No tourists were around at the most popular photo spot in Stockholm early in the morning, and thus I did not had to share the golden crown on Skeppsholmsbron with others. Stockholm - the capital of Sweden - is a very interesting city, relaxed with many bikers on the streets. The old town 'Gamla Stan'
has remainings of the German and Hanseatic history of Stockholm, with many old buildings and even the 'Sankta Gertruds Tyska Kyrkan', the church built by the Germans, who co-founded Stockholm in the 13th century.
I arrived at the Värtahamnen 'Tallink Silja Line' terminal by walking from downtown Stockholm at 03:40pm - all times in this travel report are local times - and asked the man at the ticket counter whether it would be possible to upgrade to a higher cabin class, up from deck 2, which is below the car deck. He just said that I have already been upgraded, asked for my ID card, handed me over the room card, directed me to the boarding, and only 10 minutes after arrival at the terminal, I was already on board of 'Silja Symphony', actually on the giant 'Promenade', featuring many shopping and dining opportunities. There were no security controls on the way, but a photo wall, and guests were invited to get photographed. On the ship, I noticed slowly moving elevators, soft drink vending machines in the staircase halls, accepting Euro coins, and there were signs and symptoms of an aging ferry everywhere. WiFi is offered, the access code is written on the room card, the system is mostly overloaded, it did not work at all on the way back to Stockholm, maybe because of a bandwidth limit that I already had exceeded.
The door of my stateroom #915 on deck 5 jammed, wear and tear here and there in the stateroom, useful equipment. Small bathroom with shower and gel, toilet and wash basin, towels. The stateroom could accommodate 4 passengers on foldaway beds. There was a telephone, a small closet and an air conditioning thermostat. The engine noise in the stateroom was noticeably, as well as the vibrations that shook the ship.
At 04:41pm, the ferry departed from Stockholm, set back from the pier and turned. Silently, 'Silja Symphony' later glided through the Skärgård and its narrow passages. It's an incredible beautiful landscape, with bays and islands appearing every few minutes. Some passages were so narrow, it felt like I could grasp the trees. A very light wind blew, and it was still so warm that short gear was pleasant, actually, the sun heated up the port sun deck.
After 3½ hours of sailing through the very scenic Skärgård and passing Furusund, 'Silja Symphony' entered the open sea, some small islands were lying scattered around, and it got windy and colder. The ship increased speed and the sun set over Sweden very slowly. When she later touched the horizon, the full moon raised on the other side of the ship. High clouds made it a very spectacular, and at the first place, a very colorful sunset, it was also by far the longest, I have ever seen.
LTE mobile internet access was possible until 09:30pm. Live music was played on the Promenade, also other entertainment was presented to the guests all the evening. Meanwhile, the Åland archipelago was in sight. The short stop at Mariehamn was at 11:43pm for only 8 minutes, and 'Silja Symphony' continued her sailing to Helsinki. The time changed to EEST here, and the observation deck under the bridge was closed for the night then.