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[personal profile] christinafairy
I'm back from Sweden! I should note I was meant to go with my friend/former flatmate Katie, but she became ill and got a blood clot in her leg, meaning she couldn't fly for 2 weeks. :( We planned to share a hotel room, and I cannot afford a Stockholm hotel room by myself, so the lovely Kiki gave me her studio flat while she stayed at her boyfriend's. It was such a lovely gesture, I'm still touched! I gave her some Yumchaa "Wanderlust" tea as a thank you.

This was my 4th time to Scandinavia (if you include Iceland), and once again, I am in love with that region of the world. My flight on Thursday was amusing as I went with Norwegian airlines and they name their planes after famous Norwegians - my plane was named Hilmer Hanssen, after the polar explorer. It is also the name of my great-uncle! I found it amusing, anyway!

When I got in I met Kiki at at Central Station. After a few errands, we had a lovely dinner of salmon and salad on her balcony that overlooks the city. The sunset was bright pink and beautiful. Friday morning I went off to Skansen, which has a zoo with Scandiavian animals (caribou! moose! brown bears!), a Sami camp and cabins from Northern Sweden from 100-200 years ago that look exactly like my great-grandmother Kari's cabin in Minnesota! Same style of funiture and everything. Well, Kari was from Swedish-occupied Norway. Makes sense.

Then I wandered off, eventually ending up at the the Vasa Museum. If you don't know the story of Vasa, it is weird. I found it odd that they claim they buried everyone who died, but had many full skeletons on display? I also learned the average height of a Swede in the 1600s was 162cm (5'3")! After my dose of Swedish-ness, Kiki, her friends and friends of friends, and I all had a picnic in the park while watching an outdoor screening of JAWS with free drinks and popcorn. I am very glad I never saw the movie as a kid, and now the gruesome bits are just funny!

Kiki & I at the picnic/JAWS outdoor screening

On Saturday Kiki and I had brunch at Cafe Sirap witih her American friends. I had these heavenly pecan pancakes that were just the right amount of crispy on the edges. Then Kiki and I found her friend Clare and we all took a boat out to Waxholm, an island an hour from Stockholm, full of summer houses and boats/small yachts. We ate gelato, window shopped and relaxed in the sunshine before bussing it back to Stockholm and seeing Kiki's boyfriend run in the late night 10k through the city. Beforehand we went to an Irish pub for a pint and my cider was £8!!! See, I love Scandinavia, but it's so expensive.

a vintage shop we found in Waxholm

Finally, Sunday (yesterday) I woke up early (8am) and considering Clare lives a 2 minute walk away, we met up and went for a very hilly 3k run through a nearby forest. During the run, we'd stop to pick wild strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Once cleaned-up, I took myself to the Moderna Musset with Kiki's membership card (free access!) and saw Yoko Ono's "Grapefruit" exhibit, which is almost exactly like her current exhibit in London. Oh well! I love Yoko anyway. I went for a stroll through the old city, Gamla Stan before meeting up with Kiki one last time and heading to the airport....My flight back flew right over Copenhagen, and then a wind farm in the middle of the North Sea (this is why I love window seats). Once at UK immigration, they were actually nice! And I got through customs a lot faster than EU citizens (because I was the only non-EU citizen).

Oh Yoko

landing in Sweden (Stockholm and surrounding areas are all islands, don't you know..)

my great-uncle, but not.

from Kiki's balcony

me, bright pink in the sunset :)

Friday's breakfast: I was so happy to find Icelandic skyr!!! Although the Swedish version lies, it's not yogurt, it's actually cheese. It just seems yogurt-y.

my attempt at homemade panoramic

At Skansen...
Northern Swedish cabins from circa 1800-1900...

