the blocks of ice are crystal clear, and carved into fish!

There’s a seat of ice, covered with furs that made me feel like the Ice Queen in Narnia. The air was crisp, the floor was slightly slippery, and a sense of awe, comes over you.

We were served cocktails and non-alcoholic champagne, presented in a glass made entirely of ice, at the ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL in Stockholm – Sweden!

With our complimentary VIP cards, we were served cocktails and non-alcoholic champagne, presented in a glass made entirely of ice!

We were duly impressed!

Absolutely recommended. A Must Do!

Cost: It’s cheaper to pre-book or if you’re a hotel guest. Adults 199 SEK or €20.50. Non-alcoholic drinks – 170 SEK or €17.50. Children between 3-17 years – 99 SEK or €10.00.

Book Hotel C Stockholm here or here!

5.  THE ARCHIPELAGO:

The Stockholm Archipelago, otherwise known as skärgård, is the largest archipelago in Sweden!

The Stockholm Archipelago, otherwise known as skärgård, is the largest archipelago in Sweden, and the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea (the largest being across the Baltic in Finland)!

The Stockholm Archipelago comprises about 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks that are accessible from Stockholm itself! We didn’t have enough time to do this as first time visitors, but if you’re in Stockholm for more than 3 days, or you’ve been to Stockholm before, this  is an excellent activity to do. There are 40 reserves with small settlements. Many of the islands have unique nature and beautiful cultural landscapes. You can even dine or spend the night, as well as enjoy seal safaris, visit historic settings, see art, hike, cycle, paddle, and eat locally sourced dishes and archipelago delicacies!

Enjoy 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks, at the Stockholm Archipelago – Sweden.

Make it a day trip to remember.

Cost: Variable depending on which ship company you go with. This is where the Stockholm Pass comes in handy. We had VIP passes for 72 hours, and could have gone on an Archipelago Guided Tour, for free!

6.  OLD TOWN / GAMLA STAN:

Gamla Stan – the Old Town in Stockholm – Sweden, is a medieval urban core & also one of the world’s best-preserved medieval city centres!

The Old Town, otherwise  known as Gamla Stan in Stockholm, is a medieval urban core, and also one of the world’s best-preserved medieval city centres with it’s meandering alleys lined with crooked buildings next to crooked art shops and galleries!

Gamla Stan is a traffic-free living museum stuffed with sights, restaurants, cafes, bars and places to go shopping! The narrow, winding cobblestones streets with buildings in fantastic bright colours, are a sight for sore eyes, and like Schnoor, the medieval centre of the city of Bremen, gives the Old Town a unique character.

The narrow, winding cobblestones streets with buildings in fantastic bright colours, are a sight for sore eyes in Stockholm – Sweden! Me too!!!!

We went on a free walking tour which was packed with young visitors from all over the world, but really gave us an insight into what Stockholm is all about. There are many free tour companies in Stockholm, but we chose this one ‘cos the timings of 10:00 & 16:00 were much better than 13:30! They even mentioned the Roof-Top bar of our Hobo Hotel, which was pretty dandy!

More about that next week! A Must Do!

Cost: Nothing at all, except a tip at your own discretion!

Book Hobo here or here!

7.  BOAT SIGHTSEEING:

Our Swedish boat sight-seeing guide in Stockholm – Sweden!

Stockholm lies on 14 islands, connected by 56 bridges! As a result, you can travel from place to place on a sightseeing boat. The sights are beautiful and the journey is unique. You can do a hop-on-hop-off boat tour, you can also take boat tours to Birka – the Viking City – Sigtuna and Skokloster, Drottingholm, Gustavsberg, Artipelag, Fjäderholmarna, Vaxholm, Rosersberg, as well as Royal Canal Tours, Under the Bridges of Stockholm Tours, and Historical Canal Tours.

Boats depart from various places and if using a Stockholm Pass, are included in the price!

NOTE: Depending on which pass you purchase, you can only validate the museum or attraction once. However, if you had a 48 hour pass, and wanted to do the same thing twice on separate days, I don’t think it would be an issue, but do check for confirmation before you travel!

