Sweden: Not just Blondes and Meatballs

Stockholm Travel Blog

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Firat
I've been a little guilty of thinking every new city is my favorite, but I really mean it this time. I love Stockholm! There's water everywhere, it's a nice mix of old and new and--if it weren't for the fact that I'm trading one future child's college tuition for every cup of coffee I buy--I think I could live here. In the summer, that is.

It also helps that, for the first time on my trip, I had friends waiting for me on the other side. I took an overnight boat ride from Tallinn to Stockholm. My little cabin for four was the most comfortable night journey I've had. And the three little old ladies that shared the room were equally nice. Even if we didn't speak the same language.
stockholm
(One woman wished me goodnight. When I then asked what country she was from, she stared at me blankly for 30 seconds and then repeated "goodnight" before rolling over and going to sleep. It was worth a try.)

The friendly awaiting face was Firat. I met him on that infamous night in Berlin, with all the drunk and overjoyed Swedes. He had thrown out the Stockholm invitation then, but I don't know if either of us actually believed I'd take him up on it. But it worked nicely into my route and the idea of a familiar face was very appealing after traveling so long on my own.

So Stockholm it was, and Firat and his friends would be my first dose of Swedish culture. The irony being that no one, save one or two, were the blonde vikings you expect to see everywhere.
Mosebacke! Best bar view ever.
Everyone was Swedish born but a good example of Stockholm's diversity and integration of Kurdish, Persian, Iranian, etc. So much for being a unique brunette.

I spent nine days in total in Stockholm, with Firat as my host, guide and opponent in an international battle of sarcasm. We toured the city. Played mini-golf. Picnicked in the park. Watched movies. And spent more than one evening at my new favorite beer spot in the world--Mosebacke, in my new favorite neighborhood, Södermalm, overlooking the water and skyline of my new favorite city below.

I also practiced my Swedish. For the first time since I left Germany, the language finally [almost] makes sense. As an english and german speaker, I can look at signs and actually get the gist of the message. Being able to pronounce what I'm reading, however, is a completely different story. But for the time-being, I'm just happy to understand when and where "Smoking in Forbidden."

This is not to say that I can understand everything, of course, There's a lot of important vocab that holds no semblance to the languages I know. I was biking down a tree-lined road one day and saw a sign saying something like "Beware of Skodpskeojbs." Missing links such as that can prove to be very inconvenient and I had visions of turning a corner and having a large, hairy "Skodpskeojb" jump out at me. That, I suppose, would be one way to learn the word.
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Firat
Firat
stockholm
stockholm
Mosebacke! Best bar view ever.
Mosebacke! Best bar view ever.
This one, Im told, is for the lad…
This one, I'm told, is for the la…
mini-golf with Vahel, Firat and Mo…
mini-golf with Vahel, Firat and M…
stockholm from above
stockholm from above
my ship cabin
my ship cabin
Stockholm
photo by: EmyG