Every once in a while I end up in a place that hits the right buttons from the first moments of my arrival. Stockholm is one of these places.
I have been living in a fairly small place for a while now. My big city mentality has slowly faded away and I have become used to the quiet and isolated nature of living in a smaller city. So I was a little surprised at how quick my smile returned when I left the train and made my way through Stockholm Central station. People rushing, talking loudly into their mobiles, and the real indication that I was back in a city was two cab drivers having a heavy argument out from of the station.
I am sure that these things would not normally even make me think enough to end up writing them down. And three months ago I am sure that I would not even have noticed any of these things, as I would be the one rushing around to the places I felt that I needed to rush to.
So much of what makes a short stay so much better is the location of where I would sleep. So when I was doing my research on where to stay, I knew that I did not want to stay far from the places that I would end up spending most of my time.
– Close to the old city and the Palace in Gamla Stan.
– Close to some of the more interesting fashion areas and the waterfront, near the opera house.
– The restaurants and nightlife of Stureplan.
For this reason I stayed in Stureplan and did not regret it for a minute. I thought that maybe the place had run its course, as it was the place to be for celebrities, rock stars and rich kids through the 80’s and 90’s. I was expecting it to be a little washed up, but it still had the charm that would probably last a long time yet. Sure I could see that some things would have been much cooler 15 years ago, but there was nothing about it that I though was in bad taste. This is Stockholm after all. Swedish people are much harder on themselves and their country than I ever could be, so I had to be sure to not listen too much to the Swedes!
In the end I hit some good eats, champagne happy hours, some gallerias to pick up some dope Swedish fashion, walked and took photos. Everywhere I went I was greeted by extremely friendly people. So often a capital city is full of people that don’t seem to have time or want to talk to someone who is not from there. But Stockholm was quite the opposite. I was being approached, I had conversations that lasted more than 10 minutes (amazing in Scandinavia), and my meal and drinks were even comped at one of Stockholm’s newest and best spots (Thanks Alex). Perhaps it was the time of the year when I went and the locals were getting desperate to talk to someone from another place. Maybe by the end of the summer they are sick of the tourists, but in the dark and cold of February a conversation and a beer with a guy from Canada was just the excitement they were looking for.