At the beginning of this month, my best friend and I realised a dream; we went to Sweden.
We arrived in the Nordic country at the beginning of the afternoon, at about 13. We landed at Stockholm Skavsta which is a small low cost flights airport located no less than 80 minutes from the centre of Stockholm. Sweden isn’t the cheapest of countries to visit in the world and the very first thing we had to get there (coach tickets to Stockholm centre) made it very clear; we had to pay 239 Kronor (crowns) return each, 27euros which appeared to us as a hell of an expansive price especially considering that in our region, any trip taking the same amount of time by coach is 1/10 of this price…
When we arrived at Stockholm central, the first thing that struck us was that the sun at 15.20 was already setting. Very easily, we found the train station where an information desk provided us with maps, we actually wanted to stop at one because we wanted to get the amazingly advantageous “Stockholm Card” allowing you to visit about 90% of the places in the city – using any public transport freely – for quite a reasonable price, compared to most things there. 795 Kr = 89 euros.
Very keen on trying to do as much as possible, we then went straight to our hostel we booked beds online a few days before coming, to leave our stuff and go out again to enjoy our first evening in Sweden. At the Crafoord Place, greatly located (10 minutes walk from the central train station), we were very warmly welcomed by Ahmed, a very nice person taking care of a lovely and relatively cheap place to stay in Stockholm.
View from our Crafoord Place room.
It was about 16.40 when we left the hostel to go and do our first museum visit literally located on the next street (yeah we spend an entire afternoon organising our trip), which was a good thing, especially considering that they were actually closing at 17.00. Bonniers Konsthall is the name, and it is a modern art museum that we thus got to visit for 20 minutes to do so, which in all honesty, actually was enough, because this place didn’t really need to be given more time at all (there was an exhibition of photographs showing newspapers kiosques in Paris…our country’s capital city…)
Saturday being a “sweets day” for the Swedish kids as I happened to read over the internet, I thought it would be interesting to hang around the Drottninggatan and stop at the Hötorget station to find the place in this video; but we didn’t. There isn’t a sweet shop at the Hötorget train station, you fucking liar. The walk round Drottninggatan, apparently Stockholm’s biggest shopping street was very pleasant though.
When the evening came, we headed to the Kaknäs tower, which is an amazing place if you want to get the best view of Stockholm. This 170 metres (560 ft) high tower, which happened to be Scandinavia’s tallest in the four years following the end of its construction (1967-1971) actually hold only 3 accessible floors to the public ; the ground floor, where you’ll find a very nice souvenirs’ shop, the 2nd top flop where to have a tasty meal by the windows unveiling marvellous views of the city and the top floor which is opened to the outside, only preventing people from committing suicide by iron grids, like the Empire State Building in New York, or the Eiffel Tour in Paris. Even though these pictures don’t offer much to enjoy, I really have to confess that despite my great vertigo and fear of heights, I forced myself to go and enjoy it, and the feeling really was worth it. I actually am still having chills when I rethink about how magnificent it was, and how close to tears I was before all this. A real dream come true.
You will however notice on these pictures tell a lot about Stockholm in general, all its open spaces (parks, large avenues), and how careful they are about using lights despite the lack of natural light for an important part of the year.
Lots of feelings and excitement thus on this very first day, a whole variety of different feelings since only a couple of days after Halloween, leaving the Kaknäs tower, we got to feel afraid, scared again, when we had to wait the bus in the cold and the fog and the dark. It really felt like starring in a horror film, this unique scenery we found ourselves in, and it’s all the more disturbing that the Kaknäs tower only is like 15 minutes away from the city centre !
Back there and to recover from quite an interesting and eventful first day, we stopped at the Espresso House, on the Vasagatan, to get a delicious hot white chocolate/milk, that we really enjoyed. This café is a commendable place where to relax and chill in central Stockholm.