When Mark told me he was being staffed on a project in Stockholm, I jumped at the chance to swing over the seas and check it out. I’ve never been to any of the Scandi countries so was super excited to check it out (however I wasn’t so excited to check out the expensive economy – it is as expensive as people say! But totally worth it.)
As expected Stockholm has an abundance of beautiful Scandinavian architecture, with its historic old town – Gamla Stan – and beautiful churches and palaces dotted around. It also has the beauty of being surrounded by water, so if the weather was as beautiful as it was for me with warm, golden sunshine brightening the autumn chill, it glistens off the gentle waves and gives everything this autumnal golden hue.
Once stocked up on home-made granola and cheese and bread we mooched over to Gamla Stan to explore the cobbled narrow streets of the old town. As expected, there were tourists a-plenty, but it was still an enjoyable stroll with some less tacky shops to peruse in amongst the staple souvenir shops.
Continuing through Gamla Stan you come out the other side into shopping district, but other than popping into Haglofs to look at very expensive outdoor jackets we quickly headed over to the island of Djurgården to go to Vasamuseet – a museum built around a medieval ship that sunk in the 1500’s and was underwater for 333 years before being risen and preserved for research. Pretty fascinating stuff if you’re into your history, when you see it, it’s hard to contemplate that people once walked its decks all those years ago.
Heading towards home for a rest before dinner we pit-stopped at a Scottish whiskey bar – the Ardberg Embassy – on Gamla Stan for an Old Fashioned, some spicy nuts, and a warm-up. It’s cold! Everyone seems pretty friendly and fortunately (for me who can’t speak a word of Swedish) nearly everyone speaks bang on English which makes it pretty easy to get around and get by.
Dinner was at a cosy, friendly restaurant called Gästabud back in Gamla Stan, which we’d passed and ‘clocked’ earlier on in the day. Meatballs on the menu, of course. What else do you eat whilst in Stockholm?! They were massive, meaty things with an abundance of gravy to sop up your mash potatoes. Mmm. Just delicious. Certainly heartwarming for the cold weather.
Day 2 was equally sunny and fortunately we’d been able to arrange to meet with friends who’d suggested we head to Skansen, a child-orientated, large park on Djurgården island. there was loads to see here. Most interestingly a medieval Swedish village in which the building had been transferred over so acted as a real-life museum. It also had plenty of animal related sightings. The most exciting for me being a pack of wolves, a brown bear and otters! In the autumn sunshine with golden and red leaves falling everywhere, it was a heart-warming place to be.
Stockholm has some of the most beautiful architecture of any European city I’ve been to by far, and if you’re a foodie, you’ll not be disappointed with lots of Michelin rated restaurants to choose from. It is surrounded by greenery and water and you can soon be in the middle of nowhere if you choose to be. It’s expensive, but not so much that you can’t have a good time. You could simply spend the whole weekend walking and exploring which is as good as any museum (in my book) – just pray for good weather!
Next time I’d love to explore further afield into the mountains and Scandinavian landscape. Maybe find myself a moose 🙂