Tag: Sweden

Romme Alpin Ski Park

Romme Alpin Ski Park


This trip is another leg of our campaign to get out and enjoy the Nordic winters. Recall that we were abandoning the warmth of the hearth and getting out to see why so many people actually prefer colder weather environments. We conquered snowmobiling, reindeer sleds, and horse drawn sleighs in The Great Arctic Adventure . So it only seemed natural to take on snow skiing next!

About the Park

A lot of people from Stockholm like going to the Romme Alpin park in the winter. So many, in fact, that there are packaged deals available, where you pay a single fee and you get:

  • Bus trip to and from Stockholm Central Station
  • Rental skis, boots, helmets, plus whatever else you need
  • All day ski pass for the lifts on all slopes


We did the one day outing, where you go out and come back the same day. Our cost was 800 kr ($100) each, but the prices vary based on various factors, so be sure to check their web site. We were able to book our package from the web site. There are other packages available that are multi-days/weekends. There is a hotel at the park, so it is ultra convenient. There are three or four different restaurants that vary by price and food selections. There is also an indoor area with tables set up so that if you brought your own lunch, you would have a place to sit and eat. There are plenty of areas to store your things, like backpacks, shoes, etc. Essentially, these folks have thought of everything!

Transportation From Stockholm

As with most of our adventures from Stockholm, we began our journey on foot to the subway. For us, that’s about a five minute walk. We took the red line to central station. Once at central, go out and all the way up to the ground floor. There are actually signs for Romme Alpin, or ask an attendant for directions to the bus station if you get disoriented.


The morning buses leave at 6:30am, then another batch at 7am. Don’t be late! The bus ride itself was about two and a half hours. It was a standard, but comfortable bus, much like any tour bus. There was a bathroom on the bus as well.

Once you arrive, make special note of where your bus is parked, and what time it is going to leave. Ours left at 4:15pm. Be sure to allow thirty minutes or more for returning your equipment.

Let’s Ski!

BED10648-0C76-4DBC-A8F6-F9807C4BF5C7Not so fast! This was my very first time on snow skis! And Jana hadn’t been on them in a long time. So we booked private lessons. This is not part of the package deal and has to be booked and payed for separately from the Romme Alpin package deal. You will need to call the number listed on the web page to book your lesson.

Getting the lessons was a great idea! Our instructor, Maja, was so helpful. Once I got to where I was able to stand up and made it to the top of the bunny hill, she would ski in front of me, backwards. So she was able to talk to me the whole way down and even caught me and prevented me from falling several times. This really helped me get up to speed quickly.

There is a special break in the lines that allows people accompanied by an instructor to get right on the lift, so there is no waiting to try again. By the end of the two hour session, I was able to hold my own. I even went down the next hardest hill. I guess all told, I probably fell four or five times, but they were all low speed, so no harm was done. Jana only fell once (I think she did it just to make me feel better).


Was it fun? It was absolutely a great time! Am I hooked on it and can’t wait to do it again? Well… by the end of the day, I could get around okay, and yes I went down the next hardest hill a few times. I even got down it once or twice without falling! But I essentially spent the majority of the day worrying about keeping my balance, so I couldn’t completely relax. I am sure that once you get the hang of it, you love it. But I am going to have to reserve judgement until I have been a few more times and am able to relax and enjoy it a little more. We plan to go out at least one more time this winter.


Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala, Sweden

Overview (stats courtesy Wikipedia):
Population: 149,245 (2015)
Density: 3,100/km2 (7,900/sq mi)
Elevation: 15 m (49 ft)
Weather: Cold winters, mild summers
Warm season: May – Sep
Language: Swedish, English is very common
Currency: Even though Sweden is in the EU, they do not accept the euro or any currency other than the Swedish crown (SEK).

Founded in the 12th century, Uppsala is 71 km (44 mi) north of Stockholm. Some scenes from The Girl With the Dragon Tatto were filmed here, and it is the hometown of the fictitious character Christine Daaè In Phantom of the Opera. There was also an episode of Vikings that took pace here.

But its biggest claim to fame is its impact on religion, especially during the 13th and 14th centuries, but still largely influential even today. It is also the locale where the famous Queen Kristina, daughter of Gustavus the Great, abdicated the throne in 1654.

The city is also home to the Uppsala Cathedral, where Gustavus Vasa is buried. And it is home to the oldest university in Scandinavia, built in 1477. There is a ton of additional history and sites here, so you can easily spend a day or two taking it all in.


We took the train from Stockholm central station. You don’t need an exact time to rush to; there is a train that leaves about every 20 minutes. You do have to commit to a time when you buy your ticket.

The train cost was 190 SEK ($30) for both of us, one way. Different trains will make different stops and so travel time will vary. Ours got us to Uppsala in about 40 minutes.

It was a very grey, overcast day, so sorry if the pictures are a bit dreary.

