Back from the honeymoon and easing into married life, I finally snatched a moment to write this blog post (the first of some) on our honeymoon in Sweden.
First of all, it was cold. I know a cold front swept the whole of Europe, but snow was swirling down as we retreated to the little cottage we rented - so it was, in fact, the perfect Sweden experience if you ask me.
The ten days in the cold north flew by, but it was a most wonderful journey with my husband (still weird to think of him as my husband). Our honeymoon didn't start quite pristine, as our flight was cancelled due to strikes of Scandinavian Airlines. Picture us, cosied up in the Hilton airport hotel in our lovely room, considering where to have dinner, when the phone pinged and the message of the flight cancellation came in! In fairness, my lovely husband waited to impart the bad news until after our spa time, as he didn't want me worried (isn't he the sweetie!). But not even a delayed flight could have subdued our honeymoon, so we ensure we were on the night flight and dashed off for a day in Munich where I bought an Abercrombie & Fitch jumper, which turned out to be the only jumper I wore in Sweden, as it was so cold.
Instead of arriving in the afternoon, we arrived in Stockholm at midnight and drove all the way to Karsta, nestled north of Stockholm. We had booked a cottage via AirBnB and it was a little garden house in the backyard of the family's house who were utterly friendly and welcoming. You can read a feature on the cottage and its amenities here.
Staying in the cottage enabled us to experience a true Swedish experience, as we were in no touristy area, only dotted with the loveliest of cottages, among which we also found our dream house, tucked away close to the forest. Jakob and I are in a huge house frenzy at the moment and Sweden was almost an overkill of cute, perfect houses, but this was the creme-de-la-creme. Held in the traditional falun-red, the house had the country style vibe I simply love.
Back to the cottage: Ensconcing us in a romantic mood, we enjoyed our first night together very much and woke up refreshed and ready to explore. We took out the rental car (we rented with Europcars and everything was perfect) and drove to Sigturna, allegedly Sweden's oldest town.
Surrounded by water - like everything in that area - Sigturna turned out to be a sleepy and beautiful village with the cutest row of houses. An ancient castle from the Viking era perched on the rim of the village and we strolled through it, hand in hand, reminiscing about days gone past.
Here we also had our first Swedish meatballs, and I was surprised to find that they tasted exactly as I expected. Compared to the meatballs served in Austrian IKEAS, they are served with sweetened cucumbers, which were simply delicious. Walking up and down the main street, we stumbled upon various small shops selling individual and local goods. We finished off our trip by soaking up the sun at the shore.
On our second date we set off for Mariefred, located south-west from Stockholm. Here we visited the Grindholm Castle which hosts the weirdest taxidermied lion. The castle was beautiful, nestled at the water and a mixture of red and brown brick. Inside, it hosted a great exhibition of the Swedish monarch portraits and some rooms kept in their original furnishing. The village was yet another cute, sleepy place to visit and definitely worth a visit.
One of the fantastic things about staying at the cottage was that we could return each evening, cook dinner and relax together. The next two days we took day trips where I bought Levi's jeans, which are finally a great fit and my permanent companion during this stay (and beyond).
On Friday, we went to Vaxholm, but it was pouring down so grimly, we decided against a boat tour and went to Uppsala instead, where we were welcomed by sun and a lovely old city. Even though Stockholm was really beautiful and fantastic, Uppsala was my favourite. I loved the smaller size, vibrant atmosphere and cool shops spread all over town. We had lunch at Bastard Burgers, a true hipster diner, and even though the burgers were good, I deemed them overpriced for what we got.
In the local bookstore (Akademiboken), I bought the book The Toymakers, which was a great read and you can read the review here. When we enjoyed our tea in the Espresso Bean, we even saw the Friday Climate Change demonstrations from the window.
What would a trip to Sweden be without going to IKEA, right? On Saturday, we drove all the way down to the biggest IKEA in Sweden in Kungens Kurvam which was inasmuch weird as it wasn't the usual maze through the exhibition and hall, but a circular building where you started from the top and wound your way down through the furniture and cafés.
On Sunday we checked out of the Kate in Karsta and moved into a hotel in Stockholm. Read all about our time in Stockholm and what we did in Part 2 here.
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