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TBT: Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden. January 2012.

Stockholm, I am forever indebted to you.

As the first destination I ever visited with close to zero preparation, Stockholm opened up my eyes to how liberating and intoxicating a place can feel when you arrive with no expectations.

It was mid-January, and I had landed in London for my semester abroad about a week prior. Two of my flatmates were Americans who coincidentally also went to Penn State, and that night, after a few glasses of cheap vodka drinks in our living room, we started talking about places we wanted to travel to while in Europe. The conversation inevitably ended with a few more drinks and frenzied flight searches on the RyanAir and EasyJet websites.

We didn’t know where we wanted to go, but we wanted to go soon and we didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Somehow, we deduced that the cheapest flight out of any London airport that next weekend was to Stockholm, and because we were ~young and reckless~ we booked the flight.

Eight days later we were on our way to Sweden. In the middle of January.

330408_1557406822581_1343459016_oI think I’ll let the photos do most of the talking here. I have SO MANY photos from this trip — every time we turned our heads there was another colorful string of buildings on Gamla Stan or quaint alleyway or dazzling street of white lights. 331048_1557415942809_1115707149_o331757_1557413822756_183993954_oLike in Prague, we arrived with no plan, which is probably a large reason why we loved it so much; everything was a mind-blowing surprise and we saw it all with eyes of awe. We strolled and ate and froze and marveled over the fact that the sun didn’t come up until 9am and starting going down around 2pm.
321864_1557436263317_1410618383_o339159_1557410022661_1001259045_o327191_1557418342869_614227180_o210907_1557423502998_922110248_o339522_1557430063162_1918960753_o332489_1557412782730_1516194979_o332873_1557416702828_644640176_o338353_1557433783255_1381423139_o335520_1557433583250_273753278_oWe somehow stumbled into the cutest, tiniest, coziest little restaurant in all of Stockholm. Probably in all of Sweden. Maybe even in the entire world. Our polite blonde waitress led us down the stairs into the cellar, which seemed more like an underground tunnel, with brick walls that curved up and glided seamlessly into the ceiling. She told us about how the cellar was “haunted” by ghosts, and then proceeded to offer recommendations for our meals. Nick & I decided to split two plates so we could both try it all. We indulged in reindeer meat and Swedish meatballs. Because of course we did. We were in Sweden.
338268_1557426223066_1092938490_o337677_1557414622776_519652565_o330159_1557419822906_2052618340_o413484_1557438903383_139619171_o334584_1557442183465_736674249_oThe Ice Bar was SO MUCH FUN and definitely worth the price — especially because we got lucky and were joined by a rowdy group of 35-year-old Swedish men!340838_1557419222891_357239759_o328503_1557426703078_771863793_oNick in the Nobel Museum – a place paying tribute to all Nobel prize winners across the world. We found the building by accident and to this day it might be the coolest museum I’ve ever been to. 338489_1557407702603_330551970_o327193_1557445263542_1362343896_o328107_1557445623551_190001338_oThis wasn’t the first time it snowed on our 3 day trip to Stockholm (the first time it snowed we were so excited that we started making snow angels in the middle of the street…), but it was the last. We were making our way to the airport, and something about leaving and the snowy quiet of the day thrilled us.

Stockholm is one of the places I visited while studying abroad that has really stuck with me. While we walked around aimlessly one day, I hypothesized that “Stockholm is everything I want in a man” while Nick & Catherine listened with interested/dubious ears.

(AKA: welcoming, cozy, friendly, fun, surprising, secure, evolving…)

I felt at home and comfortable immediately – which might have had something to do with various Swedes mistaking me for a native and speaking to me in Swedish (which obviously flattered me). Though it’s a cold, dark place in the winter, the food was warm, the people were warmer, and the summers are apparently sunny and heavenly – something I’d definitely love to experience for myself.

Have you ever experienced the snowy winter of Stockholm?

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13 Comments

  • Reply Hannah Myer

    MAGICAL

    November 13, 2014 at 8:21 am
  • Reply Margie

    Wear that hat in Denver!

    November 13, 2014 at 10:53 am
  • Reply shmamyhopf

    wow, I love these pix! i dont remember them being so pretty, thanks for allowing me to revisit. I especially love the one of the couple smiling at each other. the guy looks like bo burnham.

    November 13, 2014 at 11:32 am
    • Reply Kristen

      I creeped on them so hard. It was worth it. LET’S GO TO SWEDEN TOGETHER. After Norway, obviously.

      November 13, 2014 at 11:33 am
  • Reply A view from Old Hand

    I have not. But your energetic writing style brings it alive.

    November 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      Well thank you very much!

      November 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply Isabel

    I want to go to Stockholm now too! UGH this wanderlust that you are feeding haha!

    November 18, 2014 at 11:29 am
    • Reply Kristen

      I would loooooove to return to Stockholm – even in the winter! I hope you get to check it out soon!

      November 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Moani Hood

    Never thought to put Sweden on my list of places to see…but it does look like fun!

    November 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm
  • Reply TBT: Ireland | skyward eyes

    […] & I didn’t click on the personal level that I connected with, say… Berlin or Stockholm or LONDON (obviously). But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the place — I liked […]

    December 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm
  • Reply Weekend Wanderlust: Banff | skyward eyes

    […] TBT: Stockholm, Sweden  […]

    May 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Tim Yamrich

    Wow Kristen, you sure have seen a lot of the world! I think the world outside the U.S. is also beautiful. A lot of people in this country have never seen what you have😄! Beautiful pictures.

    June 2, 2015 at 7:22 pm
    • Reply Kristen

      Thanks!!!! There is so much to see I gotta go see it all!

      June 3, 2015 at 11:16 am

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