This one had a woman making homemade flatbread


Sami tent/hut




a very hairy squirrel.

bears!!! I thought of Michelle [ profile] mizhenka

did you know there are European Bison? Neither did I! There were only 54 in the world, but are more now.

homemade vanilla ice cream

the only non-Scandi animal I saw, lemurs!

the only ones I recognise are Iggy Pop and The Hives
(I forgot The Hives are Swedish)

the Vasa ship, taken out of the Baltic Sea after 300 years

lunch: a very Scandi salad

at the picnic and JAWS outdoor screening...

a string quartet playing the JAWS theme

Clare (in the hat), Kiki's friend Xin (in blue), and Xin's friends

Kiki's friend Katarina's feet with popcorn

On the boat to Waxholm...

blueberry gelato and passion fruit yogurt...soo good.

Clare and her gelato

Kik and her's

petrol/gas station for boats!

baby ducks!!

bananas for those who finish the Stockholm 10k

Trindad DJ's hyping up the runners

runners finishing the 10k

where Clare and I ran....I think this is the only bit that wasn't hilly

wild strawberry I picked on the way..

Gamla Stan (old city of Stockholm) from another island

Moderna Musset

Yoko Ono's wish tree - same concept as the one in London

my wish is pretty selfish ;)

Gamla Stan

cinnamon bun from 7-11, FTW!

more Gamla Stan

their Fairy liquid is just called YES.

& lastly, treats for Daniel...waiting for him when he returned home an hour after I did (he was visiting his parents in Devon). Those green and black things, punschrulle, are AMAZING. They're already almost gone!

♥ Hej då!
(deleted comment)

Date: 2012-08-21 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I got it at Zara :)

I do too. :D

Date: 2012-08-21 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
yumchaa is great if you're ever in london.

Date: 2012-08-20 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
nice! I go to Oslo in about 3 weeks, and I'm totally unprepared (which is how I like it right now!). Scandinavia-- they pay high taxes, but they get a lot in return. I can get down with that.

Date: 2012-08-21 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wish I could join you in Oslo (If I had unlimited funds, I would, you wouldn't get rid of me ;)). Yeah, they pay horrendous taxes, but all the free health care, maternity leave for a year plus besides the 25 holiday days, you HAVE to take off a month, fully-paid, in July/August!!! I can do that!


Date: 2012-08-21 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It would be cool to meet up, especially in Oslo! Life/money always gets in the way.

The Norwegians I've encountered don't seem to mind that everything is so expensive, simply because they're happy with the payoff. I saw a chart recently with the vacation days of developed countries, and Norway is at the top, with America at the very bottom. And the last 2 times I've stayed in Oslo was in their version of a sketchy neighborhood, around the corner from a needle exchange. Big whoop-- everyone was polite at all hours. Not like staying in downtown Atlanta!

Yeah, it's looking more likely that grad school will be in a Scandi country!

Date: 2012-08-21 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I is always in the way!

I think I've seen that chart. It says the US doesn't have to give you ANY vacation days - it's not illegal. I just can't believe that. Some Americans think you need to work almost every day to have a successful economy, but you only need to look at many European countries (some who's economies are much better than the US) to see that isn't true. I don't know why we work ourselves to death. :/

My vote is for the Uni of Iceland! Because it's free and it's in Reykjavik! If I get my PhD from anywhere in Europe, it will probably be there. :D


(deleted comment)

Date: 2012-08-21 11:11 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-21 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh wow, looks like you had an awesome time!
I love the picture of the squirrel. <3

Date: 2012-08-21 11:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I did indeed!

hehe, I thought of you when I took the photo of the squirrel. xx

Date: 2012-08-21 10:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, that sounds (and looks!) like such a perfect trip! Right, that's it - I've GOT to go to Stockholm, and I've got to go in the summer. I've been to Sweden a couple of times, but both times it was to Malmo, which is closer to Copenhagen than it is to other Swedish cities.

Date: 2012-08-21 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Stockholm is two different cities in winter and summer, now that I've experienced both. I love it at Christmastime, but felt like I had more options on what to see/do in summer.

