5 | Stockholm
Seeing Stockholm today completely made up for yesterday's less than lovely sickly day. Stockholm is so beautiful, almost a Scandinavian version of Paris. I got teary a few times this morning, walking the cobblestoned streets in the rain, completely smitten with the buildings, the views and the atmosphere. I occasionally cry when I get overwhelmed with how great things are (not a useful reaction at all). It first happened when I stood in Central Park for the first time, and again when I saw Monet's Water Lillie's in the flesh. Stockholm makes the list for things I've loved so much it made me cry!
We're staying at The Story Hotel in Ostermalm, a boutique spot with trendy art on the walls and that deep tub I mentioned yesterday. We had the best breakfast this morning, the Swedes know how to put on a spread. Cinnamon buns, croissants, all sorts of breads and homemade spreads, strawberry and orange juice, salmon and ham, apple granola and strawberry muesli, with vanilla and pear yoghurt. So many delicious options, we skipped lunch altogether it was that filling!
It was raining this morning when we set off, but it stopped before we could track down an umbrella. The shops open late (most not before 10 or 11) and the rain had mostly cleared by the time we got around to looking for one. We walked from Östermalm down to Gamla Stan (the old, royal, tourist part of town) to see the Royal Palace and make awkward eye contact with the guards carrying their bayonets. The buildings are beautiful in Gamla Stan, but to be quite honest, they've been beautiful everywhere we've seen in Stockholm! All sorts of colours, mostly pinks and yellows and oranges, with box windows and flower boxes.
We kept walking from Gamla Stan over to Södermalm, which is the hipstery neighbourhood with lots of vintage stores, cute boutiques and amazing design and furniture stores. Scandinavian design is 100% as good as it's meant to be, and we've mentally bookmarked plenty of pieces we'd like in our future dream home.
We walked for hours and hours, 6 of them, non stop! We walked all the way back to our hotel for a mini rest before visiting some of the shops in Östermalm this evening. We managed to pick the most 'exclusive' part of Stockholm to stay in, which means our neighbours are all sorts of stores we can't afford anything from. Bally, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Burberry, Chanel and plenty more. It sure does make for lovely window shopping on our way past.