Stockholm: a weekend in the city of the pickled herring

Stockholm: a weekend in the city of the pickled herring

Here I am again, in front of a blank page and ready to fill it to tell you that I’ve been traveling again… It was about time, I hadn’t been on a plane since the end on January and I was starting to have withdrawal symptoms…

I moved job again but I’m still not rich nor famous so I had to choose destination as usual: Skyscanner on the Web, what’s the cheapest flight this term?

It was Stockholm (£35 for two return tickets) so I went and bought them (1-4 March), booked the hotel (it’s a boat!), the bus tickets from airport to city centre (Flygbussarna) and then I asked Fergus if he wanted to come to Stockholm and my boss if she would approve my day off. As I learnt, this is the correct order: if you think too much about something you end up not doing it…

Stockholm at night, frozen sea, lights on the water, sights from Södermalm
And if you don’t think too much you end up in places like this…

There weren’t many days (for some reason in always short of annual leave days) and we had to make the most of them so I started designing itineraries, loading our travel card, research options… I prepare for trips so less weird things happen and I think it’s working: lately I haven’t been mistakenly detained for drug smuggling.. But that doesn’t mean I’m no longer an absent minded creature who does things like throwing her glasses to the bin in the plane with the leftovers of a sandwich (sadly true).

We were leaving on Friday after work but since we were sitting in the first row (pure luck) we were the first ones to cross security and with Skavsta airport being toy size by 7.30 pm we were already in Stockholm Central Station buying random sweets using a criteria de colours of the bags. Apparently they love liquorice in Stockholm, even worse, salty liquorice. My taste buds are still crying remembering that…

From the station we had a stroll under the moonlight (sunset at 5.15) towards the botel (boat-Hotel, I’m registering the name). The City of Stockholm consists of 14 islands and many many bridges. From the station in Norrmalm Island (shops, stations, expensive hotels) we crossed the bridge to Helgeandsholmen (government and medieval museum and there’s no space for anything else) and from there to Riddarholmen (Gamla Stan or old city: beautiful area with and exponentially increasing number of souvenir shops as you progress) and Södermalm (the island – neighbourhood considered hip and cool) where we’d find our botel. Four islands in a 25 min walk. Well, 25 min according to Google maps that doesn’t need to stop every 2 min because oh my god how beautiful is the reflection of the lights in the water from the bridge (photo), what a curious light thingy is that (photo), look at that wonderful building (photo), that’s a moomin! (photo), my mum likes Pippi Longstockings (photo), such amazing sights (photo), my fingers are bloody freezing! (no photo).

Pippi Longstockings, moomins, gamla stan, government building in Stockholm, Sergels tower, Stockholm at night
The photos to blame for my near-frostbite experience

So instead of 25 min it might have been an hour and a half and when we arrived to the place where we had planned to buy dinner (name), it was closed. It was a street food van that according to trip advisor sells the best fish in Stockholm (and also the best pickled herring, but we’re not so adventurous…apparently it’s not recommend to eat that at home so you don’t stink the neighbours, that’s how deliciously it smells). We weren’t really that disappointed because that meant having dinner in a warm place and that’s the kind of touch you appreciate when you’re at – 6 degrees. We had dinner in a place called Blå Dörren (blue door), where we got these very decent meals for only 368 sek (around £35), which it’s pretty good for this city…

pytt bellman, bits in a pan with egg, alcohol free swedish beer, mariestads, swedish meatballs, swedish food

IKEA style meatballs for Fergus, Pytt Bellman for me (it means “bits in a pan”, and it’s exactly that) with lingonberry juice and alcohol free beer.

Once we had gone back to alive human temperature we continued our journey with a beautiful stroll across the bridges and besides the sea enjoying magnificent night sights all the way to our cabin aboard the STF Rygerfjord. I was really excited about sleeping in a boat, specially when I saw it was surrounded by floating ice blocks (apparently I’m easily impressed) so I slept like a wee angel (wee angel in hell, due to the temperature of the boat being inspired by summer in a desert).

boat cabin, ship cabin, sleeping in a boat, STF Rygerfjord
It’s not glamourous or even that comfy but it’s a ship! A ship!


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Stockholm: a weekend in the city of the pickled herring