It’s been a while that I have heard such a loud cheer from the crowd. The applauds of the passengers echoed through the cabin of the fateful Ryanair flight. I say fateful because we managed it, the pilot and the staff managed it. The weather wasn’t particularly good outside and we battered through severe wind to get to the arrival hall.
The French girl, sitting next to me, who was really pissed a few minutes ago was calmer now. First, she had to pay extra for her cabin baggage or should I say the check-in baggage that she tried to sneak in as cabin baggage. It is a money spinner for low cost airlines, making money from such passengers who crossed their luggage limit. Exactly the reason why I wore a jacket most of the times at an airport despite the hot, humid European summer. I stuffed my jacket if I thought my bag was crossing the weight/size limit.
But in her case it was little different, she was carrying camping gear and yeah which included a tent as well. So, when I say she was pushing the limit hard, I really mean it!
I had a weird feeling sweep me over the minute I stepped in Stockholm. Even though I was million miles away from my hometown, Dehradun, the city felt strangely close to home.
Was it because I felt like home in Sweden?
I didn’t like my choice of hostel a bit, it was cramped and located far from the city center. But what could I do, at 220 SEK it was a steal deal! Stockholm is expensive, too damn expensive. Oh, I remember now, it was this hostel or one more, the boathouse, and I took the safest bet. Thank god for there was a Lidl (supermarket) just around the corner, I would have gone bankrupt otherwise.
Interestingly, I met a trio of Indian guys in the hostel who were on a holiday in Scandinavia. I asked them the typical question that almost everybody asked me,
They told me ‘this and that’, exactly what I told people when I was asked the same question. But truth was something else, and it was right on the surface for everyone to see – younger people traveled on the spur of the moment. They go to the bus station to go to one place but then hear someone talk in the ticket queue next to them and they walk into bus to another place. Happens all the time…
Under the dim light of my cramped hostel room, I quickly pulled out a list of top attractions in Stockholm and figured which ones I wanted to and could see in my super short stay.
GamlaStan, the old town of Stockholm is quite large as compared to other old towns I have seen in Europe. I took a free walking tour in the evening, the historical angle helps you appreciate the place even more.
The next day I took the boat out into sea, my destination was one of the Swedish archipelago. it took me three hours(!) to reach the island and why in the name of God did I choose to go there? I have no idea, honestly. Sitting on the deck I enjoyed the Sun for a while before it got cold and windy and I had to head inside.
The island was as beautiful as they come with Swedish countryside. Why does Rick Steve label Swedish countryside as boring, I have no idea! Maybe the guy is just full of it.
There was a well maintained patch of green and a neat little coffee shop near the port area. But instead of just sitting on the beach and enjoying the Sun I rented a bike.
I wanted to go somewhere… because it wasn’t enough that I had just traveled three hours to reach the island.
I guess my unquenchable lust for going somewhere would go on. Being someone and being some place was never enough. I had to just keep on moving.
Am I a troubled soul?
Woah, woah, hold on there, what’s up with the heavy stuff?
Hey, it’s not me. It’s my fluffy, the cat, typing while I was out fixing a coffee. I mean seriously!
I went from one corner of the island to another, apparently in search of a great hidden beach with golden sand that I had overheard people talk about. As it happened I was pretty much lost while coming back, Google map didn’t help either (no offline map). But as usual I made it just in time for the last ferry.
I always make it somehow, how boring! Am I becoming too predictable?
Dreaming a trip to Sweden or Stockholm? Start here: