We spent two nights in Stockholm and I think one day was all it took to fall in love with the city. We arrived in town later in the evening and checked in with our Airbnb host. She was incredibly warm from the get-go and as it turns out was a former bikini model working in Rio de Janiero for a few years. Her living room was filled with racks of vintage swimwear and bikinis from the eighties she was selling online with the help of her daughters. Her apartment was beautifully designed and in a great part of town.
The next day we woke up, enjoyed some breakfast and left the apartment with a plan to explore as much city as we could, since our time was limited. We walked a mile and a half to our first destination and got a great feel for the area. Stockholm is yet another city on the water and you can see a large crossection of the sea breaking up many of the neighborhoods. It was filled with assorted styles of architecture, friendly people, and an energy belonging to a city of importance and in its full stride. Many areas are well preserved from ages past and cobblestone streets give a reminder of another era.
We arrived at Skansen which is a stunning open-air museum that displayed many examples from all over Sweden of how people in the past used to live. Many different styles of homes where exhibited from different time periods and regions. We continued our day by touring an adjacent park that was formerly used by the king of Sweden as his hunting grounds. It was immense and I was astonished as to how much greenspace we had already encountered so close to the city center. It was a warm and sunny day and the clear view across the water made for some great photos.
After some hours of exploring, we took a ferry from one section of town to the other which is where I concluded that Stockholm is best seen from the water. All myriad of boats were there - cruise liner, rowboat and everything in between. Dozens of small sailboats drifted past and it led me to wonder how many of these people were sailing to other nearby cities for the weekend. Our Airbnb host was leaving for the weekend for her country home which was on a small island which is when I learned many of the Swedes have a second home where they sail or drive to in the summer time to get a change of surrounding. The lifestyle in Sweden struck me as very similar to Copenhagen – in tune with a balanced lifestyle of work and leisure.
We finished off our night with a dinner of Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, lingonberries and pickles. These were not your IKEA meatballs- in contrast to our low expectations, it turned out to be one of the best meals we have had so far on the trip. We ended our visit feeling a pang of regret. We wished we could have spent more time in the city. There was a lot more to Stockholm than what we could see but I know that I plan on getting to know it more deeply on another visit. // Jeff