On Friday night I flew to Stockholm to spend the weekend with a friend and former colleague who was visiting the region. A post 8pm flight meant I could work a full day before landing, albeit so close to midnight as to make no difference, and waken up after a decent night’s sleep in a new city.
My only other Scandinavian experience has been Oslo so I was anticipating a bit more of the same but had not factored on Stockholm’s busier and more cosmopolitan vibe.
EC and I were staying in cheek-by-jowl hotels in Gamla Stan. And I must confess it was great to waken up in a new place as opposed to a Saturday morning sprint to LHR and an arrival mid morning. My hotel booked for economy and convenience as opposed to luxury was the Lord Nelson. Suitably nautical it was basic but efficient and did the trick. It seems that every street and lane on Gamla Stan leads up to the Royal Palace (we enjoyed our Sunday guided tour hosted by a guide who almost seemed like he should be Swedish Royalty !) and down to the waterfront.
I’ve always held the view that, when visiting a city for the first time, a great way of checking lots of boxes is a meal time boat cruise. We chose Saturday Brunch on the ‘Stockholm’. A three hour round trip that allowed eating, drinking and sightseeing on a perfect summer’s day.
Drinking was not restricted to the ocean wave and Stockholm lends itself to a lot of sitting and watching the world go by over a beer or two with the occasional dip into culture – in our case the National Museum.
All in all a beautiful city with a rich history and a population which embraces life.
On the return flight BA had placed August’s in-flight magazine a day early. Each month they feature a vintage travel poster and, coincidentally, it was one from the 1930s advertising their service to Stockholm which took over 9 hours “Between Breakfast and Tea”. Thankfully my journey lasted only from dinner to hot cocoa.
PS A commentator on my previous entry about the Nordic Bakery suggested that a weekend would not be enough time to discover Stockholm. They were right and I will be back.