Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stockholm, Day 1

The day began eaaaarly, with Mom and I driving to catch our shuttle at 3:45am.  We got on the actual shuttle around about 5am, though I honestly don't remember most of it since I was asleep the moment the driver shut the door.  90 min and a cramped neck later, we drove into Kanaus airport where we were scheduled to fly into Stockholm, Sweden.  Mom and I made it through the airport pretty quick, though we weren't able to sit next to each other on the Ryanair flight.  That's okay though - because once we crossed the Baltic and landed in Sweden, we spent the next few hours together, exploring the city!
We flew from Kanaus, Lithuania (about 90 min from Vilnius) to Stockholm Sweden - basically, across the Baltic Sea.
Before I go too much into what we did in Stockholm, let me first explain a little bit of the city. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, and is situated on 14 different islands.
The 14 different islands are located in Sweden's south-central east coast, where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. 
Stockholm itself is an AMAZING city, known for it's museums (of which there are millions - all ranging from a Post office museum, to a Swedish police museum, to world renown art museums), architecture, cleanliness (Seriously. There wasn't even any liter.  They had a vacuum contraption that looked like this guy that went around picking it up), and rockin' public transit. Seriously! They had a subway, metro, commuter passenger train, trolley, buses, ferry's and airport buses.  Between all the options, there was nowhere in the city you couldn't reach, though it took us a while to get everything straight.  After we figured out the transport, we were on our way around the city.
We first headed to the Royal Palace in Galma Stan (Stockholm's island of Old Town), which was beautiful. They had a Royal Museum, Royal Treasury, Royal Chapel, Royal Guard... all sorts of royal.
Mom and I outside the Royal Palace walls

People milling around the opening of the Royal courtyard, waiting to see the changing of the guard (which apparently required a full marching band? It was weird.)

The port right outside the palace

The grumpy guard

The stairway to the Royal Chapel
After we had our fill of Royal's, Mom and I headed out to find an even prettier building - the LDS Stockholm temple.  Many of you have probably seen an LDS temple around where you live - there are 130 of them around the world, after all.  The purposes of these sacred buildings are simple -  the temple is the house of the Lord prepared and dedicated for sacred gospel ordinances, and is also a place of worship and prayer.  To quote the explanation given on mormon.org, "What greater peace could you have than knowing you can live with your family after you die? The central purpose of our more than 130 holy temples is to unite families for eternity. When a man and woman are married in a temple their marriage will not end at death but can last forever. Also in the temple members can perform important ordinances for family members who have died before having the opportunity to be baptized into the Church. This means they can still accept God’s Plan of Salvation even after they die. All are welcome to visit the beautifully landscaped grounds at any of our temples. They can also attend open houses prior to a temple’s dedication for its holy work, after which only worthy Mormons can enter."  (If you want to know more about why us Latter-day Saints build temples, click HERE)

It was an exciting thing to be able to go to the Stockholm LDS temple, because that is the closet one to where I've been living in Vilnius. It was a peaceful and wonderful experience to return to the temple for the first time in a few months.
A fountain on the temple grounds
The beautiful Stockholm temple. The day was beautiful, and I couldn't have chosen a better place to be than here.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful city! I'm so glad you're having a great time with your mom.

    As for the temple, turns out there is an indoor picture area in that temple where members who don't live close can take their pictures in white clothing to remind them of their experience there. I'd never seen/heard of that before, so I thought it was very interesting.

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