Mr. Bean and I were lucky enough to spend two weeks in Sweden and one week in Germany as a sort of graduation/birthday present for me. I have been to Europe a few time before but it was Mr. Bean’s first time, which made it all that much more exciting.
As you can see in the following map, we started in Stockholm and looped around southern Sweden. Thus, I’m going to start off my recap in Stockholm and proceed from there. 🙂
It is important to note that the opinions about places are mine and are based on experiences I had while in Sweden/Germany, so they may not be the same as expressed elsewhere.
Stockholm is a very beautiful city that is definitely worth a visit. Since Sweden wasn’t bombed to bits during the Second World War, there are lots of very picturesque old buildings, especially in Stockholm’s Galma Stan (Old City). Stockholm is built on an archipelago, which means a lot of very scenic and beautiful waterfronts.
Mr. Bean and I rented an apartment in Sodermalm, an island in southern central Stockholm that used to be the home of the working class but now is a fairly trendy area. Our apartment was off the main drag, which suited us well as it was pretty quiet. I do recommend trying to rent an apartment, especially if you want to cook some of your own food like we did. Plus, they are generally less expensive than hotels, which definitely a bonus.
The first full day that we were in Stockholm, we wandered around on foot for pretty much the entire day. We wandered around the Galma Stan and the main tourist/shopping district. I really wanted to go to the ABBA museum that our guidebooks were talking about, but apparently it doesn’t exist.
Of course, like in most of Europe, there are lots of really neat churches.
We also visited the Vasa Museet – a museum about a reconstructed ship that sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was rescued in the 1960s. It’s pretty neat as most of the ship is original and archaeologists have been able to guess the lifestyles of people at that time based on what remains they found inside.
2010 is a bit of a special year for Stockholm because the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is getting married on June 19th, so there are lots of ads for “LOVE Stockholm 2010”. You can also buy wedding candy and paraphernalia of all kinds just to satisfy your royal wedding cravings. I found how excited the country was about the wedding to be quite cute and I have to admit that I might actually watch part of the wedding online because I’m cool like that.
One of the things I really liked about Stockholm was the public transit system. So. Amazingly. Efficient. (P.S. I come from a city where public transit is somewhat mediocre as we suffer from urban sprawl.) Plus, their buses are run using biogas made from taking human/animal waste, alcohol from customs, an anaerobic digester and time. How cool is that?
Oddly enough, route 3 was the route Mr. Bean and I took to visit a work colleague of his. It was awesome because it came every three minutes during rush hour.
Next up? Motala, a smaller city along the Gota Canal, where Mr. Bean’s grandfather was born.