DISCLAIMER: THIS WILL BE A LONG POST. BUT IT WILL BE WORTH READING!
This weekend was my first independent traveling experience. I went with Mia & some friends that we’ve made here at DIS (Vince, Alia, Kalli, Kelsey, Courtney, David, Jared, & Casey). Stockholm, Sweden was the destination of choice–a beautiful (expensive) Scandinavian city! The adventure begins…
I found the only Starbucks in Denmark!! It’s in the CPH airport, FYI.
The BEFORE picture
The AFTER picture, on the way home to CPH.
Note: The hostel showers were not up to some of our standards, thus we did not shower all trip.
a view of the many islands of Sweden from the plane…
…and a view of me on the plane!
Swedish money is so pretty… but 100 SEK is about $15!!
With the task of actually getting there taken care of, Stockholm was calling our names. The first thing we did, since it was a Friday night, was go to a pub.
Mia & I at the pub
- Mia, me, Alia, & Courtney with our Stockholm beverages
After a long day of classes back home in the Cøbes (our affectionate name for Copenhagen, pronounced Koobs) and an evening full of travel, we were content to retire after our short excursion. Our hostel was called BestHostel, in Old Town, the quaint city center of Stockholm.
Just take a look at the wifi name for the hostel.
Is Justin Beiber gay?? In Stockholm, they think so.
The next day (Saturday), we rose early and got down to the nitty gritty of exploration. I don’t know how Lewis & Clark managed to explore the whole Louisiana Territory, because my feet were killing me after one day of Stockholm!
Some highlights include:
all of us in front of the canal and the palace
- Vince, me, Mia & Kalli
- Vince & I in front of our hostel, with a beautiful church tower right outside
Vince & I lighting a candle inside the church, a spiritual tradition of Vince’s that he let me in on
If you can see me, I was having a moment inside the church… Mia took the picture. Uncle Louie, it was so beautiful that I had to say thanks for saving you.
Vince & I at the harbor
Me, Alia, Kalli, Mia, & Vince on a bridge
Me, Kalli, & Mia on that same bridge, with the beautiful city behind us
Me, Mia, Alia, Kalli, & Vince on a gorgeous harbor where people park their boats
riding the harbor taxi!
Mia & I having a moment on the harbor
a view of Stockholm from the Harbor Taxi
Obviously, we are seasoned explorers. We ended up at a cafe in the middle of town for lunch, munching on spinach ravioli and roasted veggies. FREE COFFEE made my day, and helped reboot us for the walk back to the hostel. On the way, we stopped at Vassa museum to see the ship that sank right outside the harbor, after sailing less than one nautical mile on its maiden voyage. Interestingly, the Vassa was stuck under the sea for almost 400 years until, finally, it was raised in the 1960’s. Believe it or not, the ship is in amazing condition–almost 98% original timber!!
The museum is built around the ship, with 7 floors surrounding the giant ship, and the roof built so that the tall masts poke through the ceiling. Here we are at the bottom of the hull.
closer to the deck
Another cool thing we found was actually right outside our hostel in the square. It was a fresh water fountain that you could drink out of!
Although most of the day went off without a hitch, there was a slight speed bump where we got caught on the other side of a marathon. There were so many runners, and when we asked one of the volunteers how to get across, she replied in broken English, “Good luck!” We knew we had to run in between the runners… and Alia snapped this photo as Mia and I attempted to dodge them.
Mia is by the light pole, and I am on the far right. Blending in? Not even close.
Although there were many parts of this day that were fabulous, my favorite was “The Bubble” (which is actually called The Skyview). An Epcot-like white spherical building, and one of the highest points in Stockholm, has turned itself into a tourist attraction. (Click here to see their website)
Those small bubbles, referred to as gondolas, carry groups of people from the ground to the top of the sphere, where everyone inside can see a vast view of Stockholm. Honestly, it was breathtaking.
Alia, Mia, Kalli, Courtney, Me, & Vince in the gondola
Such a fulfilling day can only be followed by a crazy night. The ONE thing we planned before we got to Stockholm was a visit to the world’s first Ice Bar. Made entirely of ice, this bar equips its patrons with parka and gloves upon entry, handing out a complimentary drink (of choice) served inside a giant ice cube. Essentially the coolest thing ever, we could not wait to try it out. Aside from the fact that my nose froze, I’d say it was the best part of my trip! We took a million pictures…
Overall, this trip was amazing. The rest of the night was spent in a similar manner, as we enjoyed the company of one another and lived it up in Stockholm! Sunday, of course, was spent in recovery, counting our remaining pennies and finding our way back to the airport for a flight that ended up delayed… and left us all starving. When we made it back to the Cøbes, we all heaved a collective sigh of sadness to leave Stockholm, and relief to be back in familiar territory.
As for highlights, those are the best ones. But, you lucky readers, I will leave you with a treat for making it all the way to the end of this post! I call these The Many Faces of Bri. Enjoy!
pre-takeoff plane excitement
- In front of the Vassa museum on the Harbor Taxi