Hej hej from Stockholm.

For your information, 'hej' is pronounced like 'hey', and that is how people greet you in Sweden - with a super bright and cheerful sounding, "hej!" It's awesome.

Kungsträdgården (King's Garden).

Royal Palace. Veeery interesting renovation history involving a rather convenient fire, if you're into that kind of thing. Special thanks to the Free Tour Stockholm for that little gem.

We visited this little cafe two out of the three days that we were in Stockholm. It was pretty cold there and the cozy, candlelit interior was the perfect place to warm up. Every single thing we had was delicious and if you're wondering what's in that small bowl Owen is grasping with glee, it's hot chocolate. It comes in bowls.

Home sweet home!

I would recommend the Red Boat Hotel/Hostel to pretty much anyone visiting Stockholm. If you didn't know, Stockholm is not a cheap city. It's not the worst one out there, but it's more expensive than London - and I think London is pretty expensive. Not only does staying in a hostel bring the price of accommodation waaaay down, but you also get to sleep on a boat. And despite the fact that temperatures dipped below freezing at night (and sometimes during the day) our little cabin was so warm that blankets were kicked off at night. The rooms are below deck, while the upper floor holds the super cozy dining/sitting rooms, and they put out a full breakfast smörgåsbord every morning for a small, extra fee. It's probably enough food to keep you full until dinner and, let's be honest, it's real easy to smuggle out some extra sandwiches, if need be. Plus, it's only 5 minutes walk from Gamla Stan (the old town) and YOU GET TO STAY ON A BOAT!!! I mean, really, it's a no-brainer.

The Vasa!

One of the most difficult parts of planning a short visit to a new destination is trying to decide what to do and see in the limited time you have, but I think Owen and I did a pretty good job. Thanks to our extremely insightful pocket guide, we hit all the right spots including Den Gyldene Freden - a restaurant on Gamla Stan that has remained relatively unchanged since its opening in 1722. A bit on the pricy side, but with mains such as sausage made from Roe Deer and Wild Boar, with onions, figs and mushrooms, and the uber-traditional Swedish meatballs, with mash, lingonberries and a cream sauce, we couldn't pass it up. Next time I'm having the reindeer burger.

It was a quick three days and such a special way to end the holiday season. There is still so much that I would like to see, so hopefully there will be a return trip in the not-too-distant future. For now it's back to the grind, with a 7-day work week to start things off.

Day-dreaming about where to go next!



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