summertime in the city: Stockholm

Haaayyyyy! Hallo from Stockholm! Oh what a place. Covered with parks, the entire city felt alive, people out and about walking, biking, taking an afternoon stroll with some ice cream. The amount of nature laced throughout the capital was overwhelming, and the views spectacular. Only 7 percent of Stockholm’s population owns boats, and that fact seems so small considering the access the Swedes have to the water. There are over 24,000 islands that make up the Swedish archipelago, each one covered in lush greenery. I can only describe it as breathtaking. My photo recap later on will certainly not do it justice.

After arriving in the mid morning from London, we promptly dropped our bags at our hotel to set off exploring. A nice perk of living in the northern hemisphere is the increased daylight, causing the sun to not set until well past 10pm at night. During the winter months, this changes, allowing for only a few hours of daylight, but the Swedes take advantage during the summer, and stay up in to the wee hours of the morning, taking dinners late into the night, and enjoying strolls up until midnight, basking in the fading sunset. We explored Gamlastan the first day, revisiting some familiar places (to my parents) and marking our territory for the shopping adventure the next day. Dinner that night was at a quaint Italian restaurant, where I got to dust off my Italian and imagine myself back in the home country. The following morning, while my father went to business meetings all day, my mother and I set off on “shopapalooza 2011 – Sweden style”. This looked like the following:

(stepping inside a shop)

Mom – oh this is cute! 350 kroner…how much is that?

Me – yeah, that IS cute…ummm that’s about 55 dollars.

Mom – oooh what about this? 275 kroner…how much is that?

Me – hold on…ok, about 42 dollars…

Mom – okay, what about 175?

Me – MOM! just divide by 6!!

ha.

Needless to say, we quickly found out that things were a bit more expensive in the old city, and thus relegated our purchases to only a half a dozen items…because, of course, we are STILL going to buy stuff…you have met me, right?? 😉 My mom and I also took a boat tour, as well as a hop on/hop off bus tour during the day. Due to my back, and her knees, walking the entire day straight is just not feasible…I can’t even TELL you how much advil I have popped so far during this trip! I have, however, found that combining them with a glass of wine certainly does the trick! haha…please don’t judge me….One of the highlights of the day was going to the Vasamuseut, the museum of the infamous battle ship that sank 20 minutes into it’s maiden voyage back in the 1600’s. Due to the amount of cargo on the ship, and a gust of unfortunate wind, the ship never made it out of the harbor, killing most of the crew and family on board when it blew over. 300 years went by before a crew decided to locate and excavate the vessel. It was finally unearthed and brought up to shore, and the excavation process took years. The drying process alone was 9 years long! The museum was fascinating…they even had the remains of many of the people on board!

Ending the day at a little bistro in the park, my mom and I enjoyed a nice glass of wine while watching a photo shoot in a nearby fountain. It consisted of a group of men dressed in everything from a giant banana costume to a Native American costume, to a guy just wearing a snorkel mask…all surrounding two women in black bathing suits who, by the looks on their faces, would have never made it past round one in America’s Next Top Model. I  mean, they had these looks that were a cross between hunger pains and a bad case of diarrahea….just not pleasant.

Meeting back up with my father and Jens, his Swedish sales rep, we set off that night for dinner, about a 30 minute walk from our hotel. The restaurant was wonderful, set aside in a little cove of the forest off of the sea. Absolutely beautiful. I would have taken more pictures if it weren’t for the fact that I was so entranced by the Dolce and Gabbana look a likes at the next table that I forgot to snap any photos…Needless to say, it was another beautiful end to the day. The stroll back to our hotel was odd, as it was well after 10 pm and the sun still set on the horizon, as if it were an anxious mother waiting for our arrival home before it would venture off to bed. Very magical, nonetheless.

The last day in Sweden, my father and Jens took a flight to another part of the country, leaving my mom and I to continue exploring. Instead of shopping, we decided to simply take the buses all around in order to catch more of the sights, as well as rest our tired legs. We toured all over the city, catching sight of more beautiful parks and famous buildings. We saw where Alfred Nobel was buried, as well as where the Nobel Prize ceremony is held. Stockholm is a great mix of old and new buildings, and the architecture was simply stunning. After a long day on the bus, two ice cream cones and one taxi later, my mom and arrived at a hotel by the airport due to the fact that we have a 6:45am flight to Barcelona tomorrow. Checking in to our rooms, we found them to be a bit…well….antiquated. No A.C, twin beds, and bungalow style buildings make me feel like I’m in a remix of the Parent Trap. Checking out the mini fridge for our complimentary drinks, my mom spotted an amber colored drink, which I promptly said, “OOh, apple juice! Good, drink that!” Upon opening it, though, we discovered it was NOT apple juice, but beer….well, at least it’s free…

I’d hoped that our night before Barca would be a BIT more restful, but it’s just one night, and I’ve had worse accommodations (I’ve slept in a flatbed trailer in Juarez, Mexico…I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay…ha). So, now, I’m going to close up the laptop so I can close up the desk (haha seriously…this place is CRAY CRAY!), and see about coaxing my mom over to the Reception bungalow for some wine….she’s passed out right now on twin bed number one…this could get ugly 🙂

God natt!

hearts and swedish fish hugs,

B.

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Comments

  1. swedish fish hugs to you! glad you are having fun!!!

  2. I can’t wait to see photos!

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