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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

All the photos....! )

♥ Hej då!


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December 2016

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