Our week in Scandinavia finished with two days in Stockholm, a city I’d never been to before. Having visited, I’m now convinced that we’re going to move here, maybe tomorrow.
Stockholm in mid-August is pretty close to heaven. Above, the view from our room at the Hotel Diplomat, which we could have stared at the entire trip and left happy having never exited our room. Everything we’d heard about Stockholm turned out to be true: a fabulously cosmopolitan city, spread across a series of islands, with stunning architecture and an even more stunning local population.
Our friend Rachel, who works for a company headquartered in Helsinki, met us in Stockholm and instructed us upon our midday arrival on Sunday to meet her at the restaurant Milles, which opens right onto a major promenade and ferry terminal. By this time, my wife, who is famous for loving and/or hating things, and often forming such opinions within two minutes, had already decided that she LOVED Stockholm — a decision that took her approximately two minutes to arrive at after we landed at the airport. But sitting out on the promenade, drenched in sun, people-watching and eating a perfect brunch confirmed her snap judgement.
For the rest of the day we just followed Rachel everywhere. Afternoon stroll along the waterfront — where every barge, boat, and seaside bar looked better than the next — led into the Djurgarden, a huge public park, and then to open fields of flowers and vegetable gardens, and then into the sort of huge, open-air restaurant Bushwick can only dream about, Rosendals Trädgård. Wandering back into town, I discovered the joy of the Aperol spritz while sunset cocktailing on the patio of the Lydmar Hotel. We strolled from Lydmar through the picture-perfect streets to dinner.
Rachel had dined at Nybrogatan 38 — I took the 38 in the name as further proof that this city really gets it — a few nights before but declared it our move. We ate outside as dusk fell, consuming quantities of wine including but not limited to those in the bucket above.
Rachel left us Monday morning, and we spent the day walking the city, checking off a few items from the Stockholm tourist itinerary: the Vasamuseum, the old town, and some serious shopping at upscale department store extraordinaire NK. For our final night, we booked a dinner cruise out into the archipelago outside of Stockholm, possibly the best decision we made all trip. Even given that my wife LOVES dinner cruises, it was something special, ferrying us from Stockholm (above)…
To the town of Vaxholm (above), two hours later, just in time for sunset.
Stockholm. We will be back. Maybe tomorrow.