Day 11
August 13, 2000

Stockholm, Sweden


Jim's foot was bothering him and he was tired so he stayed in and I went touring with Beverly Gagnier. We visited City Hall, which was built in 1911-1923 with much Renaissance influence, and National Romanticism.

Ceiling in Stockholm's city hall

The City Council meets October through May in a beautiful room that is large enough for the 101 members (an odd number to avoid stalemate in voting) plus accommodating the press in one gallery and 200 members of the public in a separate gallery. The ceiling is reminiscent of a Viking ship turned upside down (above). This is appropriate, since that is the way government meetings were held in Viking days. They would simply turn a ship upside down and have their meeting.

A lovely young lady named Helen escorted our English-speaking group and told us wonderful things about this building. It is made of Swedish marble and granite, with 8 million bricks which were made south of Stockholm. One million of them were handmade. The design of the structure is purposely not symmetrical. Irregularity helps it look older and feel larger.

The Nobel Prize award ceremony is held in the Concert Hall in central Stockholm but the banquet is held here. Attendees get to dance in the Gold Hall upstairs. Students in Sweden participate in a lottery, winning the right to attend this famous event, costing 700 Swedish Kroner.

Changing of the guard in Stockholm

The changing of the guard at the Royal Palace in Stockholm occurs everyday at noon. There were lots of horses and soldiers. Bystanders were able to get very close. We watched as one lady with a walking stick was nearly run over by marching soldiers.

Ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki

Sunday afternoon we all checked out of our hotel and caught a city bus to where we boarded our ferry to Helsinki. On board we settled into our delightful little rooms and then met for a wonderful smorgasbord dinner while watching the islands slide past.