Revisiting Stockholm.

I don’t like flying with budget airlines as so far I have almost always had problems with them. Usually, they are not as cheap as they seem to be (additional costs for everything) and they are super uncomfortable. However, if there are tickets available for only 10,66 EUR (return tickets!!) and I have a spare weekend to fill with an adventure, I’m definitely in. So Carina and I booked our flights and we went to Stockholm right after the last exam (which was about Joe & the Juice, very hipster). As I have mentioned in another blogpost, I really really like Sweden and I have already been to its capital before, so I had good reasons to go there again.

IMG_2814

Selfie at the airport in CPH

As already mentioned the tickets were really cheap; however, we had to deal with the fact that we had to fly with Ryanair. One of the flights was in the middle of the day, the other was very early in the morning plus both times we flew to/from an airport which was 100km south of Stockholm. A bit annoying but hey – 11 EUR for the tickets! And as we were only staying over the weekend (2.5 days in total) we decided not to check-in a suitcase = no additional costs for us. So off we went the week before this week on Thursday at 2.20PM.

We arrived at Skavsta airport – in the middle of nowhere (why do they even call it Stockholm-Skavsta?!) – at around 3.30PM. The weather was nice, a bit cold in comparison with Copenhagen (fortunately we brought our winter jackets), but the sun was still shining (only for another half an hour longer though).

12248859_10204458395134686_2067834034_n

Mini airport *

The first “day” was rather uneventful as it was already quite late when we arrived in the city centre of Stockholm (6PM). After checking-in at our hostel we went out for dinner at… Pizza Hut. Haha. Delicious, yet somewhat expensive. After very careful consideration, we also decided to treat ourselves to a piece of cookie dough cake with ice cream. The “cake” was around the size of our pizzas :D No picture available tough. But here’s one of it from another page, in case you are interested ;)

The first night at the hostel turned out to be a real horror. One of the people who were also staying in the same room with us came in late in the night, reeking, rumbling around and after a few blissful quiet minutes, he started to snore. Like a buzz saw. Yay to a night with roughly 2.5 hours of sleep.

Nonetheless, we stood up rather early in the morning and had breakfast at… McDonalds. Very unspectacular, I know. But we did not make the conscious decision to have breakfast there, we only wanted to know how cheap/expensive a classical cappuccino would be (we always do this in another country) which lead us to getting “breakfast” as well: porridge/muesli and a croissant – so at least we went for the slightly ‘healthier’ options.

Afterwards we just walked around for hours. First, we went to Gamla Stan (Old town) on the island Stadsholmen. Many old buildings can be found there, as well as the Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral) and Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace).

IMG_8907

Bridge to Gamla Stan

IMG_8902

IMG_8914

Just to pump out a few facts about the city: Stockholm has around 900,000 inhabitants (1.6 mio in the urban area and 2.2 mio in the metropolitan area) and is Scandinavia’s biggest city. The city is spread across 14 islands, it lies next to the Lake Mälaren and is surrounded by many many islands (skerries), which is called Stockholm Skärgård (Stockholm archipelago). Around 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% are parks and green spaces. So to say – the city is very blue and green.

12273105_10204458393174637_438282656_n

Being very touristy in Gamla Stan *

IMG_8934

 

After Gamla Stan we crossed a bridge to get to Södermalm (south of Gamla Stan) so we could walk around in another part of the city for a while. Right on Södermalm is the Monteliusvägen, a 500m long walking path with a beautiful view of the City Hall, Riddarholmen and Lake Mälaren.

IMG_8955

on our way to Södermalm

IMG_8999

Statues with scarves in Södermalm

 

IMG_8964

View from Monteliusvägen

12167898_10204458389694550_1689676288_n

*

IMG_8968

IMG_8985
Bamboo bicycle. why not.