8.  GO TO ANY OF THE PALACES:

Stockholm view with balloons
©Jeppe Wikström – mediabank.visitstockholm.com

The two most important palaces that you absolutely must go to, are the Royal Palace and the Drottningham Palace.

A guard outside the Royal Palace in Stockholm – Sweden!

The Royal Palace, with 600 rooms, is one of the largest inhabited palaces in the world! Not as many as Buckingham Palace though, which has 775 rooms. Just saying!

The palace is built in baroque style and formed as a Roman palace. The palace contains many interesting things to see such as the Royal Apartments, three (3) museums steeped in regal history, and the Royal Armory. I managed to watch the Changing of the Guards, but I only had the chance to spend snatched minutes basking in it’s elegance beneath the river, before it was time to move on! I would very much have enjoyed sitting on the steps, or just laying on the grass in the sunshine, and taking it all in!

The Drottningham Palace in Stockholm – Sweden.

The Drottningham Palace is Sweden’s best preserved royal palace from the 17th century. It serves as the Swedish Royal Family’s permanent private residence, and is one of Stockholm’s three (3) UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

The Palalce can be reached by water and features magnificent pieces from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as well as a beautiful park, a unique palace theatre, and a Chinese Pavilion.

The Royal Palace – Cost: Adults 160 SEK or €16.50. Children between 7-17 years – 80 SEK or €8.00. Children under 7 – free of charge!

The Drottningham Palace – Cost: Adults 130 SEK or €13.50. Students – 65 SEK or €7.00. Children between 7-17 years – 65 SEK or €7.00. Children under 6 – free of charge!

9.  GO ON A GHOST WALK:

The Stockholm Ghost Walk. Ooooo!

There’s a reason that I love Game of Thrones, and it’s because of the blood and gore. I’m also very much into witches, ghosts, vampires, and wolves!

It should be of no surprise therefore, when I discovered that Stockholm has a Ghost Walk!

Now, I ran out of time, and was far too tired, as I had cocktails to drink…but I’ve been told that you can explore dark alleyways of Gamla Stan on an exciting mystical tour through history, about tales of murder, disease, fires, legends, and a houseful of ghosts! Rattle!

Tales of murder, disease, fires, legends, and a houseful of ghosts in Stockholm-Sweden. Rattle!

RATTLE!

A Must Try!

Cost: Adults 200 SEK or €20.50. Children between 7-14 years – 100 SEK or €10.20. Children under 7 – Not recommended.

  1. ART IN THE SUBWAY STATION:
The Stockholm Subway station – at 110 kms – is the longest art gallery in the world!

The Stockholm subway station opened in 1950, and is – at 110 kms – known as the longest art gallery in the world!

Over 90 of the 100 subway stations have a unique style with exciting art and embellishments covered with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs, by over 150 artists!

You can either explore the art independently or take a free guided art tour in the Stockholm Subway station – Sweden!

You can either explore the art independently or take a free guided art tour to learn about the architecture and artwork, and meet some of the artists.

I so wanted to do this as I like alternative street art, but I was so engrossed with things on land and on water, that I completely forgot!

Still, a Must Try!

Cost: Absolutely free of charge, as long as you have a valid train ticket. Don’t forget now!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Sadly, the Nobel Museum in Stoxkholm – Sweden, isn’t free!

 NOTE: The Museums and Attractions in Stockholm below are completely, and utterly free of charge!

  • The Army Museum
  • The Museum of Ethnography
  • The Hallwyl Collection
  • The Swedish History Museum
  • The Royal Coin Cabinet
  • The Royal Armoury
  • The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities
  • Moderna Museet
  • The National Museum
  • The Swedish Museum of Natural History and Cosmonova
  • The National Maritime Museum
  • The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquties
  • Skokloster Castle (unguided)
  • The Medieval Museum
  • ArkDes – national center for architecture and design
  • The Bonniers Konsthall art gallery
  • The National Sports Museum of Sweden – Riksidrottsmuseet
  • Dansmuseet – A museum dedicated to dance, theatre, art and photo
  • The Stockholm City Museum – closed for renovation until 2018! Guided tours available

Book your hotel here!

THE TOP 10 BEST INTERESTING THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM. BECAUSE THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL!

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Visit Stockholm, and the above organisations, absolutely all opinions, and the fantastic time that I had, are my very own!

