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a view out of the main building toward the lake at Öster Malma

Öster Malma Estate: Not for Animal Lovers

Öster Malma Castle and Wildlife Park, which I visited as part of a familiarization tour organized by Visit Sörmland and Visit Sweden, includes a beautiful estate house and a large wildlife park. It is more modest (read: smaller) than the others we visited, like Gripsholm, Nynäs and Sparreholms, but was nevertheless interesting. Built in the 1600s,…

Inside a Hop On Hop Off boat

Hop On Hop Off: my only bad experience in Stockholm

As you’ve probably guessed from my posts about Sweden, my trip was a great success. I took part in two familiarization tours: one before and one after the TBEX conference. The first was an introduction to the Stockholm archipelago and Swedish military history. In the second, I visited several manor houses and castles in the southern province of Sörmland….

the manor house at Nynäs

Nynäs: more than “Upstairs Downstairs”

The very impressive Nynäs manor house (pronounced new-nahs) is about a 30 minute drive from Nyköping. What makes this manor house special is that it was occupied continuously from when it was completed in the 1680s until 1984. In that year, the Gripenstedt family, who had owned it since the 1850s, sold it and all…

in the center of Nyköping

Flying into Skavsta? Nyköping is worth a look.

Budget airlines seek out secondary airports because the landing fees are lower. Skavsta airport, an hour outside of Stockholm, is one of these: both Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to Skavsta. Most visitors get on the express bus to Stockholm straight from their plane. That is a mistake. While I had booked a cheap Ryanair…

This grave was left in place inside the excavation. A mirror above the skeleton allows visitors to view it.

The Medieval Museum of Stockholm

Back in the 1970s, the Swedish Parliament planned to build a garage underground next to the Parliament building in Stockholm. As often happens in European cities, the construction stopped when excavation uncovered the remains of what turned out to be the original medieval center of Stockholm. For two years, archeologists excavated and studied the city wall, built by…

The main hall in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

The Nordic Museum: Sweden’s small-town museum

Exploring the Nordic Museum in Stockholm reminded me of some of the small-town museums I’ve visited before. Often a seemingly random collection of objects donated by residents or local companies, they offer insight into the area’s culture and history. I enjoy them because their “smallness” is often quite amusing. The Nordic Museum struck me as…

Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden

Gripsholm Castle and Two Charming Towns

It surprised me that the lovely town of Mariefred is only about 40 kilometers east of Stockholm, Sweden. It seems much further because it is so different. “Only” 40 kilometers is a bit misleading, however, given that most of what lies in between is water and islands. Traveling there by road, as I did recently on…

front view of Sparreholms manor, Sormland, Sweden

Sparreholms Manor and its Collections

As part of a blogger familiarization tour in July, I visited a manor house called Sparreholms Slott, in the region called Sörmland, south of Stockholm, Sweden. Dating to the mid-1700s and renovated in the 1820s and again in the 1890s, it looks, inside as well as out, like a slice out of Downton Abbey’s world….

Vaxholm fortress in the Stockholm archipelago as seen from the water

Fortresses in the Stockholm Archipelago

In July, I was fortunate to participate in a short blogger trip on the theme of “Stockholm archipelago – close yet a world away.” We stayed on a relatively unknown island called Nässlingen, but also visited two fortresses to learn a bit about Swedish military history. It hadn’t occurred to me, with my view of…

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