Stockholm is a gorgeous, cosmopolitan city by the Baltic Sea. It is a series of islands surrounded by canals and islets and woven together with bridges and overpasses.
What makes it so beautiful is the historic architecture that’s been preserved and protected. Yet it’s a thoroughly modern, stylish and cashless city with excellent public transportation above and below ground. We have learned to use transit everywhere after nearly destroying our knees on our first day in Copenhagen way back 2 weeks ago!
There are parks and museums everywhere and we visited a couple— the Moderna Museet and Fotografiska, a spectacular photography museum on the harbor front . There was an exhibit of Andy Warhol’s portrait photography of celebs and a brilliant exhibit of contemporary black photographers that was both moving and celebratory. On top of that, the museum is a brick building that’s a converted fish cannery with wonderful waterside views.
Every day, we eat well and explore various neighborhoods, including quaint, alley-filled Gamla Stan island. One afternoon there, we entered an acclaimed blues and jazz bar called Stampen and grabbed a drink and a seat. We heard some great jams and it filled Andy’s need for being around music and musicians.
We took it slow Sunday with short walks, rest, and a good Italian dinner. Then we packed up for our all day journey to South of France.
As we prepare to leave Scandinavia, we have a few observations on this beauty-filled part of the world.
-People are friendly and most speak English
-The blue and grey skies are covered with incredible, ever-changing clouds so be sure to look up.
-The water is clean and delicious everywhere. No bottled water needed here!
-They love their bakeries which are everywhere. Fika is the Swedish tradition of stopping for a coffee and sweet. They also love candy.
-Money is no object! Meaning it’s all cashless and digital. We never used an ATM and didn’t need it 99.5 % of the time ( Ethiopian restaurant in Copenhagen being the inglorious exception).
-Public transit is easy, affordable, everywhere. Bikers have their own wide lanes everywhere so you need to watch out for them more than for oncoming cars!
-We ate some Swedish meals, mostly modern cuisine, but not as flavorful as other international foods, so we alternated a lot.
-Food is expensive so we included breakfast with all our hotel rooms. All were delicious and generous offerings as was the coffee!
-Ignore weather reports. They predicted rain all three days. Except for brief showers, we had warm, sunny weather all weekend! And almost no one uses umbrellas so leave them home.
-Climb a mountain trail to feel like a fit Scandinavian and have forever bragging rights back home!