Choosing to stay in Stockholm was kind of random on my part. All I’d ever really heard of it was that it is a beautiful city. And it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The city is made up of little islands and the architecture is next to none that I’ve seen so far. Granted, come 2 weeks from now, after having visited Amsterdam and Paris, I may take that statement back. The juxtaposition of modern life and centuries-old architecture is done so seamlessly and naturally that it doesn’t seem odd to be in the modern shopping area one second next to the largest H&M I’ve ever seen, and about 15 feet down the road you’re crossing over into the old part of town, standing at the foot of the Royal Palace!
Speaking of shopping, there are so many nice clothing shops everywhere, it almost makes me wish that I hadn’t brought any clothes with me, and just went on a giant shopping spree upon my arrival. It’s refreshing to see people put an effort into looking nice (unlike back home where the majority look like they’ve either just rolled out of bed or got dressed in the dark!) Everyone here is so stylish and good looking, its crazy! I feel as if I don’t quite fit in, in my lululemons and cotton shirt! Hahaha!
I had thought about doing a hop on/hop off tour, but then decided against it as I only had 24 hours in the city (plus I was super tired), and decided to tackle what I could on foot. This of course was to the chagrin of my poor back. NOTE TO SELF: Even when you think you’ve packed light, YOU HAVEN’T! It doesn’t help that my camera/laptop bag weighs what seems like a metric ton! And it’s only been 1 day! Oy vey!
Stockholm is pretty amazing though. Everyone bikes or walks and the public transit seems very accessible and popular amongst the locals and tourists alike. Toronto could really take note! The Old City – Gamla Stan- looks like something right out of a travel magazine. Cobblestone streets & narrow alleys, large squares with numerous cafes for people to people-watch over a coffee or light meal. I even witnessed the marines at the Royal Palace getting their morning inspection done (or at least that’s what I think was going on… but I’m not sure, everything was in Swedish!)
I really wish I did have a bit more time here, alas I am off to Umeå (which I learned last night is pronounced ou-mey-oh) to see Jill. From what I was told from my Danish friend from the hostel, it’s supposed to be pretty spectacular up there — although he was also quick to note that it is definitely more chilly!