For the first time this holiday we opened the curtains to cloudy skies but the forecast was good for our planned day out to Vaxholm in the Stockholm archipelago. The island can either be reached by ferry or road as there is a bridge connecting the island to the mainland.
Although it would have been more pleasant to approach the island by boat we opted to travel by metro and bus as the journey is included in the SL-Access travel card. To get there we took the metro to Tekniska Högskolan metro station on the Red Line and then transferred to Bus 670 which terminates in Vaxholm. The entire journey took approximately 50 minutes with the latter part of the bus journey being very scenic.
The bus terminated on the waterfront near the ferry terminal and after picking up a map from the nearby tourist information office we set off on our way. As we were crossing the road we heard the hoot of a steamer approaching the quay so we sat on a bench for a few minutes to watch it come in and its passengers disembark. Vaxholm is located in the centre of the archipelago and is a hub for boat travel with numerous ferries calling at the island each day.
Near to the ferry terminal and located across a narrow channel stands the Vaxholm Fortress which was first built in 1544 to guard the island. A small ferry operates every 20 minutes for visitors wishing to explore the fortress and its museum.
We wandered along the coastal path admiring some of the island’s well preserved wooden houses which were painted in candy coloured pastels. Each of them had neat cottage style gardens brimming with scented roses. There was a cafe marked on our map down a narrow lane and as we were looking for somewhere for lunch we went to investigate.
The Hembygdsgårds cafe is nestled in an idyllic location overlooking a small bay and seemed very popular. A long queue of customers were waiting to be served but as the large selection of cakes looked so tempting we decided it was worth waiting and being patient, even managed to get a table in the garden near the water’s edge. It was so relaxing sitting there feeling the gentle breeze and hearing the sounds of lapping water whilst indulging in tea and cakes.
After enjoying our tea and cakes we continued our stroll through the small town passing fishing huts, small boats and more beautiful wooden houses. Our tour finally led us to the newer part of town back near the ferry pier where we found a pedestrianised street lined with small shops, cafes and restaurants.
We didn’t have to wait very long for a bus back towards Stockholm and it was just as well we were getting off at its terminus as we both fell asleep for part of the journey.
We returned to our accommodation in Solna and mid-evening set off again to Kungsträdgården for a stroll through the park. A free Rock Fest concert was taking place over two evenings at one end of the park and we managed to find a gap in the crowds to watch for a few minutes whilst a Swedish band took to the stage. There was a lively party atmosphere and the surrounding bars and cafes were overflowing with customers enjoying the music and warm evening temperature.
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