Thanks so much!

In June, I’ll be writing more about Sweden, and visiting Slovenia! Follow me on Twitter & Facebook to find out what I’m up to!

I’ll be there. Will you?

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

That’s it for now.

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

Have you ever been to Stockholm? What do you think of ABBA? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Visiting Bremen: 4 musicians, a sailing boat, and a German grandfather!

The Musicians of Bremen. In Bremen!
The Musicians of Bremen. In Bremen!

Wow!

It’s been a long interesting year!

And most of it has centered around Europe!

It started with the shocking disaster of Brexit, terrorism in both Belgium and France, devastating earthquakes in Italy, and ending not only with the horrifying news that Donald Trump, is to be the next president of the United States, but a fatal terrorist action that occured on our very own doorstep of my beloved Berlin. In one of the most culturally vibrant German activities – the Christmas Market.

You really couldn’t make it up!

Street Art everywhere in Berlin!
Street Art everywhere in Berlin!

But have no fear.

We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip! 

The Christmas Markets, and everything else is open for business, but if you have any concerns about safety, feel free to contact me. I live here. I’m on the ground!

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now 'cos I'm scared to travel abroad?
Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

But it hasn’t all been bad. In fact, I had a fabulous summer which I planned and organised. You know the one, Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign, in which I went to a different European country, throughout the summer.

Every weekend!

And travelled to these countries by train!

Well, it was certainly a challenge, but also soooo much fun!

This was where I went:

DENMARK:

Er. Not spending money in Copenhagen Mr. Hans Christian Anderson. What's that now? Surely not! How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!
Er. Not spending money in Copenhagen Mr. Hans Christian Anderson. What’s that now? Surely not!
How to visit Copenhagen on a budget. Even though I missed my last connection. Again!

SWITZERLAND:

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!
Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

LUXEMBOURG:

A delightful Poulade Auflauf! How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!
A delightful Poulade Auflauf!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

SLOVAKIA:

Take photographs and wander at will! Go on a walking tour in the Old Town. Should you visit Bratislava, or stay at home and not bother!
Take photographs and wander at will!
Go on a walking tour in the Old Town.
Should you visit Bratislava, or stay at home and not bother!

GERMANY:

Germany - my adopted country!
Germany – my adopted country!

I always plan to spend a bit more time in other parts of my adoptive country, but I usually never make it. This time I did!

I wanted to go the seaside, and parts of Northern Germany. Here’s where I went:

OSNABRÜCK:

The Music Producer and
The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” in beautiful Osnabrück, Germany.

Osnabrück is where my husband comes from. Here’s what I wrote about it last year:

USEDOM:

Take me to the Baltic Sea in Geeeeermany! 51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany! ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH
Take me to the Baltic Sea in Geeeeermany!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany! ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH

And then I went to Bremen, but didn’t get around to writing about it ‘cos very soon after,  I went to the Philippines and to a secret location, which I later revealed to be Taiwan. So here it is!

BREMEN

Bremen - a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, otherwise known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen!
Bremen – a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, otherwise known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen!

Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, otherwise known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen!

It’s a commercial – industrial city, with a major port on the River Weser.

Bremen is part of the Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region and is, with 2.4 million people, the second most populous city in Northern Germany!

Bremen is a major cultural hub and home to historical galleries and museums, ranging from historical sculptures to major art museums.

I just couldn’t believe that the animal statues that were dotted all over the city, were the animals in the old Grimm folk story – The Musicians of Bremen!
I just couldn’t believe that the animal statues that were dotted all over the city, were the animals in the old Grimm folk story – The Musicians of Bremen!

I’ve been to Bremen a few times, but I remember the very first time that I visited. I just couldn’t believe that the animal statues that were dotted all over the city, were the animals in the old Grimm folk story – The Musicians of Bremen!

You can imagine how I felt when a German client of mine, told me that he came from Hamelin.

I burst into splutters of laughter!

The Pied Piper of Hamelin ©anastaciarts
The Pied Piper of Hamelin ©anastaciarts

I soon hung  my head in shame when I discovered that not only was Hamelin a real town in Germany, but that also, the fairy tale legend of The Pied Piper of Hamelin actually existed, and is based on a true real event….!

