|The Silver Altar, Storkyrkan|
I was surprised when I entered to find that it was, unlike Riddarholm, very ornate and Germanic in style, but apparently the church was Catholic until 1527 when it became Protestant Lutheran. Unlike us in England they did not have a Henry VIII to destroy much of the Catholic ornamentation and so it survived.
The altar was very beautiful, it was made mainly of silver, so different to anything I'd seen before, it was donated by a Stockholm councillor in the 1650s To it's left was a massive (fourteen feet high) wooden sculpture of St George and the Dragon by Berndt Lotke of Lubeck in Germany dated 1489. There was also the largest Torolf Engstrom and has been in the church since 1972, it was a very beautiful creation and we both bought a candle and added it to the globe.
|The Candle Globe, Storkyrkan|
|St George and the Dragon, Storkrykan|
|One of Gamla Stan's Quiet Alleys|
I went back to the hotel and met up with Yvonne and we checked out and left our cases at reception. We headed out in search of fika. Fika is a Swedish institution, basically it is a break where you have coffee and cake which sounded good to us and we were keen to follow the tradition!
We found a nice looking cafe called Schweizer Konditori just down the road in Västerlånggatan. Yes it sounds more Swiss than Swedish but inside it was full of Swedish delights. The fayre on offer at the counter was amazing and beautifully presented, but we went for fika, coffee and cakes, I had a raspberry tart and Yvonne had what they called a princess cake. Both were delicious and it felt a very fitting way to end our short stay in Stockholm.
|Part of the Counter at the Schweitzer Konditori|
|Our Fika Cakes|
Soon I was on the Arlanda Express once more hurtling at 200kph through the Swedish countryside towards the airport. I had really enjoyed the few days in Stockholm, it is a gorgeous city and its people are welcoming. I could have done with a week there though as there were things I didn't have time to see and I would have loved a trip outside of the city. It was a kind of life journey for me too, that wish to visit Stockholm was planted in my mind as a fifteen year old girl and it took a long time, but I've finally been there, so this felt like the end of two journeys for me.