I would love to go to Malmo and Copenhagen. I don't think flying over it on Sunday night counts. ;) xxx

Date: 2012-08-21 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OMG ok we've only just become LJ pals but I can tell we're going to get on. I am SO JEALOUS. I'm in the early-planning stages of a trip to Stockholm with my Swedish bf at Christmas and these photos have made it even more obvious that it needs to happen (tho obv I know SK in the winter is pretty different to that!). Glad you had a fun time!

Date: 2012-08-21 11:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're going to love Stockholm at Christmastime!! I first went last December with my boyfriend. If you're curious, the entry is here:

Nice to meet you, btw! I'm sure we'll get on. :D


Date: 2012-08-21 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope to go to Sweden one day! It's on my list of travel destinations. :D

That little vintage shop is so cute! I love all your photos. Looks like it was a good time. :)

Date: 2012-08-21 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I recommend it. It is very lovely. :)

Thank you! xx

Date: 2012-08-21 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
is sweden really much more expensive than london?

to be honest, when I was in copenhagen i kinda just got used to the high prices. you just buy as much food as you can from the money you got, you know. i didnt go to vegan cafes often though... or at all...

Date: 2012-08-21 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think so! A pre-made sandwich in London costs £2-3, while one in Stockholm costs £6-7. Maybe I was just going to the wrong places, but it seemed pretty pricey.

I didn't go out to eat at all, except for brunch on Saturday. I think I saved a lot of money that way! x

Date: 2012-08-22 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree and disagree! Having lived in London, NYC and Stockholm all expensive cities I think they are all expensive in their own right! You can definitely find a pre-made sandwich for £2-£3 in Stockhlm. Coffee and hot beverages are in general cheaper here. Public transportation in the long term is cheaper. National trains are heaps cheaper here. Rent in general is cheaper here but you do have smaller places. And a few more bits and bobs :)


Date: 2012-08-22 09:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OK, for some reason it seemed like anytime I'd try to find lunch I couldn't get anything for under £6 (except for that salad at Vasa, which was just oddly cheap at £2). Also considering I only used public transport for 4 days, I probably paid much more than if I lived there and got a monthly ticket.


Date: 2012-08-22 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A three month pass is £200 and covers every form of transport in the city and goes really far out like to and from Vaxholm :)


Date: 2012-08-22 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A really lovely roundup! So glad you had good weather whilst you were here :)


Date: 2012-08-22 09:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! Me too! It looks like I won't be so lucky in Scotland. A high of 14 and raining. :/


Date: 2012-08-24 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What is fairy liquid? I love the little tiny berry you picked. And pecan pancakes, mmm!

Date: 2012-08-24 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
washing-up liquid :)

Date: 2015-03-06 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi Christina! I'm user 'azerbijahn' but have forgotten my log in, it's been such a long time since I've been on LJ. I tracked down your journal again because I had some questions about working for a NGO - do you think I could send you an email or something and picks your brains a little, as you're the only person I know in real life who's done this. Thanks!

Jenny x

Date: 2015-03-08 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi Jenny, not a problem. The only issue is I may not get back to you asap as I'm due to give birth any day now. But whenever that happens, you can still pick my brains and I'll try my best. :)

you can email christinafairy at gmail. :)
Edited Date: 2015-03-08 04:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-03-09 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Found your profile in a friending frenzy and, since I think we could get along great, and I need to refresh my f-list on livejournal... I hope you like me adding you!
I am almost 33, italian and a social worker. I am posting about my daily life and my hobbies. I love to read and comment my friends'page.
Hope you like to add me back!

Date: 2015-03-10 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, nice to meet you! Any friend of silviarambles and falena84 is a friend of mine. :)

Adding you back. x

Date: 2016-12-13 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Hello I think it was me that banned you and I have zero idea how I did it. I'm so sorry. I think it's because I use my phone a lot and am massively sleep deprived. I never check LJ on an actual laptop or anything and I've just notice. So sorry

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