Something Swedish


5 Comments

Visiting Stockholm

For a list of things to do in Stockholm, scroll to the bottom of the page.

P1030675cc

I’ve been living in Sweden for three years, visiting for six, and yet have never made the trip to the capital until last weekend when a friend invited me along for the ride. While we didn’t have time to go to any of the museums or see many of the sites, we had fun nonetheless.  Stockholm seems to have a lot to offer when you have the time.

P1030678 IMG_8895

After a 6 hour car ride we arrived at 3:00pm,  exactly ten minutes before the only thing we planned to do – a 90 minute boat ride. Our guide explained the history and significance of buildings and statues as we glided through the water with the beautiful view of Stockholm’s quaint skyline on the horizon. If the weather would have been better we would have seen it all during sunset, but it was grey skies the whole day. Still, Stockholm was beautiful.

P1030471ccP1030499-2P1030479 P1030470

By the time we made it back to land around 4:30, it was dark and we were freezing (because of course when everyone went back inside the boat after 15 minutes, we stayed on the roof for an extra 30 soaking in the sites…and the frostbite)

P1030492

So, we walked towards the only thing we recognized, the royal castle, and darted into the first nearby café we found. It was cozy, the beverages were warm and the pie was delicious.  Little did we know that everything would be closed by the time we headed out again, being 5:30 on a Sunday.

P1030664

Café from Day#2, Chokladtoppen

Luckily we were more interested in walking around and looking at the buildings anyway. We wandered around taking photos of everything while laughing at nothing.

P1030605P1030588

P1030606P1030569

My favorite part was all of the winding  side alleys.

P1030662P1030537P1030592P1030535P1030563

All the while, I made mental notes of everything I wanted to do when I came back (preferably during better weather).

photo(12)

 

Eventually it was time to eat and go back to our hotel, we had more traveling to do the next morning. Stockholm at night and Stockholm during daylight are two very different things – both picturesque in their own ways. After about an hour of re-exploring the area around the castle it was time to go; my friend’s sister had a plane to catch and we had another 6 hour drive ahead of us.

P1030669P1030652P1030658P1030651P1030638 P1030645cc     P1030648P1030666IMG_8907

After doing research for this visit (naively thinking we would have more time), asking Something Swedish readers for advice on Facebook, and actually being there and getting a feel for the city here’s my list.

Some things to do in Stockholm:

Museums:
The Vasa Museum: See a ship that sank in 1628 on her maiden voyage (due to having too many canons) right outside Stockholm and was salvaged in 1961. Due to the low salt content in the water on the west coast on Stockholm the ship remained well preserved and is an incredible and unique piece of history.
The Nobel Prize Museum: Take a journey through the past 100 years of extraordinary ideas, inventions, discoveries, initiative and courage that has molded the world we live in.
The ABBA Museum: The one thing everyone knows about Sweden in ABBA, so why not learn more about them and “experience the feeling of being the 5th ABBA member”
The Museum of Spirits: Also known as the Absolut museum, this is a chance to mix  a liquor tasting with history and art of “Swedish people’s bittersweet relationship to alcohol”.

The Medieval Museum: A free underground exhibition that gives you a taste of history, from architecture to daily living.

To See:
Gamla Stan “The Old City” The original city of Stockholm before it expanded. This is where we spent all of our time/where all these pictures are from.
The Changing of the Guard Watch the ceremonial tradition outside the royal castle
Skansen World’s oldest open air museum displaying Sweden’s traditional culture and architecture
Stockholm’s Subway Art  90% of the subway stations are decorated with art (sculptures, mosaics, paintings, engravings) by over 150 artists, some worth a special trip to see.

To Do:
Boat Tours We did the “winter tour” but will certainly be back to do another, the bridge tour is supposed to be magical.
Hot Air Ballooning A unique way to experience Stockholm
Ice Bar Who doesn’t want to get drunk while in a winter coat, drinking from an ice glass and sitting on an ice chair?
Stockholm Improv This is supposed to be a very funny improv show about being a foreigner in Sweden.
Skyview on top of The Globe Get a great view of the city by sitting on top of the largest hemispherical building in the world. Or go inside the globe to watch some ice hockey!


4 Comments

Something Swedish in New York City: Visiting The Highline

2013-06-24 05.50.06It’s that time of the year! Visiting family, friends, and good ol’ NYC. Last year was my first “visit” back home, but not my first time being a tourist (I’ve done that every time my husband came to visit me over the years). Experiencing your own town as a tourist is like visiting a completely different place. You want to do, see, and learn more which means actually appreciating all that stuff around you that you would normally ignore. This is especially true in NYC, where there is so much going on all the time and not enough time to slow down to even notice.

Last year I had been in Sweden for only 6 months before we came back, this time the gap has been a whole year and a lot has changed in that time: Namely me. I’ve adjusted and adapted to my life in Sweden, so I’m here to tell you that reverse culture shock is a real thing. For my visit last year I ignored Something Swedish, since it wasn’t anything to do with Sweden, but since I now have readers from all around the world who might think it’s fun with a change of scenery, I’ll try to give you a taste of my trip!

Our first big outing was to the Highline, which we have been meaning to see since it was opened in 2009. The Highline is a public park built on an old elevated freight train track which preserves the old history and structure and adds a beautiful touch of greenery, artwork, and plenty of places to sit down to relax and soak up some sun. Stretching between Gansevoort street (south of West little 12th) and W29th street, it’s a great walk above the busy yellow cab filled streets below with an awesome view of Manhattan from a new angle among the rooftops, which is amazing for photos.