Oops!

Anyhoo, the German grandparents of “The Tall Young Gentleman” live in a small North German town called Achim, about 16 kms from Bremen, in the valley of the river Weser.

Achim was first mentioned in 1091, as Arahem!

The St. Lawrence Church in Achim upon Weser. ©Jürgen Howaldt
The St. Lawrence Church in Achim upon Weser.
©Jürgen Howaldt

I love spending time with the grandparents as it’s lovely and quiet, and so, you know, quite German!

On this visit, I wanted to discover some more of Bremen, and also go sailing, as grandfather is a bit of an old sailor, and has many tales of times gone by.

In many people’s mind, the image of a grandfather is of an old man, sitting by the fireside, a pipe or cigar in hand, slippers on his feet, port in his hand, and huddled beside the fireside.

Grandfather &
Grandfather & “The Tall Young Gentleman”

Grandfather is nothing like that!

He teaches at the local university, he does volunteer work transporting “the elderly,” did engineering projects in Indonesia, is an ex-army officer, and sails!

A most delicious breakfast spread you can expect, in a typical German home! Thank you Grandmother!
A most delicious breakfast spread you can expect, in a typical German home! Thank you Grandmother!
A most tempting breakfast spread of cold cuts.
A most tempting breakfast spread of cold cuts.
Fresh apricots and peaches!
Fresh apricots and peaches!
A mouth-watering platter of cheeses!
A mouth-watering platter of cheeses!
A healthy, but fun, morning egg!
A healthy, but fun, morning egg!

This is the type of breakfast spread you can expect in a typical German home! Thank you so much Grandmother!

If you don’t have German grandparents, book your hotel here!

SAILING IN MARDORF

“The Tall Young Gentleman” taking to the sails in Mardorf.

Mardorf is a district of Neustadt am Rübenberge based in the Hannover Region of Lower Saxony. It’s located on the northern shore of the Steinhuder Lake and within the Steinhuder Meer Nature Park!

The seaside village of Mardorf ©fotocommunity
The seaside village of Mardorf ©fotocommunity

Mardorf means “village by the sea” and in 1171, was first mentioned as “Meredorpe.” It’s a small 850 year old seaside village community of just 2,000 people that is really nice and friendly, surrounded by half-timbered houses, oak trees, farmland, and a 6 km long lakeside path used for walking, cycling, and hiking!

The grandparents have been sailing from there into Hannover and Hamburg, for decades, and this time, I chose to go with them!

Grandfather and
Grandfather and “The Tall Young Gentleman” preparing to sail in Mardorf.
On the pier in Mardorf.
On the pier in Mardorf.
Off to the open sea!
Off to the open sea!
Off to the open sea!
Off to the open sea!

We had a bit of problem with the engine, so we had to make do with the tiller in the stern instead!

“The Tall Young Gentleman” looking displeased in Mardorf!
Grandfather keeping a watch over things in Mardorf.
Grandfather keeping a watch over things in Mardorf.
Grandfather and
Grandfather and “The Tall Young Gentleman” sailing in Mardorf.

This is how things are done on the Steinhuder Lake.

Sailing in Mardorf.
Sailing in Mardorf.
Sailing in Mardorf.
Sailing in Mardorf.
Sailing in Mardorf.
Sailing in Mardorf.

Such a summer feeling!

Sailing in Mardorf.
Sailing in Mardorf.
Myself on the boat in Marsdorf!
Myself on the boat in Marsdorf!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” taking to the sea in Mardorf.

And soon it was time to return to Achim.

Grandfather and
Grandfather and “The Tall Young Gentleman” sailing in Mardorf.

He won’t admit it, but I think “The Tall Young Gentleman” had a good time!

Wow!
Wow! “The Tall Young Gentleman” is a handsome chap, even if I say so myself!

The next day, we went to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen!

THE FREE HANSEATIC CITY OF BREMEN!

Myself wit the famous Musicians of Bremen!
Myself with the famous Musicians of Bremen!

Bremen is a major cultural and economic hub in the northern regions of Germany, and also home to historical galleries and museums, ranging from historical sculptures to major art museums. In fact, in many parts of the old town, you stumble upon statue after statue! Even though historically, Bremen was known as a working class fishing port, many important manufacturers based their headquarters in the city!

