We leave Copenhagen and Thorbjorn’s without ever even meeting him and board a train to Malmo, Sweden which is only a 1/2 hour ride from Denmark. Finally, we were in Sweden, home of innovative design companies like Ikea and H&M and beautiful people.
Once we arrived, we took a city bus to our host’s flat. Emma lived just a little outside of the center and she greeted us just before she was heading off for work. Emma works at an elderly center and organizes band shows in Malmo’s hardcore and punk music scenes on the side. She was jetting off to work with the promise of chatting over dinner when she returned at night but she did tell us about her favorite falafel place to eat lunch at, so we headed there and got falafel and ate it at a little green space. The falafel was pretty cheap considering that Sweden is one of the most expensive places being a Scandinavian country.

We spent some time wondering around the city center.

We walked to Malmo’s beach afterwards and while the weather was sunny, it wasn’t particularly hot and the ocean was freezing, so we refrained from taking a swim but enjoyed watching all of the dogs with their owners playing fetch in the surf.

Check out that cool building. It looks like it is rotating.

Afterwards, we took the city bus back to Emma’s apartment and Ellie went to the grocery and made veggie sandwiches for all three of us and we all chatted about Emma’s upcoming NYC trip and then we watched Secretary and went to bed.


Emma’s house

The next day we awoke and left very early for Uppsala, Sweden. Emma’s place was really cool and so was she and maybe we didn’t get to see enough of Malmo, but it wasn’t super exciting.
In Uppsala, our plan was to see Ellie’s friend Alex whom she hasn’t seen in over 5 years. Alex was an exchange student at Ellie’s high school and they were good friends and on sports teams together. It was a very long 6 hour train ride to Uppsala. Alex’s dad owns a Thai restaurant where Alex also works so we went there and she treated us to a nice lunch before she led us on a sightseeing walk around Uppsala which is mostly a university town which Alex attends. Uppsala was pleasantly pretty with a big pink castle and Scandinavia’s largest cathedral.

After walking around with Alex and her sister, we stopped for an iced coffee downtown and sat outside enjoying the nice weather and catching up. Because it was summer the town was pretty dead. Apparently, Uppsala does receive a lot of Russian tourists for some reasons that Alex couldn’t quite conclude. After our coffee, we went to the grocery to get makings for a BBQ on Alex’s beautiful balcony in her posh apartment.

Alex on her balcony

ellie on alex’s balcony

Alex is the one on the right

Alex invited her sister and another friend over and we had the most amazing dinner with really fancy champagne and funny conversation and Alex bought everything which was so kind of her. She also let us do our laundry and we slept really great in gorgeous apartment. The next day she dropped us off at the train station so we could head south for Stockholm.

Once in Stockholm we stored our packs in lockers and headed off on foot to check out the city. I had read that the neighborhood dubbed “SOFO” was supposedly the coolest area with great vintage shops and hip cafes. As soon as we arrived though after walking forever to get there, it started pouring so we had a coffee at a place that handed out blankets to kill some time. We found the cutest street on our way to the Metro to get to our hosts house right outside of Stockholm. Our hosts were a couple called Carolina and Magnus, both who work for progressive politics in Sweden. They met us at the train station and fed us some of the left-overs from their yummy vegan dinner.

Then since it was Friday, we all got ready and decided to drive into Stockholm to get a drink. Stockholm at night was beautiful and they gave us a little tour, pointing out good nightlife and cool buildings to us. We went to Sofo again and most of the bars they wanted to show us were a little too crowded so we went to this bar that is famous for making all of their drinks with garlic so we tried a draft beer that had garlic pressed into it! It actually wasn’t that terrible but it wasn’t good for the breath. We then went to a typical Swedish bar and had a Swedish beer while they filled us in on politics in Sweden (which are pretty refreshingly liberal). Afterwards, we went home.
When we awoke, Ellie made banana pancakes and they set out a big spread and we all had brunch together on the porch. Then we caught a train to the port in Stockholm to get a ferry to one of the islands on the archipelago.

a view of Stockholm from the boat

The islands we went to are known as the “feather islands”, Fjäderholmarna. It was pretty lucky because the ferry ticket man never asked us for our tickets so we got away with a free ride there and back. The island was really pretty. There were cute craft stores and a beach and a rocky little mountain that you could climb to the top and watch the scenery from.

There were a few restaurants on the island that served fresh fish like salmon and herring. We stopped for an ice cream before boarding the ferry again.

Afterwards, we checked out the posh area of Stockholm before heading back to our favorite restaurant for a really nice Indian dinner.

The next day was our last day in Sweden and Caro and Magnus were heading to a friend’s country house for a get together so they wished us well and we relaxed all day, using the ability to have a whole house to ourselves to get some planning done for the rest of our trip before departing to the train station to catch our overnight train to Oslo.


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September 2008
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