• Sumo

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a photograph of Stockholm has to be worth twice as many. The irresistible allure of the Swedish capital is difficult to adequately describe in words, but pictures can speak volumes.

Lose yourself in the historic streets of this fantastic city; I know I did. Even a typical drugstore, pictured here, can be beautiful in Stockholm. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

After all, how do you describe to someone what it’s like to stand on the quayside in Skeppsbron, gazing out over the channel that so many sailors and navigators had used for centuries?  From the moment my flight broke through the early morning clouds over Arlanda airport to that evening cruise through the Stockholm Archipelago, I was held captive by the beauty of this Swedish city.

Not only is Stockholm stunning, but so are the Swedish people. Kind, attentive and helpful, the Swedes are half the reason to visit this vibrant city.

Every new street and laneway brings a new sense of adventure and discovery in Stockholm. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

But perhaps what I enjoyed most about my time here was simply wandering the streets of this walkable city. Every corner brought a new discovery; every laneway revealed a new shop, a unique restaurant or a quaint neighbourhood pub.

While strolling through the historic Gamla Stan district, I must have popped into no less than a dozen shops in the space of a single block; I just couldn’t help myself.  In one: homemade candies and sweets imported from all across Scandinavia. Next door: a crystal shop, specialising in custom-made crystal figures and artwork produced in Sweden. At the end of the block, it only seemed appropriate to stop and enjoy a bite to eat.

Sitting on the outdoor patio on a beautiful July afternoon, with the sun in my eyes as I tucked into my typically Swedish meal will go down as one of the best and most enjoyable days I’ve ever had. To a word, everything was perfect, just like Stockholm.

Enjoying lunch out on the patio in Stockholm's historic Gamla Stan district: an afternoon to remember. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

But if there’s a single reason to cruise from Stockholm, it’s to experience the remarkable sailaway: a two- to three-hour journey through the breathtaking Stockholm Archipelago.

Stockholm's Skeppsbron district has changed little over the years, giving departures a classic, scenic quality. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Departing Stockholm promptly at 8 p.m. aboard the Wind Spirit. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Just simply sorting through my photos of my summer cruise in Stockholm has stirred my desire to rush to the airport and hop on a flight back to Arlanda to spend more time in this gorgeous city.

Departure from Stockholm's Skeppsbron piers. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Sailing the Stockholm Archipelago at sunset aboard Windstar Cruises' Wind Spirit. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Plenty of houses, cottages and docks litter the many islands that make up the Stockholm Archipelago. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Exiting the Stockholm Archipelago; a bittersweet moment. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

For me, it’s not a question of if I will return to Stockholm, but when.

Frankly, it can’t come soon enough.

  • Katiecrease

    Fantastic photographs, Stockholm looks beautiful! Very romantic it would be perfect for honeymoons.