Why Stockholm is so Captivating

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”-Henry David Thoreau

Well, Stockholm is probably one of my new favorite cities. It’s an absolutely incredible place to visit, and I highly recommend it for anyone who’s going to be spending a large amount of time in Europe. Really clean, safe, nice. While a rougher and more “adventurous” place can be fun, there is something comforting sometimes in being in a place that can allow you to relax and take it easy for a bit.


I started my morning with breakfast at the hostel, looking out the window at the water. I’d slept soundly on the boat that night, lulled to sleep by the rocking of the water (for any who didn’t read the previous post we were staying at the AF Chapman, a hostel on board a boat!), but a cup of coffee wasn’t a bad way to start the morning. Breakfast wasn’t included in the price, but I find sometimes splurging and getting something to eat first thing in the morning makes you ready to go for the day ahead. And a little coffee, cereal, toast, etc. never hurts.


One quick boat photo before leaving!

After that I went and fetched my friend and we headed over to the docks on the other side to take the ferry over to another island. It was the easiest way to get where we wanted to be going. Overall the ferries were pretty easy to use, in spite of being on the off season. They came regularly, so we were able to hop on and head over to the Vasa Museum.

This museum is absolutely incredible. I highly recommend it if you’re in Stockholm. It holds a beautiful 17th century ship that sank in the harbor when it was launched. It sat there for years until finally someone went looking for it and managed to haul the remains out. Because of the conditions that it had been placed in, the ship was actually in remarkably good shape.

The museum was really interesting, and of course the ship was just incredible to see. It’s a really great place to go.

After that we headed over to the Skansen. It’s essentially a big open air museum. I think during the summer it’s a little more lively, but during winter it’s kind of quiet. Again, my experience might be very different from what you’d encounter during a more normal season.

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However, even in winter it’s fun because you get to see parts of what Swedish landscapes look like. The farms, churches, and windmills that have made up the countryside throughout history. And there’s also a sort of zoo with animals from the area. So we got to see cool lynx, and wolves, and reindeer oh my!

After walking over most of the place we headed to the restaurant in the site to get food. We were hungry, and had another stop after the Skansen, so filling up on food would be good.

More meatballs and princess cake (because why not) and then we were off again towards the ABBA museum.

Now… I don’t care for ABBA at all.

Somehow, on my adventures I always manage to get roped into something with someone who’s a big fan. My last big train trip with a friend I was dragged along for the Sound of Music tour (not that it wasn’t good…but still…). I feel like one day I’ll have my justice and have someone who isn’t a Harry Potter fan with me on a set tour, or something, but for now I just tag along.

Because seeing a smile on the face of  your traveling companion can definitely be worth it. I loved seeing how excited she got doing karaoke and seeing all the costumes and looking through the various parts of the museum. So I had fun with her.

It’s just one of the cons of traveling with another person. Sure, there are benefits too, but you have to realize you might be forced to go do things you wouldn’t do on your own. I’ll try to post something on solo travel sometimes, because I’ve actually become a really big fan of it, partly because of this!

It’s also a pretty nice museum, even if you don’t like the subject matter. They’ve added interactive things like karaoke and it’s very aesthetically pleasing to look at (even if it’s a bit pricey). If you’re an ABBA fan check it out for sure.

We ran through that faster than we’d expected, so with a little time to relax, we decided to charge phones at the hostel before heading out again. My friend pointed out that the modern art museum was open until 8, which is late for most things. And it was right next to our hostel, so it made for easy walking.

After a ferry ride back, we settled into our little boat room and charged phones and rested. Once we and our devices had enough energy, we headed out towards the museum.

We were really excited when we found out it was free. Now, I’m not a big modern art fan myself, I tend to prefer seeing really beautiful well-painted pieces than the modern stuff. However, I admit there can be fun in seeing what artists can come up with, and that modern art museums almost always have something that can surprise or confuse me or even sometimes make me stop and think. Everyone has their own opinions of course. I’d never force anyone to conform to mine.

