The atmosphere is mystical. Ice cold air, a light wind that tickles the tops of the firs, the rising sun that dips the surroundings into liquid gold while the ship moves almost silently through this fairy tale wonderland. Thankfully, my hands embrace the warm coffee mug, listening to the sound of breaking waves that roll over the islands stoney shores, the sight lost in the distance and geese flying in formation over my head. Sunrays touch my cheeks from time to time as we find our way along the curvy waterway.
It is a moment of pure joy. This kind of joy you feel, when everything is in natural order. When you realize, that everything out there is beautiful and that everything is the way it is supposed to be. It is just nature and you. I am overwhelmed and thankful being able to experience this extraordinary postcard moment.
With me are only a handful of other guests present. We do not speak, we just stand there silently. Astonished, content, soaking it up like children sipping their milkshakes through huge straws. Sometimes, our eyes meet, exchanging non-verbal agreements on how truly wonderful this instant is. I am in balance, at least as much as you can be in balance with yourself at 4:00am in the morning.
Being part of this is a lifetime experience. An empirical knowledge that once again makes very clear: Travel takes you places and makes you see. And then you understand.
Most larger cruise ships, that call on Stockholm during their itinerary, dock at Frihamnen in the east of Sweden’s capital. Usually, shuttle buses are provided at the cruise terminal and run between the port and the next available metro station Gärdet.
The Archipelago, that the ships have to pass in order to reach Frihamnen, is world-famous and consists of around 30,000 islands, skerries and rocks. The landscape is varied, its rich history omnipresent. Its genesis goes back to almost 800 Million years in history. Unique at every time of day, but to witness the awakening nature in the early morning hours is priceless!
The entire passage can take up to four hours or longer. If you want to catch the sunrise, it is recommendable to get up no later than 3 or 3:30am. That calls for discipline the night before, but is well worth every second of it though.
So, if you are planning to cruise Northern Europe in early summer and your itinerary includes a stop in Sweden´s capital Stockholm, you will have an appointment.
Enclosed, I have listed a few links for you, that might help you make the best of your stay in this wonderful city: