Day 13
Tuesday
August 15, 2000

Sweden:
Drottingholm Castle

Train to Oslo

 

Early in the morning we were up watching the islands slip by in the fog. We had another sumptuous breakfast on board. Our bus was waiting for us at the harbor, complete with Lembit, the Estonian bus driver. As we drove through the foggy, rainy morning out to Drottningholm, Dave told us stories of Finnish history.

The castle at Drottningholm was a gorgeous place. You will have to take our word for it. It was too rainy to take outdoor pictures, and indoor pictures were forbidden! What a shame, because there are some marvelous things to see here.

A young lady named Margit escorted us up the stairs, and took us through the rooms by number, telling wonderful stories of history, making it seem as if they happened just yesterday. The marvelous paintings on the walls conveyed vivid images of the people who lived the stories.

Construction of the castle began in 1662, at the same time that the Versailles was built in France. The dowager Queen Hedvig Elenora commissioned it as a representative summer palace, a place to receive people from abroad. The architect, Nicodemus Tessin the Elder designed it in the baroque style, which was the fashion of the time.

Outside again, we were charmed by geese which look almost like the Canada geese in America. Our bus driver told us these geese are descendants of imported Canadian geese, which have naturalized. Their coloring is just a little different. The sky was dark and lowering, a misty rain was falling so we took no pictures.

Lembit took us back to Stockholm and parked the bus right by the train station. He promised to keep our luggage safe while we went for lunch - meet back at the bus at 2 PM sharp! The train departs at 2:36 which will put us in Oslo at 9:00 PM.

We took advantage of the time to not only have a quick lunch, but to do a little window-shopping in the nearby department store. It has something of everything, including food. We bought something extra to eat for supper on the train. Dave found something very special which he brought, one for each of us. Unfortunately only one for each of us! The macaroon-crème-chocolate cookies were so wonderful we wished we had known where to find them for ourselves. I think Dave is keeping it a secret.

We had a block of seats in car number 13. Soon we were headed southwest to Katrineholm, then Hallsberg. To pass the time, we made a list of all the countries we had visited up until now. Jim and I had a list of 17 countries together, and Jim had two more from his days in the military. Some people had many, many more than we did. You can surely tell from this little exercise that these long train rides can be quite boring! But as long as you can see the countryside, it is never lacking in beauty.