Friday, November 20, 2009

Stockholm, Sweden

Last weekend was the much anticipated trip to Sweden. I went with Janelle, Marcus and like 30 other IBMers from Bratislava. This was also my first time with Ryanair but that's a later post.

We flew out of Bratislava and landed in Skavsta which is about 1.5 hours away from Stockholm. By the time we got to the hotel it was around 9 pm, so we just went to Old Town for dinner and to walk around. This was not a late night because we only had about 2.5 days to see as much as possible. By 3:30 pm it started getting dark and by 5 pm it felt more like 11 pm. I need to go back in the summertime when the city gets around 18 hours of daylight.

Stockholm is an amazingly beautiful city with lots of parks and green spaces. It is built on 14 islands, connected by 57 bridges, and home to around 2 million people. Getting around is very easy on the metro and buses. An unlimited 72-hour transit pass was just 200 SEK. The only drawback is that everything is tragically expensive. €1 = 10 Swedish Crowns (~$1.50). A cocktail was anywhere from €10 - 15 - YIKES! But that's also because the government taxes alcohol heavily. It's a good thing we bought vodka at the duty free store in the airport.
On Sunday morning a group of us went to the Vasa Museum which was very cool. Later on, Janelle, Marcus and I jumped on a ferry across one of the waterways and went off to explore the city. That night we went to check out the Absolut Icebar. It was very touristy but one of those things that you just have to do once.

Monday was another day of pictures and enjoying the city. While on vacation, I'm all about trying different food. Some folks were happy to grab McDonald's but not the three of us because you can get that anywhere. We had some good Mexican and Thai food which you can't get here everyday. And we found a Boston-Irish themed pub that had hot wings with blue cheese dressing. Beer & Wings = SCORE!! We really wanted some sushi and Marcus wanted to try elk, but neither of those happened.

However, one of the best things was that they have 7-11 in Sweden. Who the hell would think that I could get so excited about going to 7-11? But they have real hot dogs there. I still haven't written yet about hot dogs in Czech Republic but let's just say that we tore up some hot dogs in Sweden.

Again, Stockholm was absolutely beautiful and very clean for a capital city. The people were all nice and everyone spoke English. This is definitely a city that I could see myself living in one day. Lots more pictures are already up on Flickr.

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