The design of Stockholm is almost as attractive as its populace

Swede sensation

Drop your anchor in the cosmopolitan hub of Stockholm Words: Jay Richardson

tockholrn is a city of fluidity. Receptive to

everything new and fashionable. with a history

spanning centuries and oceans. this l-l—island archipelago of outstanding natural beauty is engagingly cosmopolitan. blurring bars. restaurants and clubs together in the downing of a glass or subtle shift in lighting. yet all in the space of a small town. l'nsurprisingly. Stockholrners view their architecture. clean streets and parks with barely concealed pride.

Anchored off Skeppsholrnen island. the xl/t'lrupmurr is a three-mast. fully rigged 19th-century schooner. and for my lack of money. the best budget accommodation that ever sailed. A fully equipped hostel. the ship attracts a young. international crowd eager to dodge soap and Sweden‘s hefty bar prices. An excellent base from which to launch ironic nightly raids on the vikings. we stockpiled duty-free. flavour-free l‘innish lager here rather than brave the expensive. state-owned off-licence.

That the Ar ('hupmtm was built in Scotland is less surprising if you visit the wreck of the lirstr. Situated on the long. lush island of l)_iurgarden. this glorious monument to human ineptitude was commissioned by King (iustav ll Adolf in the 1620s. Boasting magnificent carvings on the stern and space for 6-1 cannons. the mightiest ship in the world proudly embarked on its maiden voyage and sank just l3()()m out to sea. Raised in 196]. the 95‘? preserved vessel is marvellous to behold. if only to wonder how the top-heavy buxom beauty was ever meant to float.

For more celebrated tales of human endeavour though. it's hard to top the recently opened Nobelmuseet. where tribute is paid to all of history's 74f) Nobel Prize recipients. Small. but packed with interactive stuff. it showcases some


lcebar is a

opportunity rather than somewhere to socialise

interesting theories about gerritrses hanging out together. a moving acceptance speech from Martin Luther King Jr. plus Jean-Paul Sartre disapgx'aring up his own arse as he snubs the award.

The limr notwithstanding. design in Stockholm has always been king. The huge Kunliga Slottet rivals Buckingham Palace for grandeur. and the royal family's complexion and cheekbones are indicative of a frighteningly good-looking population. The city was spared by wartime bombs. but even without the pastel pinks. yellows and reds of its 17th—century houses. Stockholm is a visually striking environment. (‘ertainly sitting at a cafe on the narrow. cobbled streets of the charming (iamla Stan. is to be struck by something more than architectural awe. and once you grasp that ‘hejl‘ (enthusiastically pronounced ‘hay'l means hello in Swedish. you're liable to begin every conversation in the mindset of the low. Happy days. but the night beckons . . .

One for tourists and relaxing Bond villains. lcebar is a photo opportunity rather than somewhere to socialise. but if you maintain a grip on your drink then you should enjoy yourself. Located in the Nordic Sea Hotel. the world‘s first bar made entirely of fro/en water will furnish you with an oversi/ed poncho. ridiculous mittens and a suspicions vodka-based mug of ice. and all for the cost of a rogue nuclear weapons programme. It‘s great fun. but don‘t ask to use the toilet.

l‘inally. a visit to the (‘entralbadet spa comes highly recommended. Built in 190—1. the relaxed garden setting of this ‘open window to nature’ indulges with pool. jacuHi. bubble bath and sauna. offering a range of massage and general chill-out services. l)o however be prepared for heated debate and international tension over the acceptable level of steam-room bathing attire.

Gadgets 8. gizmos

Brr' hten up your summer wrt the new toys on the market


If the oid peach. 'a bad workman always blames his tools'. could be applied to photographs, then the wannabe Mano lestrrros out there need never worry again. This summer welcomes a great new range of cameras fresh on the market, ensuring that your crusty old holiday snaps are set to be last year's news. first up is the Olympus Mju-lll 100, the next generation of :35mm camera rn the Mill range. Egurpped With a zoom lens, wrth a focal length of 28mm to 100mm, the Mar III is ideal for taking both stunning close up portraits and dramatic Skylines. Packed into a tidy champagne coloured body. the Marin 100 weighs a mere 2209 (WllltOUl battery) and features a number of Options to aid the novrce and expert photographer alike. No snip at $199.99 but probably werth evtary penny. Alternatively, the (linky Olympus W-10 Visual Vorce RecOrder oozes that wee brt of extra class replete With digital voice recorder and camera combo. The stylish. palm- smed W-10 can simultaneoudy record sound and take photographs. allowing you to Create y0ur very own multr media Slide Shows. Prices start from $149.99. For stockist information for both of these babies call 0800 072 0070.