Today we finally met Karl's cousin, Lars. They showed up at the apartment around 11:30 a.m., having driven from Blidö. It was nice to have a morning to sleep in and get a slow start. Lars and Maude are Swedish but currently live in Washington, D.C. We'd met Maude last November at their home in Washington but Lars had been called out of town on business at that time. Maude and I can definitely see a family resemblance.
We took the subway to central Stockholm and walked to the boat to Drottningholm Palace . The trip takes about an hour. The city of Stockholm is spread out among 14 islands so water transportation is important to the residents and tourists. Drottningholm Palace is located outside the city to the west.
Drottningholm Palace is currently the home of the Swedish royal family. They were at their summer home south of Stockholm celebrating the 38th birthday of Crown Princess Victoria. We ate lunch on the ground just outside the Palace. Lars and I had Swedish meatballs with boiled potatoes, lingonberries, and picked cucumbers. Karl had salmon, and Maude had halloumi. It was a beautiful day to sit outside and eat.
Drottningholm Palace was built beginning in the late 1600s. It is definitely an example of "keeping up with the Jones' ". The first thing you see upon entering the palace is a hallway leading to the formal gardens. It was been painted with a distorted perspective and has a sloping floor, giving the illusion of a long hallway, when in fact it was not nearly so long. A series of doors leads leads through another hallway...or do they?
You then notice the lovely marble walls and banisters. But wait! They're painted wood or stone! All throughout the palace there are beautiful examples of this Trompe l'oeil painting. I went a little crazy with the photos but it was really amazing. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go to the Chinese Pavilion or the Court Theater. That will have to wait for another trip.
After the boat ride back to central Stockholm we walked through Gamla Stan (the old city) and into Södermalm, a large island part of Stockholm. By this time it was raining and we all were pretty wet. Södermalm was a working class part of Stockholm but now it's pretty trendy. We found a restaurant with a dry table under an umbrella and had a very nice dinner. Lars is very knowledgeable about Swedish and European history so it was great to have him show us around Stockholm.
After dinner we headed back to the apartment. Lars and Maude had to drive back to Blidö so we didn't want to be back late. Did you know that a word for island in Swedish is 'ö' ? That's why so many islands in Sweden end in ö. I forgot to mention that in my post about Blidö.
After Maude and Lars left we watched a special program on TV in honor of Crown Princess Victoria's birthday.
So lots of photos today. I tried to give them all titles. Sorry they're not better organized. I can only do so much on this tablet.