The old tracks:

2013-06-29 12.44.49small2013-06-29 13.19.18smallDSC_0049smallDSC_0054small2013-06-29 13.23.19croppedsmall2013-06-29 13.01.35small

The view down Manhattan Streets:

2013-06-29 12.40.19small2013-06-29 12.45.59small

2013-06-29 13.27.58small2013-06-29 13.10.41smallDSC_0012IMG_00004small

Artwork:

2013-06-29 13.14.37small2013-06-29 13.24.53small2013-06-29 13.28.17small2013-06-29 13.22.51smallIMG_1369small

Relaxing:

2013-06-29 12.44.54small 2013-06-29 13.27.25smallDSC_0024

The rest/random:

2013-06-29 13.13.57small2013-06-29 13.15.02small 2013-06-29 13.22.23small 2013-06-29 13.25.14small DSC_0031 DSC_0053small IMG_1372smallDSC_0034cropped

There are lots of entrances/exits so this is a great way to walk through a small part of the city to get where you need to go with some refreshing scenery, no cross walks, honking cars, or street vendors. Great for easing back into the hectic city from a small laid back town in Sweden.

Bonus! Hubby has started up his own blog and his first post is featuring his select favorite photos from today’s outing. Check it out here: Ensorcella


7 Comments

How to Spot a Tourist in Sweden

This weekend we will have visitors from New York!

I am super excited to see them and for them to see and experience Sweden, not only because it’s where I live now but because its a beautiful country rich with history, tradition, and culture! Walking them through a few things and answering some questions made me think of being a tourist in Sweden. I decided to compile a little list to point out some culture differences between New York and Sweden, based on my personal experiences, stories I have heard, things I’ve seen when my family visited, and the questions my friends have asked in anticipation of arriving. **Some exaggeration and/or Halmstad specific examples might occur.**

How to spot a Tourist in Sweden

  • The confused person standing at the crosswalk not sure when to go. A look of panic and frustration as they dash in front of your car even though you are already stopped in the middle of the intersection waiting for them to cross.
  • The ones pointing, giggling, and taking photos of/with exit or entrance signs. (Utfart, Infart)
  • The ones taking photos of ANY signs, trash cans, buses, cobblestone, etc.
  • Enters your home without acknowledging that everyone else has taken their shoes off.
  • Speaks slowly, expecting you to hardly understand English.
  • Says “Hey” to everyone and wonders why it is not obvious that they don’t speak Swedish.
  • Walks blissfully unaware while you are trying to cycle past them; they don’t seem to have the sixth sense of being able to hear your tires as you approach, nor the slight ring of your bell.
  • Is more worried about getting hit by a car than a bike.
  • The one who is still bundled up while the Swedes are grilling and sunbathing.
  • Is shocked to see any other ethnicity in Sweden – anything out of the blonde hair and blue hair stereotype is surprising.
  • Wants waffles or pancakes (Snack food) for breakfast instead of open sandwiches, and “regular” sandwiches for lunch instead of full “dinner” meals.
  • Laughs louder than everyone else in the room, usually at things you do not find so funny.
  • Talks louder than everyone else, all the time.
  • Insists on striking up small talk with every stranger.
  • Expects stores to be open no matter what, at any time.
  • Talk about Ikea, Abba, and the Swedish Chef non-stop.
  • On the hunt for Swedish Fish.
  • They are surprised to find H&M in Sweden.
  • Gawks at the amount of fathers with strollers in the street.
  • Doesn’t expect a bar to close at 2am.
  • Tries to book a hotel room where smoking is allowed.
  • Leaves the largest tip for dinner at a restaurant. Or any tip for a lunch meal.
  • Doesn’t order a sweet pastry with their coffee, or even worse – doesn’t drink coffee.
  • Orders water, then spits it out when the bill comes.
  • The only one at the restaurant not eating plank steak.
  • The only one at the restaurant not eating their burger with a fork and knife.
  • Asks for a doggy bag to take home their left over food.

_________________________________________________

Any to add? Hope these were fun to read or relate to!

Being Easter weekend I would greatly appreciate some things for them to do in Goteborg that might be open/available this time of year! Any suggestions? Also #1 things in Stockholm if only visiting for one day!


13 Comments

A Trip Across the Bridge: “En resa över bron”

This week hubby and I are going to Copenhagen, Denmark. Actually he is already there, my train leaves in about 5 hours. It’s a work trip for him, filled with workshops, lectures and seminars – I’m just kind of tagging along. Even though I’ve taken the train many times into Denmark to get to the airport I am still a little nervous about the two and a half hour trip. I know its not so bad- I have my ticket with car number and seat number as well as what time the train arrives at Copenhagen so it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll miss my stop. I’ve just never done it alone, and suddenly I’m reminded that I’m in a different country. Aside from the actual trip I will be spending most of the time flying solo while he is working 9-4. Thankfully we have been to Copenhagen before and I understand where the hotel is and remember some of the close by area. We went for two days last summer but it was raining the entire time (we went through two umbrellas), so I’m really  looking forward to getting some nice photos this time. Even if I’m a bit nervous about spending so much tourist time alone I know it will help me – at least I won’t feel the need to fit in and understand the language, I can be a real ignorance-is-bliss-tourist for a few days.

My photo obsession last year in Denmark was to get a photo of all the elephant on parade statues that I could find:

Found 16 elephants but only posed with a few. I just read up on the Elephant Parade and found out that there were 100 statues and only in town for two months- I had no idea! I’m glad we got to stumble upon some of them!

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do or see in Copenhagen? I have a small list that I’ll work on along the way. Time to get ready to go go go!

Yogurt Surprise - berries, bananas, and grapes inside - topped with a chocolate heart!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 554 other followers