Both of us have always really wanted to visit Sweden and even though it was now late November and the cold was getting a bit much for us with tropical beaches almost calling us we thought we would have one final week in Europe and see a little of Sweden.
We flew to the Swedish capital, Stockholm and decided to hire a car for the week so that we could get out and see some of the country easily. We spent the first couple of nights in Stockholm which was great, a really beautiful city which looks a great place to live. We did some day trips out of Stockholm and visited some Viking ruins, small Swedish villages and enjoyed the countryside.
During our time in Stockholm we took the opportunity to visit this local event known as Stadium Winter Jam which has skiing and snowboarding free style competition. It was a great day out.
After being Stockholm, we then headed cross country to the western city of Gothenburg where we spent a night. After a quick look around Gothenburg and one night on the town drove south to Malmo which is the Swedish city closest to Denmark
and connected by a bridge which is accessible by car. A quick call to the hire car company who confirmed fine for us to take the car over to Denmark and we decided to head over to explore a little of Copenhagen, the Danish capital. We really liked it here. We stayed in a great hostel right in the city centre and had a nice couple of days exploring Copenhagen.
We enjoyed visiting the Cristiana hippie area and looking at the street art/graffiti. The bars of Copenhagen were good fun and there was some good live music.
A friend had mentioned to us that there is an overnight ferry service from Copenhagen to Oslo in Norway so we looked into that and the very next day were boarding a ship with the hire car bound for Norway! The cruise itself from Copenhagen to Oslo was great fun. The ship had a Jacuzzi outside and the water was super warm which was a great contrast to the freezing temperatures! We sat in the Jacuzzi for hours chatting and drinking with a lovely Norwegian couple who were enjoying a kind of second honeymoon. They had two small children and their
two days away from home was there first time away from the kids so they were so happy to be away – we had a great time with them.
The ship docked in Oslo early next morning so we set out for a day of exploring in the Norwegian capital. First we headed to Vigeland Museum Park, which has around 200 sculptures made by the late Gustav Vigeland. All the sculptures depicting human life, from childhood through to old age. The sculptures are great and it was very peaceful here, we almost had the park to ourselves on an early weekday morning.
Next we headed to the ‘Kon Tiki’ museum, which was set up to commemorate and educate regarding the Norwegian expedition that was taken during the 1950s from Peru, South America to the Polynesian Islands by five Norwegians and a Swedish chap in order to help prove that the islands of Polynesia were inhabited by Ancient Incan descendants NOT Asians as previous scientific theory’s had suggested. Benn was fascinated by this place and ended up buying the book and the 1950s movie which won an Oscar for Best Documentary. This really is a fantastic place and
worth a visit if you are ever in Oslo. Next we headed up into the misty hills to the Olympic Ski Jump, which was another amazing sight despite the terrible weather.
We literally spent the day in Oslo and then headed back on the long drive to Stockholm. Our final night in Stockholm was spent sleeping aboard the AF Chapman, a 1900s tall ship which has now been converted to a hostel. The ship is really beautiful and it was a great place to spend our final night Sweden.
It was a hectic week! Our visit to Sweden turned into a whirlwind visit to Sweden, Denmark and Norway but we had a great time and seen lots of nice places along the way. We departed Stockholm for a few nights in London with our good friends Carl & Rebecca and then finally we were ready to head to Latin America where we would begin our time in Cuba. We can’t wait for some warm weather and to hit the beach!
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