29 June, 2013

Stockholm photo diary

It's been quite tricky deciding how to organise the 300-odd photos from my trip into coherent and logical blog posts, but I think I'm on track now. Unlike with my Zambia trip, the chronology of these posts is going to be a bit looser but, having said that, I am going to start at the beginning. So, first of all, let me just give you a run down of our first couple of days in Sweden...

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After dropping our bags off at the hotel and freshening up, I put on this outfit and we went out exploring. Our hotel was on Sodermalm island, dubbed the "trendiest area of Stockholm", so we were eager to get out and see what all the fuss was about! First stop though, as it always is with us, had to be food. We lunched at this little, kitschy local cafe called Bla Lotus - a recommendation from my Spotted By Locals iPhone app (definitely check out their city guides, they give some seriously good suggestions and the no-wifi tracked map is a lifesaver in an unknown city). The entire menu was in Swedish, which almost scared us away, but the lovely waitress translated everything into English for us without batting an eyelid. I decided on the quiche of the day, which came with salad, pesto bread, lemonade and herbal tea, whilst Paisley went for one of their sandwiches... delish!

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After lunch we carried on wandering around the neighbourhood, admiring the beautiful architecture, expensive boutiques and fashionable people. Seriously, I would have been happy to spend my whole time in Sweden just people-watching! I got my creep on and tried to take some surreptitious photos of interesting people throughout the trip but, of course, they don't do these great characters justice. 

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By the late afternoon, my sleepless night on the plane began to catch up with me so we returned to our room and had a little power nap, before going out for dinner and drinks in the evening. One day down and I already loved the city (even if my bank account wasn't going to!).

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Our second day in Stockholm is a slightly embarrassing story. We ventured into the Old Town at Gamla Stan and had the very best intentions of being cultural - visiting the Royal Palace and museums - and we did begin by wandering around the beautiful cobbled streets...

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But then mid-morning sangria happened...

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The sun was shining, the view was wonderful and we were thirsty... why not! So, instead of going to see the changing of the guard at the Royal palace like we had planned, we sat, chatted, and worked our way through the pitcher. Be honest, this does sound like a much more enjoyable way to spend an afternoon though, doesn't it!

Once the sangria was finally finished, we ventured back into Old Town in search of a late lunch (yes I know, all we do is eat and drink!) and picked one of the many cute little cafes lining the streets.

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Swedes seem to serve everything in a wine glass, even Corona! How bizarre.

I ordered a traditional Swedish smoked salmon and potato dish, whilst Paisley went for a prawn salad with the most divine dressing. This was some seriously good food!

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Guess what, we did actually go and see the Royal Palace briefly after lunch (boxed ticked, well done us)...

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Then, after popping back to our room, we ventured out again to the Fotografiska museum and stopped at the viewpoint to take some snaps of Gamla Stan in the distance. Bear in mind that this was at about 8pm and it still stayed this bright for hours after that, how brilliant.

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We'd already spent far too much money on food for the day, so decided to go for a cheaper option close to our hotel - Middle Eastern street food from Amida Kolgrill (another recommendation from Spotted by Locals). It would appear that I can't stay away from Arabic food even when I'm miles and miles away from home! My order was the vegetarian option with couscous, whilst Paisley went for lamb with rice; they were both so tasty and great value for the huge portions. Not exactly traditional Swedish food, but what more could you want.

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So that's two days down and about about two kilos gained from the excessive eating and drinking!

Outfit post from day two up tomorrow...


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