The Focke Museum © Sigrid Sternebeck
The Focke Museum © Sigrid Sternebeck
Ouside the Focke Museum!
Ouside the Focke Museum!

We had a very nice time at the Focke Museum, otherwise known as the museum of history and the history of art, for the city and state of Bremen. In fact, this museum was formed in 1924 by the merger of the museum of industry and commerce and the previous historical museum, and named after Johann Focke, a Bremen privy councillor.

It’s absolutely huge! We spent about 2 hours there, and we didn’t even go to the outside buildings! We only went into the historical rescue boat, where we met an older German who spent his younger years living in England!

Letting us press the buttons of the rescue boat Seenotkreuzer Paul Denker at the Focke Museum was fun! ©Sigrid Sternebeck
Letting us press the buttons of the rescue boat Seenotkreuzer Paul Denker at the Focke Museum was fun!
©Sigrid Sternebeck

He was very pleased to spend a nostalgic afternoon talking about sailing, letting us press all the buttons, and speaking in English lol!

Then we went into various parts of the Old Town. Bremen was undergoing preservation construction work, so it was a little difficult to get decent pictures, but I tried my best!

In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!
In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!
In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!
In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!
In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!
In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!
In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!
In many parts of the old town of Bremen, you stumble upon statue after statue!

Statues and sculptures can be found all over the city.

The Statue of Roland in Bremen!
The Statue of Roland in Bremen!

The most famous statue of them all, is the Statue of Roland, erected in 1404! Roland can be found in the market square facing the cathedral. Roland, was a paladin, otherwise known as one of the Twelve Peers, a warrior of the first Roman Emperor Charlemagne, and hero of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass.

Roland is also considered to be the protector of the city of Bremen. Legend has it that Bremen will always remain a free and independent state, as long as Lord Roland stands watch over the city. And just like the ravens in the Tower of London, the legend is taken very seriously such that a second statue of Roland is kept hidden.

Just in case!

One of the highlights of Bremen is Schnoor!
One of the highlights of Bremen is Schnoor!

One of the highlights of Bremen is Schnoor!

We bought ice-cream in the medieval centre of Schnoor!
We bought ice-cream in the medieval centre of Schnoor!

Schnoor is in one of the most famous neighbourhoods in the medieval centre of the city of Bremen, and the only part that remains medieval in character! Schnoor owes its name to old handicrafts associated with shipping as the narrow alleyways between houses, were often associated with occupations or objects. For example Schnoor (String) was so-called, because the area was known for producing ropes, cables, and of course string!

One of the oldest houses in Schnoor!
One of the oldest houses in Schnoor!

The oldest houses today date back to the 15th century, with most, from the 17th and 18th centuries. Famous  for being extremely narrow, Schnoor became one of the poorest parts of Bremen. Luckily, many of the houses are now being preserved and restored.

One of the highlights of Bremen is Schnoor!
One of the highlights of Bremen is Schnoor!

We went to Bremen in the height of summer and there were street entertainers galore. One chap was even giving away a new brand of Bremen’s most famous beer – Becks. For free!

This street performer was very entertaining!
This street performer was very entertaining!

We only had an afternoon to spend in Bremen, but surely, we’ll be back!

Book your hotel here!

I love living in the big city of cosmopolitan Berlin, but sometimes it’s rather nice to visit the grandparents, eat feasts of German food, go sailing, and just hang out!

Thank you so much Grandmother and Grandfather Genschow!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

VISITING BREMEN: 4 MUSICIANS, A SAILING BOAT, AND A GERMAN GRANDFATHER!

Grandfather &
Grandfather & “The Tall Young Gentleman”

This article is not sponsored, and the Mardorf sailing experience, is my very own!

In January, I’ll be going to Holland.

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.

At the end of January, I’ll be skiing in my favourite place, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, in the Czech Republic!

December is going to be filled with stuffing!

Have a great festive season, and an amazing Christmas!

Visiting Bremen: 4 musicians, a sailing boat, and a German grandfather!
Visiting Bremen: 4 musicians, a sailing boat, and a German grandfather!

Have you ever been to Bremen? Would you go sailing in Germany? Let me know!

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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