The Castle and Botanical Gardens


It´s a working castle and only has tours in the summertime, but the beautiful castle grounds and botanical gardens are open year round.

The gardens began construction under the rule of Queen Kristina (that’s not her in the pic, that’s my lovely wife Jana), but were turned over to the University in 1644 by King Gustav III as a botanical garden.


While this is not the University itself, it is affiliated with the university. I just included it here because of the fantastic Scandanavian architecture (above).

The Uppsala Cathedral is much older than it looks. It was built (inaugurated) in 1435 and is one of the largest in northern Europe, with towers reaching 118.70 metres (389.4 ft). And as I mentioned, the crypt of Gustav Vasa is in this cathedral. He is considered the  Father of Sweden since it was he who raised the army that retaliated against and defeated King Christian for the infamous blood square. That battle was the catalyst that permanently separated Sweden from Denmark.

After the church, we walked around town some more. It´s a small and cozy town, easy to move around in and not over run by tourists (like us, haha).

Then we ended up at the nicest little Italian restaurant called Villa Romana. I had the pepper steak, and Jana had pasta with beef. Both were delicious! Great food and a good wine selection, highly recommend.

And that’s about it. We walked back to central station and took the train home. It was also around 40 minutes to get back. We want to go back in the summer to see the botanical garden in all of its beauty, but there is also a viking burial mound that we didn’t get a chance to see, so we will be back!

AUG 2017 Newsletter

Hello all,

Wow can you believe it’s already August? And what a busy month we had on the blog in July! I posted a whopping 14 articles last month! AND restructured the menu interface AND added a Stockholm index, wow!

And I still have so much planned. I am writing this update while on the train to Copenhagen, which will get added to the blog. We also did a three hour Segway Tour with our friend Melissa, who is visiting from the US, and I am still documenting Amsterdam. But what I really want you to know is that The Travelin’ Man is extending his reach; I just got my Facebook page up and linked to the blog, and I’m working on getting more social apps up very soon.

So please do me a huge favor and accept the friend invite from the The Travelin’ Man when it comes through. My plan is to make more personal posts on that and still do the formal updates on the blog. I also plan to do event and restaurant reviews from The Travelin’ Man’s Facebook identity. So anything you can do to spread the word about all this is a great help! And also feel free to comment and whatever on the new Facebook when it comes through.

Thanks again for all your support so far and, see ya out there!


Bridges Boat Tour


The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: OK*
(quality of the experience was a little low, but I enjoyed it)

  • What did I like the most: Audio guide provided useful info about history and architecture
  • What is the biggest area for improvement: Boat was small, insufficient outdoor seating

The boat did not afford good views of the bridges. The content from the audio is good, but you’d be better served to use the Drottningholm Palace cruise. The boat is much better, and the scenery is fantastic. It’s about the same amount of cruising time, but costs less.


We bought our tickets from and departed from the Strandvägen terminal. The tour also departs from Strömkajen, but on a slightly earlier schedule. We paid 260 kr each, and the tour was around 2.5 hrs. The boat leaves leaves on the hour from 10am to 6pm during prime season. Check online for departure times from Strömkajen.

It’s an audio guided tour. If you don’t bring your own earphones, they will provide you a pair at no cost.

The Boat


This is the aspect that brought their rating down. Considering it was advertised as “Under the Bridges of Stockholm” I would have expected to be able to get some great pictures of the bridges, like in the advertisements.


But we were seated in the interior, with limited window seats, and facing out to the sides. It’s bench seating on each side of a table. If you don’t get there early, you may not get a window seat. Furthermore, there are two pickup spots, so if you are boarding at Strandvägen, there may not even be any good seats left since it leaves from Strömkajen first. There was a very small outdoor area in the back, but it only seated about 10 passengers and was full when we boarded.

There is a snack bar with sandwiches and treats, and they also serve wine and beer.

The Tour

The boat goes all the way around the southern island (Södermalm), turns around at the City Hall, then comes back using the same route. It swings a little bit wide on either side to pick up a couple of extra bridges.


I would have thought the audio guide would be mostly focused on the architecture and history of the bridges, but it was just general Stockholm information. This included a full spoiler for The Vasa, so if you have friends or relatives with you and you were wanting them to learn about The Vasa incident at the museum, then don’t use the audio. Thanks to my friend Melissa for hanging out the window to get the above shot!


There was some really good architectural and historic information about the buildings we saw and how they came into being as the culture and politics of the area evolved.


The route took us all the way around Södermalm, so you get to go through the Lock of Hammarby, which separates the fresh water lakes from the Baltic ocean.