After Södermalm we went straight back to Gamla Stan so we could have a small break, sit down in a Café and have some food and coffee. We did not even have to pay for the coffee…

IMG_9023

IMG_9028

Södermalm

IMG_2837.jpg

Before our trip we read online that there is a photography museum and as we are both very interested in this type of art, we decided to have a look at it. It turned out that it was definitely worth the 90 SEK.

After spending a couple of hours at the gallery, we went back to our part of the town (Norrmalm) and had dinner at the London Underground Pub. Yes, we know – probably not the best place if you want to try Swedish food.

12282941_10204458386614473_305349136_n

Another Selfie that I had to ruin ;) *

12272985_10204458386934481_523710004_n

*

On our way back we also saw that the whole town was decorated in Christmas town. Okay, probably not the whole town, but many busy streets. Very beautiful. We even found an ice rink.

Day three started off a bit more relaxing than the previous one as we had a slightly better night – still some snoring involved but I found my earplugs in the depths of my vanity bag! We decided to have breakfast at Espresso House, apparently the largest branded coffee chain in the Nordic region. I am a sucker for bagels, so I had a cream cheese bagel which was sooo delicious. In addition, Carina and I split a cake and a smoothie and we each had a huge cup of coffee. So all in all, I think we spent around 1.5-2 hours sitting in this coffee house, eating bagel & cake, drinking coffee and listening to all variations of Christmas music. Ergo a relaxing start in the day. :D

Then we took a tram to get to Djurgården. It is a very beautiful island and home of various sights and museums like the Vasaamuseet (maritime museum), Abba museum, Skansen (open air musem) or Gröna Lund (amusement park). As I have already been to the Vasa museum before, we decided not to go there again and wandered around for a bit. Actually, we wanted to have a look at the Rosendals slott (Rosendal castle) but we just could not find it. Instead we found a very cute green house instead.

IMG_9040

IMG_9044

This is a corner of a larger field.

12270155_10204458380574322_1373789409_n

*

IMG_9069

A bewitched house.

IMG_9084

On our way back we got off the wrong tram station so we had to walk a while to find the ferry boat that we had to take to get to the island Skeppsholmen. Of course it would have also been possible to take a bus or to walk there, but ferries are cool.

IMG_9092

IMG_9096

Amusement park

IMG_9102

Skeppsholmen

Skeppsholmen was formerly used as a military station because of its strategic location (Baltic sea and everything). Now, several museums are located there, such as the Modern Museum of Art. Our main reason for going there was because you also have a beautiful view over the other islands.

IMG_9160

Amusement park.

IMG_9134

IMG_9135

IMG_9143

IMG_9107

Vasa museum

IMG_9146

IMG_9138

A very windy day ;)

 

 

IMG_9152

 

IMG_9108

Ferry again.

After walking around on Skeppsholmen for a bit, we took another ferry back to Gamla Stan so we have a cup of coffee and food somewhere and warm ourselves up.

12278106_10204458392974632_141989805_n

Our ferry excitement. *

IMG_2888

We had such a tasty snack in a coffee house on Gamla Stan. Unfortunately, I have already forgotten all the ingredients… but something like cream cheese, honey and walnuts. Delicious combination. And again – free coffee. :D

After staying there for a while and just trying to get some feeling back in our frozen fingers and toes (it was rather windy and cold on that day and we’ve done quite a bit of walking) we decided to go shopping for a while, because what else was there to do?! Yes, there would have been many other things to explore and see and go to, but we’re gals and we wanted to have a look at some shops and see how the prices were in comparison with shops in Copenhagen. After shopping until the stores were closed, we went to the hostel, packed our bags and headed out again to get dinner somewhere. We opted for an Italian restaurant and went back to the London Underground Pub to get drinks and dessert (banana split!). Adventurous as we are, we ordered a cider that we’ve never had or heard of before.

