11.43 Fredag, 7 Juni, 2013
After I left Oslo, I took the train back to Stockholm for one final visit. Since I had already turned in the key to my room, I just stayed with someone else in my corridor. I had a really nice visit and a great last few days in ‘Stockhome.’
On Wednesday, we signed each other’s Swedish flags and went to a beach party at the Lappis beach near our apartment. I will definitely miss the Lappis beach, because now that it’s summer, there are amazing sunrises and sunsets over the lake. In fact, right now, there is light almost all night long!
Sunset at Lappis beach
Thursday, June 6, was Sweden’s National Day. This day celebrates the date in 1523 when Gustav Vasa was elected as King of Sweden, thus establishing Sweden as a nation. June 6 has actually only been celebrated, however, for about a hundred years. In 1916, the day was established as Flag Day, and only in 1983 was it decided that this day would also be the National Day. Consequently, there are not many traditions surrounding this holiday, and many people just celebrate by enjoying their day off from work. In reality, the traditional ‘national holiday’ of Sweden is Midsummer, which is at the end of June and marks the longest day of the year, when it is light outside for 24 hours a day. Midsummer has many traditions and is the most popular holiday in Sweden. Unfortunately, though, I’ll miss Midsummer by about a week.
There are some official celebrations of the National Day, however, and I went to one of them with a friend from my corridor. In the morning, we went to the Royal Palace, where the crown princess waved to the crowd and opened the palace to the public to enter for free for the day. Then, we went into the palace, where there was a choir concert and some exhibitions of things such as the royal vehicles. We could have also walked through the museums and other rooms in the palace, but we had both done that before, so we only attended the events in the courtyard.
Kronprinsessan Victoria, Prins Daniel, och Princessan Estelle
After the National Day festivities, we stopped to have lunch at the festival that was happening in Stockholm this week, called ‘A Taste of Stockholm,’ which is an annual food festival in Kungsträdgården where many different restaurants from Stockholm cater all different types of food. Of course, I stuck with the Swedish food, since I only had a few more days to enjoy Sweden!
Köttbullar med potatismos och lingonsylt
On Friday, we went to Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s amusement park, to watch a concert by 3 Doors Down. We didn’t go on any rides since you have to pay per ride, and it can cost up to 80:- (>$10) per ride! Anyway, the concert was very good, and we got there early enough that we had a great spot in the crowd, right in front of center-stage! After that, we had dinner at Max, Sweden’s own fast food chain, which is quite good, although ridiculously expensive. (I realize that the name makes it sound like some spoof of McDonald’s, but it’s actually better than McDonald’s in my opinion!)
3 Doors Down concert
Saturday was my final day in Stockholm. I went with some friends for a final walk through Gamla Stan and we had fika in Stureplan. Then, we went back to Lappis to pick up my luggage, and my corridor friends accompanied me to the train station and waved my train off to Malmö. They even had balloons and Swedish flags to wave, since they were going to watch the parade that afternoon for the royal wedding of Princess Madeleine (who actually lives in New York and was marrying an American…). So I suppose that means I got a royal sendoff?!
The last picture at Lappis 25 – Hook’em!
So, that concludes my time in Stockholm, and with all my new friends. Although I prefer to think of my experiences in Stockholm (as well as my unspent kronor!) as an excuse to go back! We will try our best to have a reunion sometime, and I’ll be sure to call them up the next time I’m in their countries! Nonetheless, it was a sad week, and there were plenty of tears in our corridor as people started leaving. But I’ll end this post here, because this is not the end! I still have a week in Europe, and I don’t have to say hej då to Sweden until Tuesday, so stay tuned!