Stockholm, Sweden – Of 20 Hours of Daylight & 30,000 Steps A Day!June 21, 2013 | 1,847 views
Gamla Stan – The picturesque old town of Stockholm
Another travel teaser? Sorry. The thing about travel stories is that … I can never seem to finish what I’ve started lately. Gone were the days when the 10 chapters of Hanoi, Bali or Bangkok were written effortlessly; as if the words flowed out of my head in an automatic mode. And the series of food and travel adventures (plus a pinch of mishaps, as usual) seemed to come together like a mini travel journal for myself.
I was away for slightly more than a week in Stockholm, Sweden. The weather was extremely delightful (save for a couple of days when it rained … and an afternoon with hailstones!); almost 20 hours of daylight everyday, weather hovering around the realm of 15 degree Celcius or so, and the breeze was pleasantly stroking against this sun-tanned face of mine.
Yes, to a point when a colleague actually asked me was I in Sweden or Hawaii … go figure.
And for those still traumatized/stunned/tasered/shocked to an excruciating degree upon watching, it was me who appeared as a guest on ntv7’s Foodie Blogger last Sunday. 😉
More rants and photos after the jump.
Cherries, strawberries, lobsters and green/white asparagus
As I am writing this, I still feel a tiny bit of jetlag. Stockholm is 6 hours behind of Malaysia; and I did not sleep through the journey back. Only caught 2-3 hours worth of sleep yesterday, hence the aftermath is not pretty. Still, if I don’t do this now, I probably won’t have time to write anything this weekend. 🙂
Big on the cafe culture; must be a European thing …
Summer in Sweden is fantastic. You tend to walk more than you usually do (especially if you’re a Malaysian who loves contributing to the incessant traffic congestion like me), stay active so much longer during the day (the sun rises at 3am and sets only at around 11pm!), and just wish that the summer never ends. Really.
I was doing more than 30,000 steps a day on a few of those days when I was not cooped up in the conference centre; Stockholmassan (Stockholm International Fairs), while the worse days had me walking at least 20,000 steps!
Stockholm Central Station – T-Centralen
We stayed a short distance away from the Stockholm Central Station (where the commuter train and T-bana or their metro train connect); merely 5 minutes’ walk, and within a stone’s throw away from the major shopping district. More on the hotel and the amazing surroundings in a later post. (Though somewhere somehow .. you know that there is a 50% chance that this will come much, much later …)
The Swedish has a wicked sense of humour. And oh ya .. they are quite an artistic community.
The currency in use is Swedish krona; about MYR 1.00 to SEK 0.50. Don’t get misled though …
For Stockholm can easily pass off as one of the most expensive cities to live in!
A casual meal of sandwiches and coffee can effortlessly come to RM50 or so; while indulging in a more proper dinner will set you aback at RM150 or more! And let’s not go to the Michelin-starred ones ….
Breathe in deep and enjoy the colourful surroundings. Do be cautious of hay fever though.
Ostermalm Saluhall – One of the most popular food hall in Sweden, and you will have a whale of a time photographing and trying everything in display! Only setback? The meat, cheese, jam and seafood here are not cheap at all.
Off my deranged mind, I could only think of a few things that really grabbed my attention in Stockholm; the museums and the food.
Swedish classics like the famous meatballs with lingonberry jam, Skagen or shrimps on toast and the extremely fresh fishes cooked in a simple manner are everywhere. And don’t miss the smorgasbord.
If there’s one food item you should NOT miss in Sweden, it has to be the cold water FISH. Or any variety of it. Salmon, arctic char, trouts, cod, herrings etc. Okay, maybe the pickled herrings may take some time to get used to (warning – they are very liberal with their salt), but can’t go wrong with freshly-caught fish in Sweden.
There are reportedly more than 100 museums in Sweden. Or could be Stockholm, I forgot. But they are literally everywhere. The ABBA museum is a newly opened one (and you should pay a visit if you’re a die hard fan!), Vasa Museum with the well-preserved 17th century ship is another wise choice, Spiritmuseum for the display of the Swedish pride; Absolut Vodka and Nobel Museum in Gamla Stan; a self-explanatory destination of interest to learn about the prestigious Nobel prize.
The tallest cathedral in Scandinavia – Uppsala Cathedral
We did sidetrack slightly on one of the days; paying the largest IKEA a visit and henceforth going up north to Uppsala; a previous capital of Sweden. About an hour’s worth of journey by the train.
A total of 8 days in Stockholm forged strong and lasting memories. And more than a couple hundred of photos. Dying to be shared with you readers. Of course … with more of the usual dose of priceless tips, rants and ramblings.
But for this weekend, Motormouth needs a time out. Now go eat, don’t hold back. 🙂
p/s : On the ntv7 program, I appeared as a guest on Foodie Blogger; a local Chinese food show that runs on Sundays. Obviously I was in a segment babbling about Ipoh food. And a few minutes of hogging the limelight. Anyway, I missed the show as I was in Stockholm for the entire of last week.