Stockholm to Vaxholm
23 August 2013
It began as a beautiful morning in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan. The sun was bright and the sky clear, but the air in Scandinavia never has that hot feeling that one finds in summer elsewhere in the world. I haven’t experienced a summer in the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere, but I suspect that it is not unlike this.
After a walk around the central square of Gamla Stan, with its stately and colorful houses and its fountain, my sister and I left our hotel and made our way to the ferry landing for the boats that go to the Stockholm archipelago. Stockholm itself is made up of a series of islands connected by bridges, and leaving Stockholm by this waterway was remarkably beautiful. Beyond the islands of Stockholm proper, there are literally thousands of islands — some only a few rocks thrusting up from the Baltic, while others range from large enough for a single house to many square miles.
The Stockholm archipelago is where the Swedes themselves go to vacation in the summer, and it is filled with quaint vacation cottages and countless boats winding their way among the islands. Because of its popularity, it can be quite difficult to get a room here, especially on a summer weekend. If you come in the summer, book well in advance and make an effort to decipher the ferry schedules so that you know you can get to where you’re going in the time you have.
Our initial foray into the Stockholm archipelago only took us as far as Vaxholm, which is less than an hour’s ferry ride from central Stockholm. Vaxholm is connected by roads and bridges, so it is possible to drive here, or even to take mass transit to this pleasant little town with a great many restaurants on the harborfront. But we took a boat taxi across a narrow channel to the next island over where we are staying at the Kastellet Bed & Breakfast, which is another historical trace of the Vasa dynasty.
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