So far, this year has been great! Travelling-wise, I mean. I have been going abroad quite a lot, and more exciting trips are coming up. I didn’t even had the time yet to write about them; it’s about time to change that!
Last month, Ahmed had to go to a small town in Sweden for work. Romantic as he is, he decided he wanted to take me with him and spend a couple of days in Stockholm prior to going to that tiny Swedish village where his training took place. So on a Friday in March, we flew to Paris and then to Stockholm, where we landed in the afternoon.
The remaining part of that day we spent exploring the hotel surroundings and resting a bit at the hotel, to be woken up by a phone call to inform us that someone was waiting for us in the lobby. We had been invited by a Swedish couple Ahmed had met nearly a decade ago in Seville, and we would be picked up by them from the hotel in the late afternoon. We were so tired we had fallen asleep and not put any alarm to wake us up!
Long story short, we got to spend a lovely evening at their home with their cute two-year-old daughter with some delicious Swedish food and drink and nice chats. Who would have thought the Swedes were such a hospitable nation! The ones we met during our stay definitely were.
The following day, the couple took us on a tour of Stockholm. They had in mind to take us to Skansen, a large and the world’s first open-air museum full of historical houses dwellings as well as people wearing traditional clothes. However, the weather, although sunny, was too cold and windy for a day outside. Springtime had yet to arrive in this northern town!
So instead, we paid a visit to the Vasamuseet (Vasa Museum) on the green island of Djurgården, which shows the intriguing story of the “Vasa” warship. The ship was built in 1628 and sank on its maiden voyage right off the Stockholm harbor, instantly ripping Sweden from its mightiest warship while at war with Poland. The giant wreck lay under water for centuries until it was finally salvaged in 1961 and a museum was built around it.
We then took the ferry to another island, where we had lunch before heading to the Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town, which is among the world’s oldest and best preserved medieval city centers.
It is a lovely area of cobblestoned alleys and souvenir shops to wander around, go for a drink, or visit one of the historical buildings, such as the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, and Nobel Museum.
The following day we already had to leave this wonderful town, which we feel deserves another visit, but perhaps in late spring or summer, when the weather is a tad more enjoyable. However, before taking the train in the afternoon, we walked back to Djurgården island. While the weather felt only slightly warmer, we realized this is how many Swedes spend their Sunday, as the town was full of joggers and pedestrians enjoying the sun and a “fika” – which means meeting up for coffee and a piece of cake or pastry and is considered a typical Swedish thing to do – in one of the many cafes.
We had a lovely fika in a greenhouse in the middle of the Rosendal park including a cardamom roll, a typical Swedish treat made with cardamom and/or cinnamon.
On the way there, we passed by this shimmering building located on the waterfront. I would have loved to have a look inside, but unfortunately there was no time.
After our fika-break, we headed back to the hotel, where we retrieved our luggage and continued to the train station.
Here are some more pictures of our weekend in Stockholm: