Stockholm wasn’t on my travel list but I am glad that fate brought us together 😀 I am really surprised by the fact that I haven’t seriously considered going there earlier. It was just the perfect destination for me. I loved it so much because of:
- boats (and ships)
- water and islands (to make sense of the first advantage)
- delicious vegan food
- tap water everywhere
- cycle lanes
- good music
- good beer
- picturesque sceneries and architecture
- awesome museums
- minimalistic style
- kind and beautiful blond people with blue eyes who speak perfect English
Why Stockholm? Well, last year Billy Idol announced his European tour, so I immediately started looking for the cheapest flights to any of the cities he was about to rock. After a quick discussion with a friend of mine, we bought tickets to Stockholm. We both wanted to visit someplace new and off we went.
Planning a vacation is half the fun. Even though I procrastinated till the last day printing the tickets and going to the exchange office, everything was perfectly on time. Well, those were my backups, in case something happens with my phone or card. It’s very convenient that in Sweeden you can pay with a card. Somewhere, a card is the only option, because they don’t accept cash.
In the afternoon we flew from rainy Sofia and when we arrived in Stockholm, we clearly were already hungry. As a vegan, I always make a research before traveling – I want to be sure that there will be something, anything, preferably tasty, to eat. When I chose accommodation, I was glad to find out that right next to it there’s a vegetarian restaurant called Hermans. We were striving to reach our place as quickly as possible and then go there for a dinner. Done and done. We found our hostel easily and we were delighted! We were about to spent the next four nights in a cute cabin, on a real ship! And we had a view! I’ve been dreaming of that at least since I had watched Titanic. Well, we weren’t actually moving, but it still counts.
Mood: INVSN – I Dreamt Music
The evening became even better in the restaurant, which was so nice – a lovely garden with hammocks, and the food was superb. And they recycle. And check out the view (our ship bottom-right) 🙂
We were enjoying our first white night ever and after 3 hours of sunset, we were in bed, preparing ourselves for the next rock’n’roll day.
I love the morning after my arrival in a new city and the excitement that takes hold of me immediately when I think about the upcoming adventures. We started easy, bought some fruits and coffee from the Coop store, then enjoyed our breakfast in the closest park. The summer in the city definitely charmed us, so we were walking in the neighborhood for a few hours rejoicing at those cute boats and the blue waters ♡
As we were just speaking about lunch, we accidentally got into another veggie restaurant called Legumes with good food and good beer. After exploring the lovely area, we got ready and took a ferry to Gröna Lund park, where we were about to dance with Billy Idol and his band. We had time before the concert, so we walked around a bit. Live music and some vegan (for me) pizza prepared us for the show. I didn’t like the Gröna Lund park for only one reason (no time to find more) – it’s too small for concerts like this. Although most of the fans reminded me of Sequoia National Forest, I was dancing with myself and eventually they all began to do the same 🙂 A bit disappointed of not hearing my favorite Speed, but I guess there will be a next time 🙂 In general, the concert was great and I am glad I had the pleasure to see BFI on stage ♡
Mood: Billy Idol – Dancing with myself
For the next two days, we bought a Stockholm pass because it seemed like a great deal. In our case, it was. We didn’t want to rush ourselves into museums like crazy, we just picked what we thought it could be the most interesting and I can confirm now that we do have a sense for the best.
The third day started again with a walk in the neighborhood where we discovered another lovely veggie restaurant – Chutney. I like the fact that flavored tap water (cucumber, lemon or pomegranate) plus bread and salad are included in the meal. Check out our healthy nourishing plates 🙂 So yummy!
After we filled our bellies, we headed to the island of Djurgården. First stop – Vassa museum. You will find inside a whole ship of the 17th century which had sunk on its first voyage. Later it was pulled out and now you can see it in the museum. Funny story but quite an impressive result – obviously there’s no such thing as failure for the Swedish people. Even a ship that has never sailed in the open seas can be transformed into something beneficial.
Right next to Vasa, the Nordic Museum and its solid building caught my eye. I can spend a whole day in it, there is so much stuff – fashion, furniture, etc. and it’s interesting to see how the trends had changed over the years. This guy will salute you as you walk in.
After some cultural history, we walked the park next to the museum – Lusthusportens park, attracted by a lawn full of super cute gooses ♡
Mood: No Fun At All – In a Moment
Then finally headed to Gamla stan – the old town.
Like every old town has its unique magic! Little streets with small artistic stores and fascinating buildings! And many restaurants, of course. We found another veggie one – Hermitage, and again we were amazed by the delicious food which demanded another walk. Can’t complain though. Stockholm is possibly one of the easiest places I have been to eat plant-based ♡
I usually search for nice spots but the one below found us first while we were looking for stairs the first day. This time, without our luggage, we went up for a beer and, of course, the sunset. I definitely recommend the place, the scenery is spectacular! Look for Katarinahissen – this is actually an elevator but I think it was out of service. The bar/restaurant is called Gondolen and I am sure you will love it 🙂
The next day we started with breakfast in the cabin – some fruits from the store and I bought myself a coffee with oat milk. Then we went to the Museum of Photography, which is right next to the ship.
What an amazing place! I wasn’t only looking at the images, I was feeling them. The selection was so thrilling. I was literally shaken by the images of Sea Legacy, go check them out – their work is astonishing and their message is important for all of us.
After the fantastic experience of the exhibitions, we discovered the restaurant on the top – it happens to offer vegan food, a stylish interior, and a lovely outlook.
Mood: Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed
Later on, we went to the center to accidentally run into a nice festival. It was presenting Indonesia, which is my most desired destination. I believe the Universe is trying to tell me something 😀 I hope it also finds a way to tell me the name of this band since I couldn’t find it in the festival program. They were really cool 🙂
We danced for a while, then went to catch the boat to the beautiful Drottningholm palace.
Ah, the palace! I’ve seen others, but this one is definitely my favorite! It wasn’t crowded and we managed to feel like princesses walking through the wonderful gardens, sitting here and there…
Mood: Johan Helmich Roman – Drottningholmsmusiken
So magical! It felt like the time was playing games with me, and I didn’t mind.
Sadly, we eventually remembered that we have to catch the boat in 20 minutes. We wanted to check the palace inside too, so our walk turned into a run, seriously. It was fun and I am glad we did it because the interior was exquisite. Тhe windows were open so we could see that view!
I am only sorry that I couldn’t capture the library inside properly, I almost forgot to use my camera when I saw it – I was speechless. It was a huge room filled with books and there was even a wooden ladder! If you watched The beauty and the beast over 100 times in your life, you will understand why I am so excited.
After a proper run and laugh, we caught the boat but by the skin of our teeth.
Mood: Ludwig Goransson- Greendale is Where I Belong
We went back to the city and walked to Gamla stan to enter the last museum for our vacation – The Nobel Museum. Actually, I was a bit bored there, especially after the experience of that day, but I found the most awesome little music box (or whatever it’s called), so it was worth entering.
What a lovely day we had again! It ended with sweet talks about the good old times:) Zlati and I were colleagues in the university but we weren’t friends then, we hardly ever spoke. We became closer since we started going to music concerts together two years ago. We spent 4 years in university not knowing how much we have in common 😀 Life is weird 😀
Mood: The Cardigans – Closing Time
Last day we left for lazy Sunday stuff – brunch at Chutney (mentioned earlier) and a good walk around the neighborhood for the last time during our vacation. I love how calm it was, with cute green areas for relaxing between the living buildings.
While hanging around, we met the cat Nefertiti and her friend who was very kind to make me a gift – black flower seeds! If I grow them properly, I will let you know – they are surreal and must be seen!
But what is a Stockholm vacation without having a Fika? Do you know what Fika is? Fika is a habit, an attitude, basically, a state of mind – to make time for yourself and someone near and dear, time to recharge, to relax, to have a coffee and some cake or sandwiches. A moment to indulge and appreciate the good things in life. Simply a daily pause. I love it! It’s genius and I hope it becomes popular everywhere. I definitely took it with me in my everyday life, but I started applying the ritual while we were still on Swedish land to feel it more authentic. We indulged ourselves in the cozy concept of Fika in Hermans (the veggie place with the great view) before getting our luggage from the hostel and heading home.
Mood: Roxette – Real Sugar
Such an amazing vacation we had! I am thankful for the comfy stay on the ship. I recommend checking the hostel – M/S Birger Jarl is an affordable place with the perfect location and it’s such a fun experience to sleep in a cabin. I slept on the bed’ second floor and could touch the ceiling with my foot (with an effort, but still I count this as a temporary superpower) 😀 The staff is so kind and cooperative, the beer at the bar is good and the view is breathtaking. Hope to be back ♡
Mood: Millencolin- Battery Check
P.S. My mood in this post is dictated by my favorite Swedish bands and composers, except Dancing with myself by BFI, (because of the show), and Maybe I’m amazed by Paul McCartney (because of the exhibition of Linda and Mary McCartney in the Museum of Photography).