Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Weekend in Stockholm

With Christmas just around the corner we decided to start embracing it. And what better way than to visit one of those cities that looks extra charming in the run up to the festive season - Stockholm.

We first visited this charming city twelve years ago, Scandinavia's biggest city, so fairly familiar with the area. And superficially it seemed that very little has changed since then which made it easier for us to navigate on a rather impromptu visit.

With only the weekend to spend there, we opted to concentrate on the old town - Gamla Stan - browsing the quaint shops along the cobbled roads and visiting the Royal Palace which we didn't get to do back in 2005. And if we had spare time, which was the case, also include a browse on their modern shopping district adjacent to the old town.

First and foremost, a look at the very pretty Gamla Stan, with its winding and cobbled narrow streets lined with craft (and souvenir) shops, coffee shops, and restaurants...

Stockholm is composed of fourteen islands connected with over fifty bridges like this one

Gamla Stan is well known for having mostly ochre tone buildings

The cobbled streets are lined with both charming craft and tacky souvenir shops. This one is an example of the former.

Scandinavians seems to have the knack for creating beautiful window displays so effortlessly
And within Gamla Stan is the Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace which is worth a few hours visit when you're in the area.

Changing of the guards ceremony?
And since the more modern shopping district is just adjacent to the old town Gamla Stan we also had a good browse in the area, picking up a gift or two in preparation for Christmas.

Stockholm has so much more to offer than just shopping and dining of course and you can easily spend many days there with a myriad of activities and sights to see. It is one of the coolest cities in Europe and laden with great vibes and culture.

A little word of warning though, as with all Scandinavian cities prices of food, services, and other consumer items can be exceptionally high. So plan and budget carefully before you start your day. Just to give you an idea, two tiny cakes and small coffees as seen below in an independent coffee shop has cost us a £28 (US$37). Of course some places are more reasonably priced than others but the lowest levels we've seen are akin to Central London prices (which are already high as it is). So look around and compare first before you commit and flash the cash.

Mark :-)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Danger Garden Revisited!

We were fortunate enough to join the Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland in 2014 and part of it's itinerary was a visit to the famous Danger Garden. Fast forward to just over three years later we were fortunate once again to see it in the flesh last September.

And it was looking great as always, if not better as it evolved and matured further since our last visit.

Now let's start at the front:

And now to the side...

On to the even more glorious back garden...

Loree from Danger Garden, Gerhard from Succulents and More and Gaz hiding in the background.

We love the grill on the wall, simple but very effective.

I've opted to let the photos do most of the talking but if you have any questions especially with plant identification then feel free to ask, hopefully I'll know the answer.

Beautiful and inspiring isn't it?