Day 1 — Exploring Stockholm

Hej hej! Kaylen here, back on the other side of the world…this time in Sweden.

Why Sweden? Well, simply: 1. The flights were cheap, and 2. My brother, Daniel picked it for us & I really didn’t have much of a choice. So to be completely honest with you, I haven’t a clue about Sweden…but I know and love IKEA, as I do Swedish Fish…so I really feel like Sweden and I are off to a good start.

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Beginning in Columbus, and after one layover in Iceland, we finally arrived in Stockholm around noon (CEST). My first impression: The warm-toned buildings, the cobblestone streets, the clock towers and the blue waters were all too beautifully familiar…It reminded me a whole lot of Prague.

Well, we took our luggage for a bumpy haul to our very interesting hotel–probably one of the strangest I’ve stayed in; it was literally a boat docked on the side of the water! Apparently this was not too uncommon, as there were many boats docked alongside ours with “HOTEL” written across them. Here’s my short boat-hotel review: the rooms are very small, but the accommodations, breakfast, and view are AMAZING and well worth the price! Check it out:

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After a quick power nap to compensate for our sleepless red-eye flights, we were ready to take on Stockholm in the evening. We decided to start with Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s “Old Town” and one of the best preserved medieval city centers in Europe.

It was like exploring a warm-toned rainbow. Every meandering alley turned into another, each & every wall painted a different shade of red, orange, and yellow. SO CUTE & seemingly right out of a children’s book 🙂

Here are some of my favorite spots in Gamla Stan:

Iron Boy (Järnpojke): The smallest public monument of Stockholm. AKA a cute little iron statue that offers you good luck when you caress its head or give a small gift to it 🙂

Royal Palace: The official residence and royal palace of the Swedish Monarch.

Stortorget: The small public square of central Gamla Stan, notorious for its picturesque building fronts!

Marten Trotzigs grand: The narrowest alley of Stockholm, stretching 90 cm across!

Västerlånggatan: I mean, don’t ask me how to pronounce it, but it’s a popular tourist shopping street AKA “The Western Long Street” full of shops and eateries.

So aside from exploring the streets of Gamla Stan, we also splurged on some good eats 🙂 WARNING: Sweden is pretty expensive. Not only is there a whopping 25% sales tax on merch, but food is super pricey as well. But that didn’t stop us from eating some amazing poke bowls at Sushi Yama and some bomb swedish meatballs at The Lazy Cafe.

I’m so excited to explore all the outdoor eateries around here. Just like Italy & France, there are several cute cafés outside along the streets, each one covered with vines or lined with flowers or shaded by bright awnings–all kinds of unique personalities 🙂

But that’s really all for Day 1! The rest of our night was spent on the top deck of our hotel, planning for Day 2. So I’ll end with this incredible view from our water-ridden hotel.

I mean, how beautiful is this city?!

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Thanks for tuning in today, more to come tomorrow 🙂

-K

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