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Published: March 14th 2013
A colleague dropped into the conversation that he had an apartment in Sweden which was being sold a the end of the month and why don't I head over and use it for the weekend. Lets just say that it took me about a nano-second to go OK, how many does it sleep, slightly longer to sort out logistics, but a couple of weeks later I was on a plane flying in over the many waterways that makes up the Stockholm Archipeligo to Skavtska Airport and then into the city to wait for my 3 amigas for the weekend - Asha, Ewa and Dan.
It was nice to stay in a fancy flat rather than squeezing into a hotel room or the usual hostel. Being able to get up in the morning and relax over a homemade breakfast (smoked salmon of course) or lounge around with a glass of wine or 2 is a far more civilised and completely unusual travel experience. I must sneak more of these in in future so if anyone has a spare apartment just lying around unloved, drop me a line and I'll rustle up a group and use it (I'm good that way).
With a flying visit, you don't bother with the sights as much as trying to gain a feel for the city by walking around what has to be one of the most spectacularly beautiful cities in the world. Throw in a bit of shopping, an obligatory cruise around the harbour soaking up the sights (easily its best angle and highly recommended ... yes you can get on and off, but why bother, just look) and lets not forget hot dogs, deer, moose, ribs ... eating is always an important element and as dedicated carnivores the chance to sample the local wildlife is always appreciated!
There was a definite moose theme to the weekend ... moose shaped souvenirs, moose shaped christmas decorations (you can never have too many), moose shaped snacks (well maybe not the shape, but definitely the taste) and on Sunday a trip across the waters to Skansen, a "Swedish Open Air Museum" to find moose shaped ... mooses! Skansen is a cracker! It is an huge site incorporating the zoo and themed displays from the different parts of Sweden - it's like a mini tour of the entire country without having to leave the capital, well it
would be if everyone still dressed like it was the 1800s. My highlight, apart from the Zoo, was the tobacco and match stick museum ... I kid you not it is a must do on the list if only for a laugh at how the 'healthy' habit used to be sold.
I'd love to tell wild stories of mad nightlife, but it was much more chilled with ribs and beer (come on it's a classic combination and at least the beer was local) and chilling out on the couch with a glass and good conversation.
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