Gamla Stan, Stockholm

We left Iceland after several days of perfect weather just as the rain arrived, and chased the sunshine to Stockholm, Sweden. As with Reykjavik, we didn't really have an idea of what to expect when we arrived, short of the excessive Pinterest board Em and I had put together. 

Almost as soon as we started exploring, we headed to Gamla Stan, Stockholm's famous "old town," and immediately fell head over heels for the neighborhood. 

A rainbow of charming houses, gabled roofs, romantic churches, and the narrowest cobbled streets and alleyways...a confluence of charm and history that completely won me over. All under the bluest skies! 

Our first full day in Stockholm was Swedish National Day, Sweden's equivalent of the Fourth of July, and the town was decked out accordingly. In addition, many of the museums and the Royal Palace were open to the public for free!

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We had booked a walking tour of Stockholm with a local guide through Tours By Locals, which was one of the best decisions we made all trip. Our guide, Caroline, was totally my kind of person - super into history, architecture, and the Swedish Royal Family (duh, I loved her). 

After a morning at the Vasa Museum (more to come later), she took us through Gamla Stan, pointing out highlights like Nobel Square and the narrowest street in Stockholm along the way.

Then it was off to the Royal Palace to fight the crowds and check out how it stacked up to Buckingham!

The Swedish Royal Family only lives in the downtown palace part-time - their actual homes are all scattered around Lake Malaren, just outside Stockholm. The main palace is more ceremonial, but it also comes with these babes: 

Sup boo? I like your hat!

We didn't go too camera-crazy inside due to the hordes of tourists also taking advantage of free admission, but the palace was everything I think a royal palace should be: dripping in gold, chandeliers, and paintings of famous dead kings (mostly named Carl and Gustav). I loved it. 

After a full day of exploring, we said goodbye to Caroline and headed to indulge in our favorite Schweg pastime: a mid-afternoon cocktail, this time at Ebenist on Nobel Square! 

Scenery that can't be beat, frizz that can't be tamed. Yours truly was a happy camper. If I came back to Sweden, I'd 100% stay in Gamla Stan - such an enchanting way to start the Swedish part of our Scandinavia trip! 

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More to come soon!