Today wraps my last day in Stockholm, Sweden — The middle leg of my scandinavian holiday that I’m taking while on sabbatical. Stockholm has been great, with loads of museums, picturesque walks and today we had some snow!
I can’t help but compare Stockholm to Croydon in the UK. When we arrived at Stockholm Central station from the Airport we walked to outside Åhléns where we got the tram to the area that our hotel is based. If I replaced Åhléns with Allders then I’m basically talking about Croydon so it’s been hard to move away from that framing.
What’s also made it hard to not compare Stockholm to Croydon has been the people, who from my eight days of being here are just as rude, although not as loud as people from London (although Croydon being in London is something some will debate).
Compared to Copenhagen there’s a lot more cars and less bikes on the road in Stockholm but that’s a little more understandable due to how cold it gets here. Public transport wise it’s similar with the addition of the tram, the trains here I would say have better signage than those in Denmark with a screen showing the next 4 stops which was useful for when we headed out of the city centre.
Our first full day in Stockholm was on a Sunday so we stayed local as things were closing early and we had a lay in to sleep off getting up early to make our flight the day before. Luckily the Vasa Museum was right by our hotel so we had a wander over there and was blown away at the scale of both the ship and the craftmanship that was put into it.
On Monday we took a stroll around Stockholm’s old town (Gamla Stan) and found a really cool comic / gaming shop which had some cool D&D displays.
On Tuesday we went to Skansen which for me has been the highlight of my time in Stockholm. It’s an amazing open air museum and zoo which had a really cool mix of crafting workshops, gardens and animals. The enclosures in the zoo were massive so I was really happy to see the animals not being closed in like in some zoos, there was also a really fun monkey area you could walk through with them running around.
On Wednesday I dragged my other-half to Skogskyrkogården, a cemetry about 25 mins outside of Stockholm that was used for a picture in the liner notes (remember those) of Entombed’s Left Hand Path. Being a massive Death Metal fan I had to go see the cross there and get a picture.
On Thursday we had a boat tour of the Stockholm Archipelago booked so we went aboard and enjoyed a two and a half journey to Vaxholm and back while taking in the sites. It was around this time that the temperature dropped and I came to realise how my Barbour Ashby jacket works well for UK winters but nordic winters would require an extra layer so I decided to go buy a liner for the jacket which has proved worthwhile.
Friday saw a trip to the Toy Museum but I was a little disappointed in it. There were a few cool displays but there was nothing that really told the story of how toys changed over the years and more just collections of toys with similar properties (like cars, planes etc). I think they could have improved it by showing the evolution of toys from wooden to plastic to electronic and how the business behind toys changed too (like the 80s tie-in TV show boom).
Today (Saturday) it snowed so instead of going to see anything in particular we had a walk around some of the area in the snow as the UK doesn’t get snow in the same sense so the novelty was still there.