My Time In Stockholm

It was early- summer in April 2007 when I caught the flight to Stockholm from Bangalore in India. The flight landed in Stockholm at 1 PM in the afternoon. The drive from Stockholm airport to my hotel in Kista suburb of Stockholm was a pleasant one. As I settled down in my room and looked out of the window, I was pleasantly surprised to see few specks of snow hung in the air and gently floating down. I was lucky to see some snow that day since for the next two and a half months I did not get to see any. The day I had landed in Stockholm turned out to be the last day of winter in Stockholm.

We were three colleagues who had come for learning the intricacies of an Ericsson product. Our hotel, Accome Kista, was part of a wide chain of serviced hotels with kitchen facility present in all the rooms. The best part of Accome Kista was that it shared a wall, and an access- controlled entrance with Kista Galleria.

Kista Galleria was a really well- designed and beautiful mall. The shops and establishments it contained ranged from a fully- equipped supermarket named ICA, to a McDonald’s restaurant to all the branded stores which one finds peppered across malls now- a- days. Kista Galleria had a nice food court with cuisines from all over the world.

Next day was our first day at the office. We purchased day passes for Stockholm Metro and boarded it. Stockholm Metro is a traveller’s delight, to say the least. We needed to go to the Telefonplan suburb of Stockholm where Ericsson office was located. This required us to change trains at the central interchange station known as T- Centralen.

T- Centralen station was huge. It was fully underground and was three floors tall below the ground. The three metro lines ran on their own floors or levels. To change our route, we had to reach a different level. However, while finding our way to the correct Metro route the three of us got lost! Instead of reaching the upper floor, we found ourselves standing outside the station. Realizing our folly, we went around and enquired from the passers- by. We found the Swedes to be extremely helpful. They willingly guided us to the correct level of the station where we finally boarded the train to our destination.

Telefoneplan was a small Metro station. We walked a quarter of a mile to the Ericsson office where we met our Swedish colleagues. Our Swedish colleagues were very friendly. The first day itself they took me to a Greek restaurant where we had Greek Kebabs and couscous. I absolutely loved the food and the hospitality.

I had landed in Stockholm with a slight cold, but despite having ventured out in cold weather on my first day itself, my cold became better on the second day and was gone by the third day. The air in Stockholm was amazingly pure, as was the food. In fact, I used to relish having ice cream in the freezing air of Stockholm. An experience I cherish till date!

Me and my office colleagues went around sightseeing on every weekend. One of the first places we visited was the Army Museum at Riddargatan. It had an awesome range of guns on display. The guns were of all sizes and it took us a while to see the whole range which was on display.

My next memorable outing was to the Vasa Museum. The museum was named after the 17th-century warship Vasa which had originally sunk on its maiden journey. The warship had since been salvaged and resurrected with the Vasa Museum built around it. The museum was awe- inspiring and we took three to four hours to cover it from one end to the other. We took ferry rides to and from the island of Djurgarden where the museum was located. I still remember the nice view of Stockholm city we saw as we travelled standing on the deck of the ferry.

One of the oldest and most pristine areas of Stockholm is an area known as Gamla stan which literally means The Old Town. Gamla stan carried the feel of the 17th and the 18th centuries. It had long and winding alleys with cobbled pathways and shops lined up on both sides. I even found an Indian restaurant in those alleys.

Stockholm is known for the Nobel Prize. A trip to Stockholm would then be considered incomplete without a visit to the Nobel Museum which was located in the Gamla stan area. The museum was a treasure trove of information on the origins of the Nobel Prize and its recipients over the years. It even had an in- built theatre, where short documentary films about the Nobel prizes were screened for the visitors.

We had heard a lot about the excellent nightclub culture in Stockholm. So one Friday night we decided to check it out for ourselves. We decided to explore the Gamla stan area which, despite its quaint exteriors, transforms into a buzzing nightspot on the weekends.

We decided to travel by Metro. As we came out of the Gamla stan station I was amazed to see the happy faces and the generally smiling faces milling around. Stockholm has an amazingly low rate of crime. So everyone could move around easily at night without any danger of being mugged!

We roamed around the area till 2 am and even visited a night club which allowed stag entries. To our pleasant surprise, it turned out to be a pirate themed night at that night club which we enjoyed thoroughly.

Another area where I enjoyed walking around was Kungsträdgården park in central Stockholm. People used to sit around the park relaxing and chatting. With the pure breeze of Stockholm flowing around, this park remained my preferred place to relax after a tired working day.

The Kungsträdgården Metro station, which was the nearest station to get to the park, also had an entrance to the Gallerian mall. The Gallerian was the commercial centrepiece of Stockholm with nice shops. I visited an Italian restaurant in this mall run by a mother and daughter duo. Till date I haven’t tasted a better Focaccia with salami meat than the one, I ate there

My memories of Stockholm will be incomplete without a mention of the Swedish sauna I used to enjoy in my hotel itself. It was the traditional Swedish sauna with stones placed on a heater. I used to book the sauna room for an hour once every week. The sauna I experienced in Stockholm is one of the most refreshing activities I have experienced to date.

To sum it up, my trip was full of nice experiences. When it was time for me to come back I really felt that I was leaving some part of me behind in the lovely city of Stockholm.

Article submitted by Prabhu Chowdhury

For essential information on things to do and museums to visit during your time in Stockholm. Visit this site’s Sweden’s page. All information is written from first-hand experience to give you a truly terrific trip in Sweden.