Only about 11 months late finally came my honeymoon! And it could not have possibly been better. My husband Freddy met up with me in Stockholm for a long, 4-day weekend right before the end of my trip to Spain. We came right in the middle of a snowstorm and stayed in a cozy apartment in Älvsjö in the suburbs, just a quick commuter rail ride away from downtown. The apartment was charming and our host was very helpful and kind, giving us handy tips for getting around and even leaving some milk, sandwich supplies, and pasta supplies in the fridge for us! Though I always have known I like the snow, not until I arrived in this enchanted wonderland called Sweden did I realize I absolutely loved it! Especially when it does not turn to slush and mud hours after it finished snowing, as it has a tendency to do in Boston.
We did a lot of things in our days in Stockholm, making up for months spent apart again and really falling in love with the city. Though it is a pretty expensive city, we managed to keep our costs low by cooking in the apartment and taking advantage of some free activities around the city, such as ice skating in Kungsträdgården Park and exploring the many Christmas markets scattered around the city. The old town Gamla Stan had a really lovely one with plenty of sightseeing and strolling to be had around it. There was also one in front of Kulturehuset that had the best glögg and pepparkakor in the world! We went back a couple times just for that. The Kulturehuset itself was also a worthwhile activity as a cultural hub open to the public with museums, a library, cafés, restaurants, shops, and more inside.
Ice skating at Kungsträdgården Park.
The Christmas market on Gamla Stan.
The best glogg ever is in the cluster of tents in the middle.
One of our excursions included a visit to the photography museum Fotografiska on Södermalm Island in Stockholm. At this time they were dedicating the entire museum to a single exhibit of David LaChapelle’s work, which they have never done before. I have seen LaChapelle’s work before but always just in passing. I loved this opportunity to get to know him as a photographer and see what his work was all about, the colors, the use of well-known celebrities to hold a social commentary on major issues or showcase the past in a different light, it was all so fascinating. The view of Stockholm from the café up on the top floor was fantastic as well!
Another was a trip to the Royal Opera House of Sweden, Kungliga Operan. The gorgeous façade was only a precursor to the decadence of the interior. I have never been in an opera house before, so this was a real treat. Though we did not understand the words of the opera we say since it was in another language, we could understand the storyline a bit just because of how dramatic everything was.
Last of all, my favorite destination was a quick trolley ride from downtown Stockholm on Djurgården island. Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum that has everything from a massive Christmas market, a recreated village of the native Sami culture with music and other cultural artifacts, and an amazing farmstead! They had some of my favorite animals, such as otters and foxes, and a lot of unexpected ones like reindeer. In the markets I got some Christmas shopping out of the way, buying some homemade glögg and charming handmade ornaments. Skansen was a captivating place and we spent all afternoon exploring the grounds before heading out with a gorgeous sunset to send us off.
The entrance to Skansen.
The Christmas market at Skansen.
One of the recreated Sami houses.
This post would not be complete without a photo of a cat.
The zoom on my new camera is amazing!
The Swedish flag.
A lone wolf.
OTTERS! The best animal.
I really enjoyed coming here in December despite the 3pm sunset and heavy snow. The Swedish people love their Christmas season, which I can completely understand as you need some cheer to deal with a long, hard winter ahead. Also, I can’t get over how great it is being greeted by Swedes. Hello in Swedish is “hej,” which sounds like the English “hey.” It’s just so casual!
Our sad snowman :( this is what laziness makes!
Sad to be leaving…