small-circle-of-friends (small_circle) wrote,

  • Music:

Let! Me! Tell you about Sweden! On! Ly! Country where the clouds are interesting.

I've just returned from a -I believe they're called- "City Break" in Stockholm. My diet had been going quite well up till this point, but gosh you forget how delicious beer is, don't you? Particularly when it costs £6 a pint.
Won't bore you all with the details of "and then we did this...", but if you happen to visit Stockholm anytime, I can heartily recommend the following:

Staying at the Nordic Sea Hotel. The Ice Bar is a bit of a rip-off at £15 for a Vodka cocktail, but what an atmosphere.

Eating at Bakfickan, round the back of the Opera House. The Biff Rydberg is easily the most beautiful meal I've eaten this year. Simple, yet...I dunno, the taste just exploded in my mouth.

Stopping off for coffee & apple crumble at Konditori Valand valand
an achingly authentic (er...because they've never bothered redecorating) coffee house in the north of the city. The owner was the only person I encountered during the weekend who didn't speak English (she spoke German), but phew that decor.

Walking around a lot (goes for any holiday).

Comparing the shades of orange/brown/tan/rust with which *every single building* is painted. Such beautiful uniformity-yet-diversity.

Taking a day-trip to the archipelago. The advantage of building a city on a bunch of islands is that it's possible to incorporate so many different environments into quite a small area. In the city itself, it's almost as if each island has a role: Sodermalm for studes & trendies, Gamla Stan for olde-worlde tourist vibe, Norrmalm for shopping & business.... but just a short ferry-ride gets you out into the Baltic for a different experience again. It felt like the Isles Of Scilly.

Shopping at Nostalgiepalatset on St Eriksgatan. The most well-stocked record shop I've visited outside the USA; and not only for records, but for vintage hi-fi, books, mags, '60s ephemera, the lot. If you're looking for that elusive Shanes LP or The Hep Stars' "We And Our Cadillac", this is the place to find it, and at a bargain price too.

Wondering if you'll see a member of Abba, and then ACTUALLY SEEING ONE (Benny, just nipping downstairs in the otherwise disappointing Prinsen restaurant).

Visiting Skansen; on the face of it a not-very-inspiring combination of theme-park-and-zoo, but the 15th-16th century buildings were a revelation (no, they were!!), and come on: bears, bison, owls, wolverines are more entertaining than most people I know.

Not flying BA. No food (obviously), but a frickin' 2 hour delay on a 3 hour flight is a disgrace.
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