Regardless they had a nice collection, and for free it wasn’t a bad deal. I thought the exhibit on architecture was probably the most interesting, but they had videos, and paintings, and sculptures of all different types as well.

After that I suggested stopping by the hostel for a dinner recommendation.

I went in with a smile on my face and asked the woman at the desk if she had a place nearby she thought was good for dinner.

She frowned and said “oh well the closest one is probably here.” And pointed at the map.

Now, I noticed right near her finger was a TGI Fridays logo. I figured she had to be referring to something near that, so I asked for clarification.

“It’s a Fridays,” she said with a nod. “Good food. It’s close.”

I had to struggle not to laugh. I nodded and thanked her and walked out the door to tell my friend, “well that was a bust.”

Now some of you might like Fridays. And again, I discussed a few blogs ago how sometimes food choices are just a matter of convenience and price and wanting something filling. But if I have other options I’m not eating at a TGI Fridays… because while I respect cheap prices, I still want a decent meal, and I’d rather go somewhere local even if it’s an Asian, or Italian, or Mexican place instead of serving more traditional cuisine.

We found a burger place right next to the Fridays actually. And settled in there. It was good food and not too pricey. So we enjoyed our burgers and then headed back for a good night’s rest.


Having a Sweet Time in Sweden

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.” — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

So, this is the third part of the Nordic Adventure series. We started our journey in Copenhagen, and from there me and my friend moved on to see some of Sweden, well, heading towards the capital of Stockholm.

We woke up early and headed to the train station. Unfortunately, we’d made the classic foreign currency mistake of taking out far too much… so I tell you, be careful with making that error. Because my morning in the train station was a lot of trying to spend all my money before we had to leave. I bought coffee and pastries and snacks for the road.

Then we were off to get on our train.

So I did a Eurail trip a while back, and you can read about that as well, but needless to say I’ve done a fair amount of train travel. So I’ve quickly learned what countries trains I like and which ones I don’t. Scandinavian trains are top of the list. Absolutely amazing. Free wifi on board. Chargers at every seat. Good leg room.

Only problem was that my friend and I had booked separately, so we were not sitting together. However, most of the ride I had the seat to myself, and it was nice to just look out the window, enjoy the internet, and relax. I did some good writing and managed to enjoy myself enjoying the snowy scenery. Seriously, if you’re a writer, try a train, I find it’s one of my favorite places to relax and type out some thoughts.

We arrived in the early afternoon, giving us enough time to make our way by metro over to our hostel. When we’d been looking for one, this particular hostel had stood out to us, and here’s why.

It was on a boat.


Yes, like an actual boat. The AF Chapman. Apparently the boat was basically donated to the tourist association after it was done being used, and now they run it as a youth hostel where you can book rooms. Sounds like during tourist season it’s busier, but since it was winter we had no problem getting a room on board.

Honestly, we were both so excited as we walked up to it. I snapped so many photographs and just basked in the knowledge that for two nights I’d be sleeping in the depths of a boat.

We checked in, going down to our little six person room and settling in. After that we decided to head over to old town to look around a little while it was still light.

We walked around the shops and the restaurants, enjoying the sights. We watched as the sun set over the water. All the islands make it an amazing city to see, and I highly encourage just exploring.

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After walking around a bit more we found a restaurant for food. We ate at Magnus Ladulus which was more of a traditional Swedish place with a cool setting in a sort of cellar. It was very fun. I had the meatballs which were delicious.

Afterwards we set out on a mission to find Princess Cake, which my friend had recommended. Sure enough we found a café that was still open and serving it. And voila we got to try this amazing confection. One of my new favorites for sure! So delicious. It has a layer of marzipan and then whipped cream and sponge cake and jam. It’s incredible.

Then we walked back to our hostel for the night. We needed a good night of sleep to get ready for more exploring the next day.