A Travellerspoint blog

Sweden

Exploring Stockholm

Meeting old and new friends

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Stockholm is the largest of the cities we have visited so far, although it's still not overcrowded and appears very clean. On the Saturday we had arranges to meet up with an old friend if mine who had kindly agreed to show us around the city! After meeting Patrik and his girlfriend Iris at the subway we travelled a few stops and got off to see a large park in the city that apparently during the summer is full if people having BBQs and swimming in the water there. After a short bus ride we headed for another part of town where Patrik wanted to show us a great view of the city. After walking up some steep slopes and some sets of stairs we arrived at the highest point of Stockholm! We were being treated to a very sunny day, where everyone in Stockholm seemed to have been tricked, and where now carrying their jackets and jumpers. This meant the view was crystal clear and allowed us to take some impressive photos of the vista across the city and the river in front.

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After descending the hill we walked to where we could pick up a boat to get across to one of the other islands Stockholm is spread across. Here is where Stockholm's  zoo is located which is called Skansen. The zoo is set out like an old swedish village, with old traditional single story houses with roofs that are insulated by having grass growing on them. the majority of the animals in the zoo were native to Sweden. They had a large area where people were dressed up going about their business in costumes that appeared hundreds of years old. There were even people showing examples of traditional trades such as glass blowing and pottery.

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(an example of the grass roofed buildings)

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(I did not have the heart to tell him i'd seen his stuffed cousin!!!)

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After the zoo we went to grab a bite to eat and then onto a bar at the end of the road where our first hostel was situated. After the food and a few beers we were feeling a bit more ready to go out for the evening after the tiring day. First stop was the Viking bar, where the staff are dressed in old clothing and the place serves traditional Swedish food and drink. Patrik suggested that we shared a pottery jug of mead (an old drink made using honey, which tastes like a sweet pale ale). 

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There is lots of nightlife in sweden and due to the fact that we have bought travel cards that allows us 7 days of travel and the subway runs 24 hours during the weekend Patrik said we should move onto another side if town to see another friend of his and mine who works in a busy bar. It was nice to see Christian again, and he was very kind in getting us beers and sone fancy snacks all at a cheap price! 

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This is where the evening begins to get a little hazy, but after more drinking we went back to the hostel for some tea and coffee before calling it a night!

The following morning was a struggle, as we had to get ourselves packed up to move to our new hostel in a different part if town. After arriving we had to wait to get checked in but as we were all tired from the previous nights shinanagens we just chilled a park and got some food. We had been asked by Patrik and Iris if we wanted to go to the cinema which we all agreed would be nice! We went to see 'The Help' which was about racial division during 60's America. It sounded like quite an intense film to watch as we were all feeling a little delicate, but we all really enjoyed it!

We have plans to see Patrik and Iris again on Tuesday, when we are going round theirs for some food, and Christian should be attending too. Other than that I expect we will explore Stockholm ourselves and maybe find some museums of interest.

(there will be some more cultural pictures in the next blog i promise!)

Posted by Christian25 03:19 Archived in Sweden Tagged stockholm_travel_sweden Comments (0)

Gothenburg to Stockholm

The last leg of the Swedish adventure!

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Gothenburg has been a good stop on the early stages of this travel. Although the weather has been relatively poor I have enjoyed it very much! It's a nice city with a bohemian vibe to it, this maybe due to the fact that is a university city, many of which seem to be art and design related. The back streets are full of little cafes and boutique shops that unfortunately can only offer me window shopping opportunities. It's the sort of city that appeals to me though, good looking well dressed people mingling in the hubbub of the different scenes, meeting in record shops to have poetry readings. Not that I attended a poetry meeting, and for all I know it would have been in Swedish, but the concept excites me! 

We had a look around Sjofartmuseet, which despite its name is not as comical as it sounds. It is Gothenburg's maritime museum, which I had suggested as an option if the weather was poor after accidentally finding it on google maps at the top of the road we were staying on. Surprisingly it was a fascinating place, and made me realise how much the port has influenced the growth of Gothenburg and it's society and culture! There was a simulator allowing you to experience driving a boat in and around Gothenburgs port unfortunately it didn't take us long to run it aground and set off the emergency alarms. However, the second attempt was more successful once we realised we were initially on the hardest level and sailings a Stena Line ferry in extreme weather conditions!

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(This reminded me of my dogs at home!)

