Stockholm is a bunch of islands. Then some more islands where fancy houses and secluded summer homes reside.
I went out on a day trip with some girls I met on the södermalm tour. We spotted a zillion places we’d like to live (only 900,000 gets you a little island) and saw one seal.
After the morning we walked through the old kings’ hunting ground’s to have fika (coffee and pastry) in the gardens at rosendal. That was after our 7/11 lunch and probably my billionth falafel. Maybe next time I’ll travel somewhere not in Europe. If I see one more falafel after this trip I am going to start eating meat.
After an evening tour through old town we found our way back to södermalm- Stockholm’s south/hipster/cheapish area for dinner of some kind. Only 70 krone for a burger meal at a street stand! Best deal you will ever find in Stockholm. And definitely enough money for pick ‘n mix.
One of those cities defined by the people on it. Not to say I talked to many strangers, the cool thing was that every person we (me+who ever I was with at the time) asked for directions stopped to help. Once this was turning around mid-cycle in the opposite direction. Another time; leading us around the corner to the door and wishing us a nice stay in Stockholm.
I don’t know why folks are particularly warm here, weather it’s the high standards of living, the beautiful surroundings (I don’t just mean the cappuccino papas) or something that’s just grown there.
I like all of it. I like Sweden.
I had 4 days in Stockholm and thanks be jeebus I planned it that way. The city is not that large but when you need to circumvent numerous harbours to get to the specific island you want things can take longer.
First off: checked into my very nice et subtly creepy prison hostel. Literarily, but not literally. It all in the past. Except for the wax figures guarding the entrance and hall to my cell: The list of things that freak me out is steadily growing
Next thing- hit the museums hard. Stockholm’s most popular museum is the Vasa museum. A 17th century war brigand rescued from the harbour almost completely intact. How one wonders? It sunk on its maiden voyage. Took less then an hour to go from top to bottom of the sea
After Vasa one goes to Skansa: the largest (or first? Too many claims to remember) outdoor museum. A bunch of old houses and functioning workshops moved together to create an old town. It was ok. What’s better is the Nordic animal zoo that is part of the park! I know I’m not supposed to like zoos but walking around after the main attractions all closed; just me and a few others was really nice. The two wolverines were racing around and playing in their enclosure.
The two other museums I went in were the modern art museum- a little dull but had an amazing exhibition on of nils dardel- and the spritmuseum- so far as I could tell a museum dedicated to alcohol? But happened to be currently featuring the “history of Swedish sin” and “art pop” the relationship between visual art and music.
Swedish sin was a term coined by Americans (of course) since many Swedish movies included nude bathing which is normal in Sweden (was normal? I didn’t do extensive research while there). That and how promiscuous swedes are what with their sex ed videos (language of love) and classes all over the place.
So, Stockholm has the coolest town hall. Unusual sentence? The architect wanted every room to surprise and created a style based on..practically every influence from roman buildings to Viking ships to Byzantine mosques
Lund: A very, very cute city. So little, mostly consisting of university buildings and second hand stores.
I felt really museumed-out so bypassed the sketch museum and walked past the ducks and plants in the botanic gardens.
Being there during frosh week meant I really got to enjoy the student atmosphere: pink tutus everywhere along with other uniforms like cheap “60s dude” Halloween ensembles. The chanting starts early afternoon. It all made for some great free entertainment.
Another important thing that brought me to Lund was to visit a yogi friend from Vancouver who is starting her masters in the beautiful city. An amazing coincidence is that there is a hot yoga studio in Lund (very cool place run by super nice people too!)
So not only did I get to see a good friend I got to take a yoga class.
The next day Still not digging the museum thing I instead went to see a movie (nothing is dubbed in Scandinavia, hence the freakishly perfect American accents). At first it there was only one other ad myself in the theatre then 4 more people came in and ruined it. I completely forgot that movies mean commercials, but guess what? I can really say I totally loved watching them! In the beginning of my trip I paid a lot more attention to the advertisements in shop windows; they’re the best representation of popular culture. For instance: the models. The look and hair are societies ideal right? In Switzerland this was a lot of pretty blind people. In Germany the pictures showed people a bit more edgy, probably wearing nerdy glasses.
I don’t remember many of the adds but the best one was for a Mini Cooper and showed a couple driving home from an event, turning up the base an turning up the heat (mrwwmrwoo), pulling into the car park they lean in (as I’m thinking ahgahd why am I watching this..) a voice in the add cuts in “eww” and we see the two kids in the backseat.
P.S if anyone wants to watch Guardians of the Galaxy with me when I get home..
P.P.S random sticker art
You know you’re not in Switzerland anymore when the bus is 30 minutes late.
It’s only about 4 hours to Sweden’s second biggest city. I set myself up with penny candy from the grocery store (I can’t even start on how happy penny candy in Scandinavia makes me) plus internet (another opportunity I shirk my blogging) and bus seats all to myself!
Only 1 day in the city. I spent a bunch too many hours trying to find free couches in Oslo. For such a big city Oslo has very few hostels and a very tiny couchsurfing community. Norway, what is up with that?
For once one day may have been enough.. I walked around the cafe streets near the university buildings and caught a tram to the industrial yet strangely fancy area of röda stein. A trip of terrible timing since the art gallery was changing exhibitions that week. Really.. I was a bit disappointed in the old seaport stronghold. Besides the old beer container. And the fact that my guide was a part of Gothenburgs stout/porter club thus able to inform me of the yearly club conferences in the hotel and tastings held by the president in the beer storage-thingy.
So what was the best thing about Gothenburg? The city gardens! Green and forest forever with rough paths and paved ways going through plus penguins and native Swedish animals like sheep, deer and moose as part of the garden zoo- free for everyone. This place isn’t even on my list of (supposed) “top 25 gardens in the world”.
You’d think after walking around a giant park id be done looking at plants. Nah. On my way back to the apartment I found some botanic gardens complete with 19th century palm house.
I stepped inside for the architecture yet ended up in the coolest green house I’ve ever seen!
I caught a train from Copenhagen to Malmö, I guess I stopped by just in time to join in a crayfish party.
I will never understand. Crayfish tablecloths, hats, streamers. Bowls full of crayfish; their little eyes staring at you as the carnage of the yearly festivity begins. I tried 3. It seems to be a very challenging meal to get at but I am always a fan of party hats.
I was too overwhelmed to take photos. (That’s a lie, I just don’t do the picture thing.)
I later learned if you aren’t old or in need of another excuse to get drunk crayfish parties are not that big a deal. Wait. That just sounds like every holiday.
Other things to do in Malmö are walking to the museum housed in an old fortress.
Walking through the Gardens I got to experience some typical Skane summer: rain. No wait, sun. No. Yes.
The best aspect of the gardens around the museum is the vegetable garden and coffee shop inside a greenhouse.
I had already found a fantastic roaster to supply my morning coffee so instead, after the the museum to escape the rain I opted for some cheesecake at a popular establishment in the old town square. Not the most Swedish place to be but wherever there is cheesecake to be eaten one is in a good place.