How to see Stockholm.

(I am so behind, this should have been posted ages ago.)

I could not have done this trip more perfectly. I went with a native level Swedish speaker who had lived in Stockholm, but it isn’t a place where you need such a headstart. English is everywhere, it’s easy to find your way around, the underground rail system is simple to navigate. If you are fairly central you can also walk to a lot of places. Stockholm is more spread out than I expected, however, so after a while I found I was wanting to catch trains to places and then start a jaunt.

One of the things Anglo-Saxons find fascinating about Sweden is the sense of style and the obvious way of experiencing that is to rent an apartment. Being a compulsive researcher, I promise I looked at every single possible place to stay in Stockholm before settling on a small organisation called C/O Stockholm

Although it’s the world’s fashion to eliminate the middleman at the moment, I’m all for a person who does that job well and I’m more than happy to pay for it. I don’t want a world without bookshops, or black cabs. Nor do I want a world where I can’t consult an expert for advice on where to stay. I’d rather one reliable expert than all the flies on Trip Advisor. I also like small independent businesses and here is one I’m very happy to have found.

Kenneth who runs it was the perfect consultant. We were being really fussy about what we wanted – not just location, but layout of the apartment and even what sort of bed we’d get – and we got just what we wanted. A beautiful, archetypal old Swedish apartment. It’s hard for pictures to give the whole story: the kitchen was wonderfully equipped – not that we used it for much as there are so many good places to eat in Stockholm – and the place, including the bathroom, was full of those design elements that make Sweden famous for that sort of thing.

The compact bathroom was a work of design genius.
The compact bathroom was a work of design genius.
Part of the gorgeous kitchen.
Part of the gorgeous kitchen.

I have a natural distaste for those huge accommodation sites that dominate the market, where one negotiates directly with the owner – hel-lo, thanks for getting back to me about your apartment, but it is two months after the trip now – and my travelling life is spent seeking out people like Kenneth to help me realise what I want to do. And you can see from looking at the pictures of the apartments that he has a good range in price, location, size and they are quality controlled.

Mind you, there are better places to live in Stockholm, I was to discover. One of the highlights of the trip was going to Drottningholm Palace It’s where the King and Queen live.

No, that's not the King and Queen. Or their children.
No, that’s not the King and Queen. Or their children.

You can wander around inside the palace, but the grounds are beautiful and it was the perfect day for being outside. Highly recommend this trip if you are looking for an outing to take most of a day.

Drottingholm Palace: in the gardens
Drottingholm Palace: in the gardens
View from the ferry as we left to come back to Stockholm.
View from the ferry as we left to come back to Stockholm.
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