We have done plenty of walking already, once we eventually come home at this rate will need a walking holiday to detox! On one our walks I got myself excited standing outside the stadium of IFK Goteborg, and asked a steward if I could walk onto the side of the pitch for a photo which he was kind enough to allow! Smith and Kailey didn't share my enthusiasm but generously humoured me. 

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The journey to Stockholm started late yesterday morning, our train leaving Gothenburg at 12pm. It was about a 5 hour train ride but was surprisingly pleasant, despite being told twice that we were sitting in someone's seat. Luckily a nice Swedish lady took pity on us resolving the situation both times by saying that they could sit with her, due most likely to my disheveled appearance sporting particularly long facial hair, which isn't usually my thing! I'm in two minds to continue to let it grow for a bit, that's the whole point of traveling to do something different or adverse from your normal practices at home,  I think its also because I didn't realise I had the potential to grow a beard so this is a first for me!

Enough about my beard!

Much like the trip from Oslo to Gothenburg, the scenery on the train was great, I assume due to the fact that we were crossing through the middle if Sweden there was not so much of a diverse range of landscapes or lakes and rivers, but I still found the scenery interesting! Once arriving in Stockholm we decided the Hostel which we are staying at for 2 days before moving to another for the last 4 days of our Swedish leg was within walking distance! It didn't take too long to get there and it feels like we are living in luxury due to the fact that it was the only hostel available this Friday and Saturday so we are paying for a 6 person private room!

Maybe this new found luxury had gone to our heads as we decided to go out and have a meal. We found a nice Italian Restaurant and went crazy having a starter and a main!!! It's made me realise how much of a snob I am when it comes to food and how only after a week away I'm missing quality food! I think though as we go on, if we can treat ourselves every now and then it will be beneficial to morale, well in my case anyway! I had a delicious lasagne after we had shared a large bowl of salad and some ciabatta bread.

Stockholm seems like a very bustling city and definitely the busiest of the places we have been to so far, I'm looking forward to exploring the place that they call the Venice of northern Europe. Apparently situated on or over 12 islands. Today we are going to meet up with another Swedish friend of mine called Patrik who I met several years ago on holiday, Patrik and his girlfriend have kindly offered to show us about Stockholm which will be nice!

Posted by Christian25 02:07 Archived in Sweden Tagged stockholm_travel_sweden_traveli Comments (2)

From Oslo to Gothenburg

On the road again.

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The train ride from Oslo central station to Gothenburg took a little longer than I had anticipated, this was not a problem though, I have always and quite luckily been blessed with a contented disposition where I rarely get bored! However, I will hold my hands up and admit to being a fidget, but I think that's allowed.

The train ride lasted 4 hours in the end, in which there was some reading, some card games, listening to some music and some soulful pondering out of the speeding train window out onto the Scandonavian countryside. I'm pleased we are taking such a unique trip which allows us to see this landscape which we will compare to all the different places we later visit.

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(views from the train)

Leaving Oslo behind wasn't hard for me personally, I felt desperate to get the travelling underway. Oslo was a good experience and I enjoyed my time there, but it's difficult on our budget to live in a country that is up there in the top most expensive in the world. Sweden is known for being pricey too, but we have been pleasantly surprised already with how much cheaper it seems. Probably not that dissimilar to the U.K. but compared to Norway we will live like kings!

The weather so far in Gothenburg isn't anything to write home about at the moment, it's a bit damp, but it was the same when we left Oslo. With any luck it will brighten up and at least it's not cold. At this rate the thermals will be wasted money. The room we are staying in consists of two bunkbeds and a single, it's a bit cramped as all beds are taken, but as I always maintain, it's just a place to sleep. One of the guys is from Israel and has been travelling for months. The other we have not even met properly yet!

There is plenty already on the agenda that we want to do while we are visiting Gothenburg. Today we went to the Universeum, which is Scandinavia's largest science museum, there was an aquarium and indoor rainforest which was interesting. We took a detour back to the hostel in the rain so that we could check out the natural history museum as well. As with most natural history museums are it was a taxidermists paradise! still quite interesting to look about even though all the information was in Swedish. 

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(This was my favourite example of the taxidermy we encountered at the Natural History Museum)

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We are hoping the poor weather will hold off for a day to allow us a boat trip tour of the city which would be nice, and due to the cheaper prices we can afford to buy some things from the supermarkets to make ourselves packed lunches! Bonus

Posted by Christian25 14:38 Archived in Sweden Tagged sweden_travelling_gothenburg Comments (1)

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