On our way from Thailand to Denmark, we had a stopover in Stockholm, and so took advantage of the itinerary to stay for a few days to discover the Swedish capital. Coming straight from +30 °C it was a coooold five days and we didn’t venture outside of our hostel THAT much – but still had a great time! We stayed at Birka Hostel and really enjoyed our spacious room – just curling up under the blankets or next to the heater, drinking hot blueberry soup, playing cards or reading – true Scandinavian ‘hygge’ whilst acclimating ourselves to European temperatures again 😉
Saint Lucia’s Day.
December 13th is the day of Sankta Lucia, a major celebration in Sweden. Being from Denmark, we’re not unfamiliar with it, as it is celebrated in Denmark as well, though possibly a little less intensely. I was really excited though, that we happened to be in Sweden just then and looking forward to experience the holiday at its ‘roots’ so to speak. Of course, seeing that you can’t be in more than one place at a time (oh that darn human condition) we had to choose between the many events going on. I would have loved to attend a Lucia concert in one of the churches, but also really wanted to see the parade on ice, and anyway the democratic vote went towards the latter.
So we braved the freezing cold and headed to the skating rink. The show was beautiful, but obviously my possibly-soon-to-be-retired iphone couldn’t handle the cold and went dead just as the show began!! Luckily, in these social media days, finding a kind stranger in the crowd who had it on film and could send it to me, was a piece of Lucia Cake! So take a look at the beautiful parade here:
Something else associated with Saint Lucia in Sweden, are the famous saffron buns, called Lusekatter in Swedish. Now the optimal thing would have been to make them ourselves, which we would have done, but unfortunately the hostel were we stayed didn’t actually have a common cooking area (note to self: double check those things in the future!) so we made do with the ones from the bakery. Over the five days, I might or might not have spent an unreasonable amount of Swedish Kroner on these cakes. Ahem. And before hopping on the train to Denmark, we bought a truck load of them to munch on. Yeah, we quite liked them 🙂
Bouncing Around In Parkour Paradise.
After a couple of outings around town to find some nice spots to get some parkour practice in, we all agreed that training outside was great, but just too much of a viking effort for us this time around (insert teeth chattering grin) so we were more than thrilled to discover that Stockholm has a BOUNCE center, and that moreover it is of really easy access from town!
All you need to do is hop on the free IKEA bus that runs several times a day (departs from the central station) and then it’s a 5 min walk from the warehouse.
We paid for entry to the freerun area only and had a blast, playing around on the Ninja Warrior course and the many boxes and rails. It was a tired but happy crew that returned to the hostel and a bowl of hot soup at the end of the day 🙂
Festive Fiddles At Urban Deli.
This one was a special mama treat! By a complete coincidence, I discovered that one of my favorite folk music bands were giving a FREE concert at a coffee shop just next to the hostel were we stayed. How awesome is that?! I dragged the oldest son along, insisting he discover some “real” music (yes yes I know that’s a terrible value judgement but I totally stand by it, these folks are SKILLED) and only had to bribe him with the promise of a huge cappucino to go with it 🙂
Here’s a way too short taste of the goodness:
We also did a bit of urban hiking around town and got a good impression of the Norrmalm part of the city, enjoying the Christmas decorations, building snowmen along the way and popping into a few thrift stores and book shops when the need for warmth got too big. Yes, we’re Danes. No, you wouldn’t think so. I know.
Onwards To Copenhagen.
From Stockholm we continued on to Denmark, with the first stop being Copenhagen. I had some work related stuff to do there and a few administrative things to get settled, before moving on to the western part of the country: Jutland. More to follow on our adventures there, stay tuned for upcoming posts on the cozy, seaside village of Lønstrup and the amazing migrating dune of Rubjerg Knude.