big weekend part 2: sweden!

We had planned on leaving the hostel in Paris by 6am the next morning to catch the bus to the airport on time. What actually happened is we woke up at 6am the next morning to catch the bus to the airport JUST in the nick of time, getting to the gate just 5 minutes before boarding started. We were lucky. Once we got off of the plan in Sweden, we bought our bus tickets to the town center, got on the bus, and found out that it would take us nearly an hour and a half to get there! At least we had time to nap on the road. We arrived at the commercial center and decided to have a bite to eat there. A little stand in the center was selling wraps and soups, so we indulged. I ate a red curry soup that was somehow purple served in a Styrofoam cup along with a muffin that tasted like pizza, and Jed had a wrap filled with rice, fruit, and black beans. Sweden is strange!

I had already booked our hostel for both nights, so Jed asked someone for directions and we found it without a problem… in the dark… at 3pm. It was bizarre because I was so tired to start with, and I felt like I could’ve gone to bed right then. We checked in at the hostel and met two guys from Denmark in the kitchen. After chatting with them for quite a while, the four of us went next door to the 7/11 and bought some drinks and just hung out in our room for a little bit (as they were of course, our roommates). Later on, we met some guys from Scotland, Germany, and Spain in the kitchen as well. We all ended up hanging out together, exchanging quality cultural games and other information. Eventually we all motivated to go out into the cold, and 3 bars later, it wasn’t nearly as bad anymore!

The next day, I somehow didn’t manage to get out of bed until around 2pm, so Jed and I missed seeing Stockholm in the daylight once again. We didn’t ever see it in the daylight in fact, as it’s only light outside between 11am and 3pm. Unfortunate. We did however manage to bundle up, motivate, and explore for a few hours later that day. We had a map and had circled a few places of interest. We just walked around for a while, appreciating Stockholm and all of its freezing cold glory. We managed to find the Christmas market and a tower that gave us a panoramic view of the city, which was nice. Stockholm is very industrial, modern, and chic as one can see in some of the pictures below. Nothing really looks old at all, which was very different from most of the places I’d been to since I’ve been in Europe. It was a refreshing change!

We bought a few microwave dinners and lots of candy at a little grocery store before taking the metro back towards the hostel. While walking back, we saw an H&M and of course had to stop. After holding back from spending way too much money, we spent a reasonable 30 Kroner ($2.50) on some postcards. Back at the hostel, we took it easy for the night with an episode of How I Met Your Mother, dinner, candy, and sleep. Since we knew we had to be at the commercial center at 3:15am the next morning, we wanted to get as much sleep as possible before… a whole 3 hours!

pictures: (1) at the airport, 1 1/2 hours away from Stockholm (2) our new Scottish friend (3) German, Danish, and Scottish friends from the hostel (4) riding a street lion at 3am (5) beautiful frozen river in Stockholm (6) the moon, out at 3pm (7) pretty lights on the river (8) Stockholm by night (9) innovative Swedish candy

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