Stockholm, part one

Getting off the train in the center of Stockholm, you immediately get that "big city" feel, even though there are only about 800,000 people living there. Still, this makes it Sweden's largest city.

We took a cab to the Columbus Hotel in the Södermalm section of Stockholm. The hotel has tons of character, perhaps because of its colorful history.

The courtyard of the Columbus Hotell in Stockholm.

The narrowest street in Stockholm, Mårten Trotzigs gränd

Once we were settled in, we took a short walk across the bridge into Stockholm's Gamla Stan or "Old City". This is where Stockholm began in the 13th century, and many of its buildings and alleys have remained unchanged. We were intrigued by Mårten Trotzigs gränd, the narrowest street in Stockholm, at just under 3 feet wide

With this in mind, we decided to poke around in all the alleys and stairways we could find. When we got to Västerlånggatan and looked down one particular staircase, we were curious about the few tables at the bottom, and decided to take look. here's the view from the bottom:

Von Der Lindeska Valvet restaurant, Gamla Stan, Stockholm.

What we had discovered was the Von Der Lindeska Valvet, a restaurant housed in a building built in 1631 and once owned by Queen Kristina

We sat outside and enjoyed the atmosphere, considerably enhanced by the herring and aquavit we ordered with our meal, which was superb.

Monika and I at Von Der Lindeska Valvet restaurant, Gamla Stan, Stockholm.

Monika and I at Von Der Lindeska Valvet restaurant, Gamla Stan, Stockholm.

This was our first night in Stockholm together, and we already didn't want it to end. We walked back across the bridge just as the sun had set (at around 10:30PM), and I snapped a look back at where we had just been, the buildings silhouetted against the sky.