Helsinki, Finland

Two days later, we boarded the ferry out of Sweden to Helsinki, Finland.

On the ferry and off to Finland! You can see our hotel to the right side of the photo, it wasn’t too far from the ferry.
On the ferry, there was a lovely mural of the Vasa Ship in one of the stairwell hallways. I love this wall!
Woke up the next morning at sea to a delicious chocolate pastry and a cappuccino.
When we arrived, the first thing we saw was the Helsinki Cathedral. It’s a Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the neighborhood of Kruununhaka in a plaza that is in the center of Helsinki, Finland.
A postcard that I watercolored for one of my friends back home.
In case anyone was wondering where the “Dinner in the Sky” attraction that is seen all over facebook was located, right here! In Helsinki, Finland. This was a block away from our hotel, and no I did not attempt to dine in the sky, it looked kind of scary to me.

Stockholm, Sweden

On Saturday, August 5th, we took the train to Stockholm, Sweden. By the time we got off and hopped in a taxi, we arrived at our hotel at dusk so off we went to dinner after checking in. It was kind of drizzly and rainy over the couple of days that we spent there and the sun came out on the day we left. It was still fun.

The Elite Hotel Marina Tower, in a former 19th-century mill, was our home in Stockholm, Sweden for the next few nights.
The outdoor eating area at our hotel had a lovely view of the Tivoli across the water.
At dinner I discovered this lovely wine spritzer, I think this was pineapple flavor. Oh if only I could order these online!
The next day I visited ABBA The Museum, which is a Swedish interactive exhibition about the pop band ABBA. ABBA’s collected works are showcased in a contemporary, interactive setting at Djurgården, Stockholm.
The Vasa Museum also located on the island of Djurgården, displays the only almost fully intact 17th-century ship that has ever been salvaged. It’s a 64-gun warship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 and is the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
View of our hotel from one of the sight-seeing stops on the hop-on-hop-off boat cruise.
Had ice cream with my cousin Marcia before leaving Stockholm.
Goodbye beautiful Stockholm, until we meet again. I hope soon.

Oslo, Norway

The next stop on my vacation was Oslo, Norway. I stayed at a hotel downtown, across the street from the Oslo Central Station.

On the Oslo fjord sightseeing cruise, passing the Aker Brygge waterfront through a maze of islands with picturesque summer houses.

 

A visit to Vigeland Sculpture Park, with more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943) in bronze, granite and cast iron, including The Angry Boy (Sinnataggen in Norwegian), The Monolith (Monolitten) and The Wheel of Life (Livshjulet). All of the statues in the park are naked!

 

I couldn’t help myself from “horsing around” with the statues.

 

One of the highlights of my time in Oslo was visiting the National Gallery Museum, it’s the largest public collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. The gallery’s central attractions include Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and “Madonna”.

 

The Penitent Mary Magdalene by the female Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the featured highlights from the Baroque era. This is one of my favorite all-time master and it was quite a treat to view this artwork in person. I had an amazing time in the museum.

 

Another post card that I watercolored for a friend back in California. It was inspired by The Scream and my time spent in the museum.