Our walkabout starts at Stockholm's Kungsträdgården (King’s Garden) and continues along the streets around Blasieholmen toward Nybroviken (New Bridge Bay), where we view many sights and objects of interests. Leif's first Walkabout in Stockholm took him through Gamla Stan (Stockholm's Old Town) ..in the heart of Stockholm.

I arrive at Kungsträdgården Metro Station (1), located in the district of Norrmalm, at which the platform is located approximately 115 feet (34 meters) under ground. As I exit the metro station I see several relics rescued from the many buildings demolished, during the sometimes tragic redevelopment period of central Stockholm during the period of the 1950s and 1960s. I continue walking along the Birgit Nilsson Allè toward the Stockholm Ström waterfront area. (Birgit Nilsson was a dramatic opera soprano excelling in Wagner style operas.)


I go through Kungsträdgården, which presents a stunning view of flowering cherry blossoms in the spring. The park is divided into four distinct spaces: the Square of Charles XII; Molin’s Fountain; the Square of Charles XIII; and the Fountain of Wolodarski. My absolute favorite is the Charles XII statue, on my right in the middle of the park, with his arm pointing eastward. The story is that he had some unfinished business with the Russians (what’s new...).

Blasieholmen island
I soon arrive at Stockholm Ström and see the Royal Castle to my right across the water and the famous Grand Hotel and Nationalmuseum to my left. I’m walking along Södra Blasieholmskajen toward Skeppsbron and stop to talk with some tourists planning day trips in the archipelago — starting from Stockholm Strömkajen ferry station, on a one- to two-hour ferry trip that is very enjoyable during pleasant weather conditions.

Although the National Museum is closed for repair until 2017, some of the art can be seen at Konstakademin, located at Fredsgatan 12. It is a pity that we can't see, however, one of the paintings in the National Museum that describes well the Swedish national epic poem or literary work which seeks or is believed to capture and express the essence or spirit of the Swedish people. The painting I have in mind is Midvinterblot ("disambiguation") by the artist Carl Larsson painted in 1915, depicting a legend from Norse mythology.

I continue my walk toward Museikajen when I suddenly hear loud marching band music across the water. It is the Royal Guard Band (Livgardets Dragonmusikkår) on their way to the Royal Castle for the changing of the guards. This is an event I never miss during my visits to Stockholm. I turn left on the street following the quay toward the old Custom House built in 1874. Believe it or not but the authorities are planning to demolish this old house for a new Nobel Museum built in glass and steel. I’m wondering if the authorities lost all wit and senses ("vett oct sans"), clearly remembering everything that was destroyed during the demolition period of the 1960s.

Nybrokajen, water and ferry ships
After passing the beautiful Custom House building, I turn left toward Nybrokajen and an overwhelming view with clear blue water, beautiful buildings and white ferry ships appear, blowing my mind and bringing a tear to my eye. This is a moment when I realize I have so much to live for, so much still left to do when visiting Stockholm.
I continue my walk toward Berzelii Park when I pass a well-known fish restaurant, Wedholms Fisk, one of the best in Stockholm, and I stop in for lunch. I see Nybroviken to my right. It is so beautiful in the mid-day sunlight.

For some reason I think of an old disturbing story about the place. The Swedish term "Ståplats i Nybroviken" (Standing room only in Nybroviken Bay) reminded me that a murdered man was found in 1966 at Nybroviken Bay in a standing position with a cement overcoat...

Here I see the local ferry ships that have been transporting people to and from this area to places around Stockholm for more than 100 years. I’m entering Berzelii Park and sit down on a park bench to collect all the impressions from my walk. Berzelii Park is a small park in central Stockholm, at the location of the China Theater, the Berns Salonger Restaurant and Theater. Many years ago as a young man, I went dancing at Berzelii Terassen on top of the theater building which was one of the “in places,” if you were interested in modern jazz and dance music in Stockholm. In “Orkesterjournalen,” which was a publication addressing the jazz scene in Stockholm, it was written: “Den som älskar jazz har mycket att hämta på Berzelii Terassen” ("Anyone who loves jazz has a lot to learn from the Berzelii Terassen").
After a short rest I cross Hamngatan to enter the Hallwylska museet which is a national museum housed in this historic building. This is a must-see, as it presents a picture of the aristocratic life style in late 1800s.

After spending some interesting time in the museum I continue along the street toward the waterfront, and in the corner between Hamngatan and Nybroviken I see the Stockholm phenome “Mannen i gatan” (the man in the street), a statue by K.G. Bejemark symbolizing the maintenance workers in Stockholm. Artists used the comedian Hasse Alfredsson as a model for the worker.

At the north end of Berzelii Park I see the statue of the person that gave the park its name: Jöns Jacob Berzelius. Now I’m crossing Strandvägen to the Royal Dramatic Theatre, which is Sweden's national stage for "spoken drama," founded in 1788. Around one thousand shows are produced annually on the theatre's eight stages. A visit to this theatre is recommended for anyone looking for Swedish history through spoken drama.

Time is passing fast and I hurry up toward the Strandvägen Quay. I pass the ticket kiosk for the Feather Island ferry, and I board the tram to Djurgården for a late walk on the island.

Written by Leif Rosqvist
Editor of New Sweden Cultural Heritage Society and SRIO newsletters in Portland, Oregon.

For more information, search for articles and YouTube videos:
Blasieholmen or Nybroviken, Norse Mythology, Södermalms Torg, Stockholmskällan, Blasieholmen peninsula, or Nybroviken.
Read: Per Anders Fogelström “En bok om Stockholm” (in Swedish)