In need of some serious inspiration, most of the time I end up thinking of traveling to “the North”, literally. I’ve always been fascinated with the Nordic countries. Iceland being the first. This time, I went to see the capital of Scandinavia — Stockholm, Sweden.
Claimed to be as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Stockholm has that sort of fairy tale vibe and a swish Scandinavian sleek. The city is built around water spread out over 14 islands and with 42 bridges — which is why this "beauty on water" is often referred to as the Venice of the North. This bustling metropolis prides itself on having some of the largest areas of unspoiled, diverse nature. At the same time, it is known as the startup hub in the world, after Silicon Valley. It’s a plethora of great things.
My personal favorites apart from the green Swedish city parks is the Old Town (Gamla Stan) and the impressive Vasa Museum.
Make your way and get lost in the narrow charming cobbled streets of the Old Town with 13th-century buildings from the 1700s and 1800s — perfectly depicts the different colors of Sweden.
The Vasa Museum, on the other hand, houses the world's only preserved 17th-century ship warship — The Vasa — obviously. History has it, the ship was capsized and sank on its maiden voyage back in 1628. The warship spent about 333 years at the bottom of the harbor until it was rediscovered and resurrected back to surface — dry-docked! The ship is very well preserved.
I paid a lot of attention to the details around this ship and it’s amazing how the vibrant colors were brought back to life. Spent a good amount of time in the audio-visual room where the story of the Vasa ship is repeatedly played.
It was said that paint residues have been found on many sculptures and gave the clue in what are believed to be the original colors. It still fascinates me just telling the story about it.
Of course, one of many things Stockholm is famous for is good food! When I say good food, I’m referring to the Swedish meatballs smothered in creamy gravy sauce, famous fish soup, salmon, cod, fish, fish and more fish! Tried one of their local beers called Besserweisser and reindeer meat — yes, reindeer or locally referred to as ren — an overrated must.
And if you are lucky, some of that Swedish friendliness just might stick!