the land of H&M and Ikea

Sweden's flag
Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm
May 6th 2007
Published: May 6th 2007
Edit Blog Post

Alas, this entry is not nearly amusing as others but this is my travel update as of current.

The small but bustling city of Malmo Sweden located in the area of Skåne is only a half hour away from Copenhagen by train via the Copenhagen Kastrup international airport. For my first jaunt into Sweden, I have nothing to prove for it (except for shopping and a belly full of bad Swedish fast food meatballs and mashed potatoes) as there are no customs formalities between these two countries and therefore no new stamp to add to my passport.
The bridge connecting the two countries is supposedly one of the longest in Europe measuring at about 16km long. This bridge is a great tool for Danes and Swedes alike who wish to party/shop in the other country for a night.
Piet and I ventured out for a half day trip and I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty the city was. Certain parts of the central area are restored from the medieval period and the core is connected with public squares and cobblestone pedestrian shopping streets.

The next day, I flew to Stockholm as I had no interest in figuring out the train system however easy that may have been. After wandering around Stockholm, there is no comparison with Malmo. The hype about Stockholm being one of the prettiest world capitals is true. This city is composed of islands and waterways and grand old buildings that are in excellent condition.
The touristy part of Stockholm is Gamla Stan - originally built for merchants but now houses offices - the narrow cobble stone streets and colorful buildings make this a great wander - and an excellent place to buy antiquities, artisan products, ice cream and tacky tourist souvenirs including all things fake viking. The tourist shops also seem to have an affinity for moose and there are a number of stickers, mugs and t-shirts advertising beware of moose crossings. That fails to excite as Canada also has moose and well, we don't like to brag about it like the Swedes do. We just like to milk the poor cuddly looking black bear for all its worth in Jasper and Banff on all tourist junk.
Stockholm also has a great hostel on the island of Langholmen in a converted prison. Its a little isolated and further out from the town center but the conditions are suprisingly comfortable and not quite so primitive... I'm sure they've been renovated in the meantime so I'm not exactly experiencing the full convict experience. I was hoping for a steel toilet in the middle of my room but alas, no. Perhaps thats for the better, as it would be slightly unpleasant to wake up to the smell and sound of your roommate using the facilities mere steps from your pillow.
For those who are thinking about coming to Stockholm, the transportation is pretty well organized. However, central station is quite the nightmare as you're never sure what destination you'll arrive at after exiting out of one of the many many entrances. I'm sure this station spans several blocks.
Stay tuned for Finland...

random facts of Stockholm -
There are approximately 700 000 small personal boats in Sweden translating to an estimated 7% of the population owning their own vessel.

Swedish television & media always shows foreign shows and movies in their original language and adds subtitles. Perhaps this is why the Swedes have excellent English.

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


gamla stan gamla stan
gamla stan

old town

there's a curious fascination in scandinavian countries with these creatures...

22nd May 2007

Hi Laura, I just wanted to dwell a bit on the moosefactor. The reason you see Skogens konung (our King of the forest) plastered on anything purchasable is because the Germans love it. They come in droves to visit the Swedish wilderness on their holidays, and a proper elk safari is of course a must. In addition we had problems some years back with people confiscating the famous animal crossing roadsigns bringing them home as souvenirs, and the tourist industry quickly picked up on this profitable icon. Ask next time you come to Sweden and I'll tell you everything about how to ride the train, we're quite proud of our tilting express trains (they're especially good at tilting out of synch with the time table and cost twice as much as taking the plane).

Tot: 1.96s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 25; qc: 110; dbt: 0.0498s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb