My friend Donica and I recently visited Stockholm, Sweden for her birthday.
Our time in Stockholm began with a Brit named Terry and a Swede named Anna. While waiting in the queue for a bus ticket, A man let us know we could buy our tickets on the bus vs waiting for a kiosk. Taking his advice we headed outside to wait in line for the bus. The lines were backed up due to the Arlanda Express being closed for the day. Seeing how long the line was, the man came by again and asked us if we’d like to share a taxi with him. A woman was standing nearby and asked if she could join as well. Donica jumped at the chance and the next thing I knew we were in a taxi with some random guy and lady heading to central Stockholm. They introduced themselves as Terry and Anna. Although, I was uneasy at first seeing as how Donica had just literally walked us into the opening of Taken, my nerves were quickly eased as Terry and Anna started to talk to us about there lives.
Terry is from northern England. In his youth he sang in a band in the south of France, where Anna happens to currently reside. She’s from Sweden but moved to Nice with her husband six years ago. She was back in Stockholm to visit her children and grandchildren. While on our way into the city, they gave us advice on places to visit and Terry even treated us to a song and a video of him singing and playing the guitar. While our trip with strangers turned out to be pleasant, I would not suggest jumping into a car with strangers in a foreign country, or anywhere for that matter.
After our lovely journey into the city, we said goodbye to Terry and Anna. There was an issue with splitting payments and none of us had cash (Stockholm is a Card friendly place that even has stores that don’t accept physical money), so Terry said, “This one’s on me girls,” and paid for the entire 600 kr taxi ride. We thanked him, and jumped out the car.
We crossed the street to the Generator Hostel, where we were staying and checked in, freshened up and then made our way to the Magic City: Art of the Street exhibit.
Once we were finished at Magic City, we grabbed a bite to eat at a place called Texas Longhorn before heading back to our hostel.
We started the next day not-so-bright and early. The sun in Stockholm didn’t fully come out till about noon, so we spent the first 3 hours of our day in a semi-lit kinda daylight. I love coffee so our first stop was a cafe to grab breakfast. We ate at Espresso Cafe which we soon realized was like the Starbucks of Scandinavia. There’s literally one on every corner, and sometimes two to three within 500 feet of each other. However, I will say that the coffee quality is definitely better than Starbs.
After fueling up, we made our way to the old town, or Gamla Stan. We visited Storkyrkan church and the royal palace. Gamla Stan is charming with narrow alley ways and cobblestoned streets, it’s literally like taking a step into the past. Near the palace is the dock where the canal tours depart from so we grabbed tickets and walked around nearby while we waited for our departure time.
The canal tour was pretty and told some interesting facts about the building, structures and areas that surround the canals. We hopped off the boat and headed south to the SkyView, which is essentially a globe that tracks up the side of a stadium offering great views of Stockholm.
At the conclusion of our ride, we were starving because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I yelped for a restaurant so that we could try tradition Swedish food and we ended up at Bla Dorren. We tried fermented herring and the home made venison meatballs, which were both surprisingly good.
After dinner, we looked about for a little while, and then called it a night because we had to be up at the crack of dark as Donica likes to call it when we visit places where the sun rises later than 6:30am.
Overall, I enjoyed my time in Stockholm and would definitely make a trip back, I imagine the city is beautiful in the summer. Also, it would give me a chance to check out that boat everyone keeps talking about.
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