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Monday, May 30, 2011

After another night with 62 of our closest friends, we woke up early and headed down to the central train station to begin our journey to Stockholm, first spending our last 20 DKK on a cheeseburger and carrot sticks for breakfast--our first McDonalds indulgence since leaving home a month ago. Mmmm salt haha.

We took a brief train to Malmo, and then transferred onto the inter-city train for a roughly 6 hour ride to Stockholm, which I used to sleep on. Sadly, there was no internet so I couldn't work, which was my first plan, but I haven't been sleeping that well since we left Canada, so it was good to get a few extra hours along the way.

We got into Stockholm at about 2 and walked to our hostel, which is on Gamla Stan, right in the midst of Old Town. It's a gorgeous city and a lovely hostel with several kitchens (and free pasta!), decent internet, and bunk beds tucked up and around cute rooms with exposed brick and some ancient beams--the building dates back to the 1400s! The hostel itself is an absolute warren, spanning three not-so-connected floors and with several rooms all over the place. It's quite lovely though, and if you need a cheap place to stay in Stockholm, I'd definitely recommend 'The Best Hostel Old Town'--they're even offering us free breakfast tomorrow.

We spent some time walking around looking for an ATM, and then further time walking around to find the ferry ticket office so that Hoka could pay for her reservation. While none of that was tourist-ing per se, it was a great chance to explore the city by foot, and also enjoy the first hot sunny day we've seen in ages. It was 20ยบ and I was in a tank top and loving it!

We've all agreed we love Stockholm so far, and much more than Copenhagen. I wish we had more time here, but I've loved walking around in the older areas, with the great old buildings, looking at all the water (it's 14 islands linked by bridges) and enjoying the vibe of another proper city. This is definitely one where we got off the train and had an instant good feeling about it.

People are super friendly, too--Cecilia befriended a street performer who was playing a song she liked on her guitar and we chatted with her for a bit, and a random guy helped us find a bank--just little things, but people are generally lovely here. Lots of cute dogs, too!

For dinner, we took advantage of the free pasta and bought some chorizo sausages, sauce, and an onion for a delicious dinner in the hostel--one of the kitchens has big windows overlooking one of the rivers (canals?) it was lovely!

Tomorrow we have a big day planned: I'm getting up early to work, we are going to the Palace (Europe's largest that is still in use, with 608 rooms), the art museum, and then to our ferry, which leaves at 5pm and takes us to Riga.


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