After our Norwegian experience, we flew from Bergen to Stockholm on Friday, April 7th. At the airport, we grabbed a bottle of champagne, as we had recently realized that Sweden would be my 50th country visited and we wanted to celebrate. We took the train into the city centre and found The Rival Hotel, located in the area of Sodermalm, that Dan had found for our 3 night stay. His selection did not disappoint as it is a really cool hotel which used to be an old movie theatre. It was pretty cold outside when we arrived, but we decided to brave the weather anyways and set out on foot over the bridge to Gamla Stan. After walking through the historical centre, we went up Dronningatan to Ahlens City, the famous department store and location of the recent lorry attack. We visited the memorial site for the victims filled with flowers and condolence notes. After wandering the streets and shops, we soon found a lovely park when it actually began to snow. As our hotel had mentioned, we should not be surprised if it snowed in April, something they call “April väder”. This signified it was about time to return back to our hotel to pop that champagne for the big 5-0.
The next morning, Dan had decided we should check out Fotographiska, a place for contemporary photography and something a bit more up my alley museum-wise. After viewing the exhibits, we grabbed a coffee in the top floor café that had a great view overlooking the water. That afternoon we wandered around some art shops in Gamla Stan and then joined an afternoon bus tour around the city. We were soon headed back to the hotel before freshening up for our BBQ dinner we had been invited to by a friend. We enjoyed the delicious BBQ and homey atmosphere. We also got to try a traditional Swedish carbonated beverage that is very popular during Christmas and Easter called påskmust. After further investigation, we discovered this popular beverage outsells Coca Cola during festive periods.
Our last day in the capital included wandering through Krongsingata, Vasatan and Hay Market. In the late afternoon, we bundled up as best we could and started to make our way over to the Tele 2 Arena to catch a local football match Dan had got tickets for. We arrived, grabbed a couple of beers and found our seats. Even though the arena wasn’t full, we enjoyed the atmosphere and the fans signing their team songs. During the open-aired match it suddenly started to once again snow. The home team of Djurgården beat the visiting Elfsborg 3-0 and the game ended around 7:00 pm. We already knew where we were headed for dinner, The Pelikan, for their famous Swedish meatballs. We didn’t realize it would be so busy so we failed to make a reservation but they were able to squeeze us in at the bar. In the end, we should have split the meal as the meatballs were ginormous but absolutely delicious. We enjoyed one last cocktail at The Rival Bar before tucking in for the evening.
The next morning, we enjoyed another delicious breakfast buffet and a quick stroll before taking a taxi (which was somehow cheaper than the train) to the airport where both Dan and I flew to Berlin. It was his first visit back to Berlin since December 2016. We landed in Tegel, got settled in the apartment, and headed out to enjoy the last bit of sunshine and a cold one at Ampelmann Bar along the Spree River. The sun started to set and we decided to head to Edeka, the only nearby supermarket open on a public holiday. We grabbed a ham, potatoes, and spargel (aka white asparagus) to prepare our Easter Monday dinner. We baked the ham and made one of my mom’s specialities, scalloped potatoes. It was a great way to end our 2017 Easter Vacation.