I stayed in Sweden in Gamla Stan, the old town, overlooking the water. My room had a huge windowsill that I could sit in and watch people on the street and the boats in water. There is roughly only four hours of darkness so I woke up early (3am) and sat in the window that first morning for nearly 2 hours before finally heading out. I left around 5am and by 7am I’d walked the entire self-guided walking tour, had myself some Fika, and met some cool people who couldn’t sleep either and sat on a bench with them for an hour. By 8am I was back in the lounge and met a cool guy from Peru and his friends living in Dubai. By 9am my day was already complete and it didn’t matter what I did from then on because I was so happy with what I’d seen and done already that it didn’t matter.
When I left the hostel for the second time I started another self-guided walking tour for the day on Södermalm. I passed my new friend from the hostel and he asked if I’d like to join them and we hung out for the next few hours while walking the perimeter of the island. My favorite site here was the kolonilotters. Tiny cottages with an allotment of land originally given to help the city dweller have a fresh garden. It later helped supply food during the war. The spring weather had them blooming with flowers and everything that the desert does not grow. So lovely.
I walked nearly 17 miles that first day.
Day 2 I joined Jorge, Lili, Jan, and Andy and we did a tour at the Vasa Museum. It’s all about a war ship that sunk over 300 years ago and it was amazing.
I left the group and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring side streets, grabbing a lunch and finding a park with Mr. August to eat in. I wandered 3 miles deep into the city and was fascinated by everything on the way, including the people. Andy and I found dinner in a little pub and we had Swedish meatballs and Toast Skagen. Skagen is prawns and they are yummy.
Of course my favorite things were the alleyways and cobblestone streets. Mårten Trotzigs Gränd. I walked up and down that narrow alley no less than 7 times. And for no good reason. I loved seeing an absurd amount of men taking care of babies. Walking them in prams, tying shoes, feeding them biscuits, chasing after them in the parks. And they seemed to genuinely enjoy it. I’m not surprised that it’s one of the happiest countries in the world.