Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 22-24: Stockholm and its pretty people

My trip to Stockholm started with an early flight with Ryanair, an airline that I think has the best pilots. Not that my opinion is even remotely close to being expert on the subject, but it however feels like with Ryanair I have the smoothest take offs and landings.

That said, for obvious reasons Ryanair always chooses airports in the middle of nowhere and Sweden is no exception, we landed in Skavsta. Up until the moment when we finally steered over to the arrival gate, it seemed we landed in the woods far away from civilization. Literally just trees and snow, this is probably what real Russia looks like as well (and I come from the non-real Russia). The airport is about 80 minutes away by bus from Stockholm’s central station.

I guess you know you’re in Sweden when you see a pretty female blonde truck driver racing with your airport shuttle bus. Although apparently it’s still not 100% equality even there, I’m sure Sweden is ahead of most countries on the matter.

I did most of my walking around on the first day and some on the second day, covering Gamla Stan, Drottningsgatan (harbor for shopaholics) and the area around the City Hall. I didn’t expect it to be quite so charming. The pastel colors of Gamla Stan looked rather lovely surrounded by snow even though the pictures don’t relay that very well, I think. It also got interesting when it was time for lunch and I was looking around for a place to have a bite at, I ended up buying sushi/rolls at a supermarket and it wasn’t cheap, I have to say.
  • Things I find worth reporting are:
  • prepare yourself for an overload of beautiful people (nowhere else have I seen so many pretty and handsome faces)
  • don’t go there until you’re ready to cash out (although apparently I am about to find out that Olso, Norway is even more expensive)
  • a beer in a bar won’t be cheaper than 5-6EUR (in Berlin it starts at 1.5EUR)
  • most Swedes do have a fashion sense and are pretty showy off about it
  • much to my amazement, they do love their ABBA and go INSANE when they hear it in a nightclub
The highlight of my stay, however, was my Couchsurfing host who is by now one of the most incredible people I have ever met. He is a Dutch guy who lived in Amsterdam for a while but then decided to relocate to Stockholm which seems to be his favorite place on earth. So flying between Olso where he works and Stockholm where he resides is what he does every week (I can only be envious of that, of course.

A few words about him: incredibly generous; showed me around queer places and we tried to look for uh, interesting people to hang out with but in the end had to entertain ourselves which was also the best possible outcome; fantastic sense of humor (I just typed that out as sex of humor… wonder why?!) that coupled with mine allowed us to establish a quick set of running gags and have a blast in each others company.

We explored the queer scene together (I remember Roxy in SoFo and... that other place with 3 dance floors), R cooked pizza for me, we ate tiramisu out of the package, ate smoked reindeer from the fridge in a supermarket, tried some kind of rare Belgian beer that looked like champagne to me (only couple with kriek for me, of course) and had an all around mind-blowing time together. Sunday was a quiet pajama day with lots of Nutella sandwiches and lying around.

It was so good that it made me think we were either family or friends since many years and who knows if couchsurfing will ever be as good again (I guess I’ll find out this one soon though). It’s not out of question that R and I will meet up in Olso if he’s there at the time and later he’ll come visit me in Berlin.

Those were three awesome days and nights and R couldn’t have been a better host and conversation partner to me. Looking forward to seeing what our next meeting will be like. Location is not important.


julochka said...

if you think the beers were expensive in stockholm, just wait 'til you get to oslo...just a simple glass of house white wine to go with your dinner is minimum 85NOK. you can get two bottles for that price in Denmark (tho' wine may be the only thing that's reasonably-priced).

so fun to follow you on your travels.

True story said...

Heh, I think I might want to bring my own food and drink to Oslo, eh? The prices don't look good to me.

Denmark I hear is also not the world's most affordable destination. ;) But hopefully I'll stop by there as well soon.

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