8 May

For some reason, I’ve always wanted to go north. Scandinavia always held something that caught my interest. Was it the Vikings? That super cool Danish friend I had in high school or those awesome Norwegians I met in university? When I was looking at families that needed a nanny, I specified three cities – Paris, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. I almost went to Denmark instead of France, if you can believe it. I’m grateful for the past year in Paris, don’t get me wrong. But I wanted to see what it was like further north.

I’m glad I waited until spring though.

This is City Hall, where they throw the Nobel Prize party.  The gray floaty dots aren't UFOs, my camera lense is just borked.

This is City Hall, where they throw the Nobel Prize party. The gray floaty dots aren’t UFOs, my camera lens is just borked.

Stockholm is made up of a bunch of little, interconnected islands and the larger archipelago around it. No matter where you go in Stockholm, you’re never far from the water or a bridge. Or a park for that matter. The amount of nature that coexists with a modern metropolis is downright shocking to someone who’s spent time in China. It’s probably one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to and I live in Paris.

The Baltic Sea does a good job at keeping it from being a completely frozen wasteland most of the time (Stockholm’s farther north than Moscow), but winters are *long* here. Somehow, out of sheer luck, I picked the first decent week to visit. Everywhere I went, Swedes were determinedly taking in the glorious sunshine on patios and outdoor seating areas, even if they had to cuddle up under blankets provided by the restaurant. After the first three days, the weather went from chilly/cold to downright warm. As I have the cold tolerance of a tropical fish – I go into shock for anything under 65F – I would bring my coat and my heavy woollen scarf, but not need it in the bright sunshine. This is the best problem to have.

Lunch outside in the sunshine

Lunch outside in the sunshine. Note the unused blankets at every table.

Stockholm’s neighbourhoods are largely determined by the islands they are located on. Gamla stan is the oldest section of Stockholm and a bit of a tourist trap, but the old buildings, the museums, and the palace make up for it. Södermalm is trendy, kind of like Brooklyn. Djurgården is a natural preserve and museum central. Norrmalm is downtown. And all of it is very walkable, although I don’t recommend wearing Converse sneakers on cobblestone hills all day. (Ouch.)

I’ll have more about the different neighborhoods and what exactly I got up to for a week in Stockholm in the next two weeks, but I want to leave you with this cool shot of a church on Ridderholmen.

The church on Ridderholm

The church on Ridderholm


2 Responses to “Stockholm”

  1. odilets May 9, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    very informative! Thank you!

  2. Ashley May 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Love that photo of the church!

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