Pauline and Francesca | Stockholm, February 2017
On a midweek day, we decided to take off to Stockholm, as simple as that.
10 hours, two buses, one plane and a Mexican lunch later, we arrived at our hostel and left our backpacks before getting lost in the city.
This was our main activity, randomly wandering in the streets of Stockholm without knowing where we were heading to, entering bars at usually not socially-acceptable times or getting hot-dogs in the middle of the night. Pure improvisation, driven by the colours of clothes shops, the perfume of pastries and other photogenic scenarios.
Something to bear in mind when travelling to Northern Europe is that no matter the time of the day, the smelly pub or the fancy restaurant, people dress well and have pitoresque traits, perfectly combed blonde hair and shaved beards – quite surprising after months of university standards.
The days went by between long walks, grey skies and minimalist beauty inside every window we happened to peek in. Oh, we almost got tattooed, but that’s another story involving undervaluation of finances, seagulls and a guy called Parr.
On a morning, we took an impromptu trip to IKEA for brunch, because it was cheap, the shuttle was free, and you could eat meatballs at 9 in the morning without anyone judging you – let’s admit it everyone loves IKEA even if they all look the same.
We discovered the life-changing magic of 7Eleven’s, the crème de la crème when it comes to sweets, crisps and all other sorts of junk crap you crave after a night of deep conversations amalgamated with big glasses of wine (the quantity makes do for the price, that’s for sure).
And after two days of candy tasting with strangers at the hostel (hi Jacob), pretentious wine sipping in chic bars without fitting in the Scandinavian fashion and drinking good coffee, we gave up on pretending to know what we were doing on that island and started embracing our selfnesses.
A thing to remember when travelling is that anything could happen, you have to be open to any opportunity, any issue that can come to you – like missing your bus to the airport and ending up in a taxi with a famous singer.
When on the road, you create certain expectations about the place you’re heading to. Heart on a sleeve, you don’t go to Stockholm for charming skyline or tropical weather, but its coffee, blond haired people and design definitely make it worth a go.
One piece of advice we could give you is to plan, even if just a tiny bit or at least learn where the north is beforehand so that you don’t spend your afternoons walking without purpose and complaining about how much your feet hurt while being surrounded by suburbs architecture.Lesson learnt.
If we could sum up this quick escape, three words would come up: expensive, spontaneous, and improvised.
- City Backpackers Hostel – cosy, central and no-shoe policy
- Drop Coffee and Coffice – very good foamy cappuccino
- Scandic Malmen – fancy environment, good wine and music
- Infamous Studio – fun people and no need for booking to get inked
- Wayne’s Coffee – on-the-go coffee, quite expensive but marvellous