The name of the cider was ‘Xider’. Actually, we tried to order it the last time in the pub but the waiter somehow misunderstood us und just brought us good old Summersby cider. So after getting the right drink this time, we found out that Xider is a brand that belongs to the Carlsberg group. We were definitely not part of the target group of the drink as it reminded us a bit of alcopops… :D In addition, the flavour was cactus/lime and the colour was bilious green. However, the banana split was delicious ;)

We went back to the hostel and had a good night’s sleep of around 3 hours as we had to get up at 3.30am and take a bus to beautiful mini airport Skavsta again. By the way – the airport has 4 gates. F o u r. Cute.

IMG_2899

We also spent almost all of our last kronor at the airport and got a lot of sweets. The flight was rather uneventful and of course very short. Unfortunately, we got to share the plane with a few hungover/still drunk people who have apparently been to Stockholm to watch the Sweden-Denmark football match. They were still wearing the clothes and things that people are usually wearing when watching a match. However, we got to see a beautiful sunrise!

 

Learning outcomes of the journey: I can look very very ‘beautiful’ (creepy) in selfies ;)

I would definitely recommend going to the Fotografiska museum. In addition, taking a ferry to any of the islands is such a nice way of looking at the city from a different angle.

Although the weather was not the best and it could have been a bit warmer, it was such a lovely trip and we had so much fun. The city is so beautiful, even when it’s windy, rainy and cold. I would have loved to go to a Christmas market there, but unfortunately, none of them have been open yet. So I will have to revisit Stockholm/Sweden again. and again. and again ;)

* Photo credits: Carina Wiesinger

Trip to another country: Malmö, Sweden.

Sweden is one of my most favourite countries that I’ve been to so it is no surprise that I took the first chance to hop on a bus and cross the strait between Denmark and Sweden. Wait. Cross the sea on a bus? Yes indeed, that’s possible. Back in 2000 the famous Øresundbron (Øresund Bridge) was opened and since then it is possible to cross the Øresund not only on a ferry boat but also by train or car/bus. Due to the fact that it is not the most stressful time at university at the moment, Carina and I decided to give it a go and spend one day in Malmö. People recommended to take the bus as this would be the only way to have a nice view from the bridge and it was possibly the cheapest option as well (13.50 Euros for both ways).

Malmö is with 3180,000 inhabitants the third biggest city in Sweden, right after Stockholm and Gothenborg. It is located in the south of Sweden and is the capital of the County Skåne. Malmö is one of the most inventive (based on number of patent applications) in the world and it is also very “Green” and bicycle firendly.


Early in the morning we got up and went to the train station, where we got our free cup of coffee at McDonalds (everyday between 7 & 10 AM in September!! Too bad our university is nowhere near a McDonalds :D ). And we also treated ourselves to some danish pastries from Lagkagehuset. It took us approximately one hour from Københavns Hovedbanegård (main train station in Copenhagen) to reach the Gustav Adolfs Torg (a big place in Malmö). One of our fellow students had already warned us that there’s not much to see in Malmö and the castle was not the most interesting one, we decided to just stroll around the city and go wherever it would take us :D

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our main target was of course the Turning Torso, a skyscraper and apparently the tallest one in the Nordic countries with a height of 190 metres.

IMG_8533

Although the weather looked a bit grim at first, the sun came out and we almost spent two hours sitting at the Sundspromenaden, a deck made out of wood with a beautiful view. We could even see the Øresundbridge and Copenhagen from there! (No pictures with shining sun available though. haha)

IMG_8553

the bridge

IMG_8566

Copenhagen!!

The most impressive thing that we encountered was a man or woman (we’re not sure) swimming laps in the sea for almost an hour :)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The rest of the day we spent with eating Froyo and shopping at H&M and Cubus. Clothes and shoes are so much cheaper in Sweden compared to Denmark :( I guess it would be worth it to come back just for shopping :D

11992447_10204163937533430_276486112_n

Selfie in front of the Øresund Bridge

All in all I can say that although there aren’t many tourist attractions in Malmö and the city is not the biggest one, Malmö is very beautiful, with many small cafés and nice spots to sit in. The promenade is a very beautiful place to sit for a while and think about life :) I’d definitely recommend anyone to go there and enjoy a day in beautiful Sweden! :)