We went by the old Absolut factory, but somehow were not able to see the famous vodka barrels. Was probably too busy talking and just missed them. 🙂


* Each area is rated on a scale 1-5, with 1 = poor, 3 = good, 5 = exceptional
How did this do compared to what I had expected: 2
How well were the logistics handled: 3
Was the staff helpful and friendly: 3
Overall execution and presentation: 2
Total score: 10
4 – 8 is POOR (was not at all what I expected and/or was not worth the time/money)
9 – 10 is OK (quality of the experience was a little low, but I enjoyed it)
11 – 13 is GOOD (met expectations, would recommend, would do again)
14 – 15 is VERY GOOD (surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
16 – 20 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (outperformed my expectations, great value)

Travelin’ Man’s Guide to Stockholm

This is an index of all of the current Stockholm activities and places that I have documented. More are being added every week, so be sure to sign up for notifications at the bottom of the page so you will get notified when I add a new article.

Each entry below has a thumbnail image with the name and a description of the attraction. If you want to see the Travelin’ Man’s detailed article of that attraction in a separate window, simply click on the underlined text.

The attractions are grouped by which island they are on. The amount of time for each attraction is given. Use those two pieces of information to help plan a day of sightseeing in and around this beautiful city.



Fjäderholmarna [2-3 Hrs] Stockholm’s closest archipelago island, and the 30 minute boat ride was scenic and relaxing. It leaves from the Strandvägen ferry terminal. There are several great restaurants to choose from, some scenic walking trails, and a blacksmith that makes jewelry right on the island.



Vaxholm Dinner Cruise [3 Hrs] The cruise goes non-stop from Stockholm to the beautiful Vaxholm. You really can’t go wrong here, the dinner, drinks and cruise were all excellent; we and everyone around us had a marvelous time.


Lake Mälaren


Drottningholm Palace Cruise [4-5 Hrs] Ok, spoiler alert here, in case you haven’t already heard, Drottningholm Palace (aka Summer Palace) is one of the nicest palaces in all the land! It is in this palace that the royal family actually lives.




Skokloster Palace – [8-9 Hrs] It’s a boat ride from Stockholm to the Skokloster palace and back. Experience the breathtaking beauty of lake Mälaren’s shoreline. On board cafeteria and bar, and the trip includes an onboard tour guide who will call out noteworthy sights along the way.




Skansen [4-5 Hrs] It’s a museum, a zoo, and a historical town replica. It’s all of those things and all outdoor. There are some rides and activities for children. It also offers some fantastic views of Stockholm.




Vasa Museum [2-3 Hrs] This museum displays an almost perfectly preserved ship that sank off the coast of Stockholm in 1628. They claim that it is the worlds only fully preserved 17th century ship. And it is completely intact.


The Viking Museum [1 Hr] The big challenge for museums is how to present their wealth of information in a way that will be interesting, and also to present it in a way that you will remember it. The Viking Museum does a pretty good job at both of these things.



 Gamla Stan


Rooftop Tour [2 Hrs] Walk around on the roof of the old parliament house, eight stories up! Get a full 360 degree view with no windows, walls, or barriers. And the guides give great historical perspective on what you’re looking at.


IMG_2817Stockholm Free Walking Tour [2 Hrs] It’s definitely a tour worth taking, even for locals since you probably walk right past a lot of this stuff but don’t know its history.





Under the Bridges Boat Tour [2 Hrs 15 Mins] I listed this one under Norrmalm even though it cruises around Södermalm because the tour departs from the main island. This one was just ok, and didn’t get a good rating. Some good tour information on architecture and history.




Stockholm – Intellectual, fashionable, and very cultural. More than 100 museums, some world renowned. Picturesque, stately beauty of a city on the Baltic. Magnificent palaces, exquisite restaurants, unforgettable boat tours. By mid summer, over 18 hours of daylight per day!




Segway Tour [2 Hrs] We had a nice route that took us around Södermalm. I say it was a nice route because they kept us away from the heavy traffic areas and we had limited big intersections to get through.



IMG_8163Hagaparken [All day] This is a massive and beautiful sprawling park across the lake from The Stockholm University campus. Not only is it a gorgeous display of nature, but it also has the Haga Palace, King Gustav III’s Pavillion, botanical gardens, a Chinese pavilion and gardens, a Turkish Kiosk, and it is also the site of the Swedish Royal Burial Grounds.




Djurgården Itinerary

UNDER CONSTRUCTION – This is a two day itinerary. Day one is complete, day two is in progress.

Djurgården is a large island a bit south and east of Stockholm proper. The entire island is practically one giant playground for tourists (and locals too). There are a lot of primo things to do here, so you should allow a minimum of two days. And that’s only to do the things I’m recommending, you could very easily spend more time here. So this is a proposed itinerary for you to cover all of the highlights of Djurgården in two days. Below I will summarize each attraction. Note that you can click on the BLUE titles, and a new page will open with a more complete description of that activity.

