Of course, Stockholm cannot be seen in two days. That's all it takes to get to know this "Venice of the North", a beautiful city in the north of Europe.
Departure from "Rijeka" Airport on the island of Krk
We have a really good opportunity to fly from the island of Krk directly to the Swedish capital, so it would be a shame not to use the extended weekend for a special trip. Low-cost airline Ryanair flies to Stockholm on Thursdays and Sundays. We bought the ticket four months before the trip and it cost us one hundred euros per person for two directions. As we have friends in Stockholm, accommodation and stay are organized in the best possible way.
From the small airport "Rijeka" in Omišlja on the island of Krk, it is nice go on trips because as a rule you don't have to wait long for security checks and there is no running from terminal to terminal.
Boarding itself is more similar to going on a ship. Young, kind people work at ZL "Rijeka", they all try to get the best out of the given framework. The small "duty free shop" at the terminal is also pleasantly equipped with a good selection of Croatian products, in a somewhat retro style. The whole building is actually vintage, so it's the best "card" to play.
What is not quite up to par is the information system. LCD screen with flight information for medicine. It is true that there is only one plane flying at the same time, or at most two behind each other, but when the flight is delayed by an hour and there is no information because there is no screen or the passengers are informed via public address system, it is not a very pleasant situation. Finally, someone sends the passengers off and someone waits, they wait for information about the arrival and there is none.
A similar unexpected flaw occurs at the inbound terminal. There, the passengers of the plane that landed are waiting for the control of personal documents in the clear sky, at the end of the runway. Closed space is cramped, it can accommodate only about thirty passengers per plane, and the approach ramp is not covered, let alone closed. In case of rain, passengers with hand luggage are condemned to wait under an umbrella for half an hour, maybe more. Even when the sun is scorching, nothing is more pleasant. Passports are controlled by three officers and they really try, but the bandwidth is far below the required capacity. If the building is already retro, the work organization does not have to be.
Arlanda Airport is a forty minute drive to the city. Transportation is well organized with regular bus lines, trains, and taxis. A bus ticket is also available buy online as well as an airline ticket. Buses are adapted for passengers with luggage, so they have racks for luggage in the passenger compartment as well as classic bus trunks. Of course, everything is well communicated via the screen in the bus, which shows the sequence of stops, the current position of the bus and the next stop. The drivers announce each stop and in case passengers get confused and get off at the wrong stop, like us, they readily get off the bus and explain the confusion and help the lost passengers back to the bus.
Sweden is an organized state, a kingdom, which has inherited a democratic system since 1921, when the first parliamentary elections were held. It has not been at war in the last 200 years, and its history is such that it has constantly improved its social structure. They are extremely committed to learning, knowledge, respect knowledge and skills and invest a lot in science. That is why they are open to receive scientists from all over the world. They have residential areas ready for them where they can live more favorably for two years until they resolve their status at the university and find another housing solution. Each such building has a certain number of rooms with bathrooms for visiting foreign scientists, tenants, at a preferential rental price. Each tenant can reserve such a room for a maximum of seven days a month. We also took advantage of this opportunity through our friends.
Food and transportation very available
In Stockholm, one cannot stay hungry or thirsty. There are restaurants at every turn. Dishes from all over the world are offered. We visited as recommended "Eataly", a restaurant in a former theater. It is not actually a restaurant but a "piece of Italy". Italian dishes, mostly pizzas and pastas, Italian drinks, but also a selection of the best Italian delicacies that can be bought make this temple of food an unforgettable experience. Price? A real trifle, a 20-euro pizza, etc.
A bicycle or scooter, ordinary or electric, is enough to move around the city of millions. If you don't have your own, you can use the sharing system literally on every street corner. Stockholm is a "bike friendly" city. Bicycle paths are equal to the road network for the movement of motor vehicles. It's the same with footpaths. Getting around the city is just as efficient with public transport, a combination of buses, trams, subways and boats. The combined ticket can be purchased on a daily basis, weekly or monthly, yearly... If you don't have a ticket, place your credit card on the sensor instead and that's it. More expensive but efficient. Controls are frequent and the system works great. It is even recommended to buy a seven-day ticket for fewer days, it pays off more. A seven-day ticket costs 30 euros, and each time-limited ride of 40 minutes costs 3,5 euros.
Vasa and Vasa's lesson
Coming to Stockholm and not seeing Vasa, that really shouldn't happen. The warship Vasa is the best-preserved ship from the seventeenth century in the world. The Vasa was launched into the sea on August 10, 1628 and sank after only 25 minutes of sailing on a route of one nautical mile. She sank at a depth of 30 meters, 120 meters from the land, in brackish water at the entrance to the harbor. The reason for the sinking was an error in the design, that is, in the construction. Hull dimensions and stability are not matched with the height and weight of a ship that carried two rows of heavy guns. She spent 333 years on the muddy bottom. Due to the characteristics of water and mud, the ship's hull and all other parts have been perfectly preserved.
The extraction of the ship itself took four years, cleaning, research, collection of all parts another few years, assembly of all components from 14 parts all together ten years. From the time Andreas Franzen discovered the wreck in 000 to the present presentation of the ship, which was completed in 1956, many years have passed in a diligent effort to preserve this immeasurable treasure.