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Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden's capital has been called the most beautiful city in the world. This "city that floats on water" sprawls over 14 islands that are linked by over 50 bridges, which cross winding waterways in all directions. To the east is an archipelago of thousands of islands in different shapes, sizes and contours. Venice, for all its gondolas, does not approach the water traffic of Stockholm. The hundreds of small boats that line the inlets and canals testify to the passion of every family to own and sail a boat.

Stockholm, Sweden

Crayfish Premiere

Traditionally held on the first day of the crayfish season, this event though no longer relevant continues to feature funny hats, Chinese lanterns, drinking akvavit and singing drinking songs into the wee hours of the morning.

Midsummer's Eve

This popular festival which dates back to the Viking era was originally a fertility ritual with the May pole, a phallic symbol impregnating Mother Earth, as it's central figure. It was hoped that this would ensure a good harvest in the fall. Today, it's a holiday for family and friends to spend time together dining on herring and potatoes while drinking schnapps and beer.

The Cultural Festival of Stockholm

Hundreds of acts take to a variety of stages during this week-long summer festival. Modern, folk, Opera and world beat music and dance performances can be seen at locations all around the city.

Off the Beaten Track

Skokloster Motor Museum & Castle - Auto enthusiasts will delight in the extensive collection of unique cars, motorcycles, engines and even a vintage airplane. Nearby Baroque Skokloster Castle, built between 1654 and 1676 testifies to the Swedish Age of Greatness, a period during which time Sweden was one of Europe's most powerful countries. Many rooms are unchanged since construction and in fact, the death of the builder Carl Gustaf Wrangel meant that the castle was never completed. The banquet hall remains in the same condition, tools and all, as it was left in 1676.


Rich Viking heritage is on display in museums and discoveries are still being made at popular archeological sites such as Birka, the Viking Town. Although it was an era of plundering, the Vikings' prowess at shipbuilding was integral to the advancement of the shipbuilding industry. The arrival of Christianity and the dwindling profitability of raids brought the Viking era to an end and the Vikings returned to their traditional occupations as farmers and businessmen. Today, few customs have survived with the surviving few having been changed over time by religious influences. The Easter witch, originally a fearful creature with a copper kettle, broomstick and black cat has been transformed into a friendly witch dressed in a long skirt, shawl and apron. Instead of flying off to Blaakulla to celebrate Easter with other witches, she now takes care of the Easter preparations at home.