Remember when planning your days that by mid summer, Stockholm has over 18 hours of daylight per day. Up with the sun means around 3am! But it doesn’t set until after 10pm, so take your time and get a good breakfast before heading out. You should also take some time here to review your maps and see where everything is and the routes you will be taking. Especially if you don’t have a European data package and are using wifi at your hotel.

Djurgården Day One

Start day one at the Vasa Museum. It opens at 8:30, plan on getting there around 9am. Take your time. Definitely start with the movie then do the guided tour. After that, spend time on all 5 floors observing some really amazing exhibits. It takes a couple of hours to get it all.


Vasa Museum. This museum displays an almost perfectly preserved ship that sank off the coast of Stockholm in 1628. They claim that it is the worlds only fully preserved 17th century ship. And it is completely intact.


Once that’s done, it should be pretty close to lunch time. If not, you are already in the middle of an amazingly beautiful part of Stockholm, so walk around and explore a bit. From your morning review, you should already have an idea of where you want to get lunch. There are some outstanding places to eat in this area. Some are further into the park than others and offer a magnificent outdoor dining experience in the park setting.

One of our favorite places to eat in this area is Ulla Windblabh. It’s a little on the pricey side, but the food, wine, and great atmosphere are well worth it. But look around and find a place that works for you. Chill out, unwind, and recharge since you will be doing a lot of walking on the next phase.


Skansen Park. It’s a museum, a zoo, and a historical town replica. It’s all of those things and all outdoor. There are some rides and activities for children. It also offers some fantastic views of Stockholm.


This is the last activity I have planned for you today. That leaves you plenty of time for a happy hour and a great dinner somewhere. I will eventually be creating a restaurant guide to Stockholm, so stay tuned for that. Sign up for a notification when it’s done by clicking the follow button at the bottom.

Djurgården Day Two


Vasa Museum

This attraction is located on Djurgården island. To do it Proper, it takes about two hours. It is all indoor. If you want help planning your days on Stockholm and to include this as part of that, go to the Stockholm button at the top and select Djurgården->Djurgården Itinerary. Or click here and I’ll take you there.


The museum opens at 8:30am most days. This museum displays an almost perfectly preserved ship that sank off the coast of Stockholm in 1628. They claim that it is the worlds only fully preserved 17th century ship. And it is completely intact.

IMG_2712And wow does it ever have a story to tell, you won’t even believe it! As you approach the museum, you will see some very tall masts coming from the building. This is an effect to show how tall it would be if sitting in the water.

Definitely do the free guided tour (English) on this one and allow at least a couple of hours to take it all in. Unlike most museums in Stockholm, this one isn’t free, but it’s pretty cheap and worth every cent (or SEK haha).






The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: VERY GOOD*
(surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)

  • What did I like the most: old houses and scenic views
  • What is the biggest area for improvement: speed up the line getting in


Skansen is located on Djurgården island. The island is full of great things to do. I have detailed a two day plan that will help insure you hit all the highlights of Djurgården . To see that, go to the top and select the Stockholm button. Then select Djurgården->Djurgården Itinerary. Or click here and I’ll take you there.

You should allow a minimum of 4-5 hours to see all the exhibits and attractions in Skansen, but if everything is open and/or you have kids, it could easily take the whole day.


The Park

I’m not sure if I should call this a museum, a zoo, or a historical town replica. It’s all of those things and all outdoor, so be sure to check the weather before you go up. It also offers some great views of Stockholm:


In my mind, Skansen can be logically broken down into three main areas:

  1. An outdoor mini-zoo.
  2. Historic homestead exhibits.
  3. Food and kiddie activities.

The zoo exhibits display some of the animals of Sweden: reindeer, moose, sheep, etc. There’s a pretty decent brown bear exhibit.

The houses and shops for the homesteads were relocated from areas all around Sweden. They are well documented, so you will know what you’re looking at. Some of them have people working in them, dressed in the garb from that era. Blacksmith, furniture shop, bakery, etc. Very educational and well presented.

IMG_2739Lots of good food up in the food area. Sort of like an outdoor food court. But no chain restaurants here, mostly classic Swedish food, and hamburgers and hot dogs type of stuff. There’s some bumper cars and electric (railed) cars and other kiddie rides.

If the weather is not so good, consider going to the Nordic Museum instead. If you do go to Skansen, take your time and absorb it all.

* Each area is rated on a scale 1-5, with 1 = poor, 3 = good, 5 = exceptional
How did this do compared to what I had expected: 4
How well were the logistics handled: 3
Was the staff helpful and friendly: 4
Overall execution and presentation: 3
Total score: 14

4 – 8 is POOR (was not at all what I expected and/or was not worth the time/money)
9 – 10 is OK (quality of the experience was a little low, but I enjoyed it)
11 – 12 is GOOD (met expectations, would recommend, would do again)
13 – 15 is VERY GOOD (surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
16 – 20 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (outperformed my expectations, great value)