Lets try this again… Bloody modern technology is the worst when it doesn’t work!!
I was off to the land of flat pack furniture, meatballs and beautiful people. A lesser known fact that I soon discovered and drove me mad was that everyone there has the same ringtone! I don’t know if it’s the only one on their phones or they all just truly like it but I hated it!! I was visiting my friend Sofie that I had met a few years ago whilst volunteering in Tanzania.
We met in Stockholm so we could see some of the sites in the Capital before heading back to her place. I arrived pretty late but she met me at the bus station and we then set off to find our hostel. We were staying in Gamla Stan (old town) and with a bit of zig zagging and Sofie’s expert navigating we managed to find the place. Yes we were those horrible people that arrived in the dorm room at 2am but I think we were pretty quite unlike the guy the next night that decided he needed to write is life story on the worlds loudest laptop!
For our first day we decided to invest in a hop on hop off boat tour. It’s a great way to get around the city and is full of interesting facts about Sweden. Little tip: if you buy the tickets they are valid for 24hrs but we used them for 2 days as they never checked the dates. We hopped off the boat to go and check out the Vasa museum but the line was really long so we decided to go to an outdoor museum/little zoo called Skansen. It was pretty cool as they had set it up to look like an old swedish village and even had little shops. We wandered around there for a few hours and also checked out the zoo at the back. We then went and had some fika (which is just a cute swedish way of saying coffee and cake and pretty much the only swedish word I can say) and decided to head home as it started to rain.
The next day we decided to go and check out the ABBA museum as we thought it would be a bit more interesting than the Vasa museum. I didn’t realise how big a fan Sofie was of ABBA but we clearly made the right decision. It was a really fun and interactive museum. It went through how the group formed and all their hits plus had most of their famous costumes. Just incase there was any doubt Sofie and I quickly discovered we were shit at singing!! After a few hours and ALOT of information it was time to leave Stockholm and head to Sofie’s little town called Norrköping (said Norshoping).
Sofie had to go to work on monday (as most people do) out at the Hammerford. She worked here as a tour guide for those who wanted one. It was a pretty cool place that is basically a really old building with some huge hammers that were run by water wheels to forge steel. I’m not 100% on the whole method as some of the tour was lost in translation but I got the VIP treatment while I was there. They had just finished fixing one of the hammers and even though they weren’t supposed to turn it on till the 22nd of Aug. they turned it on for a quick demo. It’s great having friends in high places!
After a day of hanging out in sofie’s cute apartment and checking out the museums we were off to see the sites of Östergötland (said ousteryotland). Sofie worked for visit Östergötland and had the task of showing this german guy around to try to promote the region so he would send tourists there. This turned out great for me as I got to see all the sites for free!! It wasn’t the greatest day as it was pouring with rain but thankfully most of the things we were seeing were inside. We started of visiting Varna Castle. We had an awesome guide here who went through the history of the castle and talked about the people who lived here. If you do go to the castle I would highly recommend doing a tour as they dress up and portray different people who used to live in the castle. There also isn’t that much to see so would be a bit boring without the stories.
We were then off to the Airforce museum. It was a pretty cool museum with some of the earliest planes ever made up to modern-day fighter planes. The highlight of the museums though would have to be a wrek they managed to recover of a plane that was shot down by the Russians during the cold war that killed 8 people. It was a major event as it was the closest Sweden had come to war in modern history.
That night we got to stay in the flashiest hotel! It had been a long time since I had been in a hotel so to say I was excited is a bit of an understatement. It was an old school for teachers and was on a beautiful lake. Sadly it was still raining so we didn’t spend too much time outside but I wish I had brought my bathers as they had an awesome sauna by the lake.
Thankfully it had stopped raining the next day as we were off to see Gamla Linköping, another old outdoor museum (the sweeds seem to love dressing up). It was very similar to the one we went to in Stockholm but was probably a bit more catered for kids as they had loads of different activities such as baking and woodwork. We had a very cute guide in a straw hat to show us around the place before it even opened which was great as I think it gets pretty crowded. It was finally time to part with the German guy so we dropped him off at the train station and headed off to see Swedens top attraction IKEA!!!!! I don’t think Sofie was as excited as I was to be going here but we had a wander around and got some cheap ice creams so she was happy. It is pretty much the same as every Ikea around then world but you couldn’t buy my fav chocolate (Daim) as you can in Perth but I think thats coz you can buy it EVERYWHERE, and I did!!
After 5 days of exploring the region it was time to leave Norrköping and head to Gothenburg. The sun had finally decided to come out so we went to the park to soak up some rays. It was a really nice park with another little zoo in it (another thing sweeds seem to love). We really didn’t get up to much on our first day here as we were saving all of our energy for the next day.
If Ikea was the highlight of my trip then Liseberg was Sofie’s. It’s a theme park in the middle of the city with a few massive Rollercoasters. As sofie had booked online we had 3 express passes to use on the biggest rides. If you are planning on going I would def recommend doing this as you got to skip the whole line! I would also recommend going on a weekday as there really wouldn’t be any lines (an obvious tip I know). We managed to go on pretty much every ride minus the massive drop one as we both weren’t fans of that one. It was a really fun day and I would have to say that the helix Rollercoaster was my fav. While i was pretty happy to leave the park after going on all the rides Sofie was determined to win a huge box of chocolate. After a few goes without much success she finally managed to win a box of MnMs on her luck number, 10. Not content with just one box she had 5 kroner left and decided to have another go on number 10, stealing it from a little boy! She managed to win again! With 4kg of chocolate she had won enough chocolate to last her a year (or at least a few weeks…)!