Imagine a light blanket of snow covering luscious green grass while reindeer prance around the beautiful scenery... Well, minus the part about the reindeer, we did see gorgeous snow falling lightly whilst in Sweden. It was wonderful. Cold but wonderful. I had several layers of clothing on yet still felt cold. I always underestimate the weather.
I didn't have any expectations of Sweden to be honest. Kelly and I decided we'd go to Stockholm because the flights were really cheap and we only realised after we'd booked that we didn't actually know where Stockholm was. We discovered it was in Sweden which excited Kelly because she really wanted to meet a Swedish man called Sven (unfortunately we didn't). We'd heard that Stockholm was an amazing city but didn't know why but we set off to discover it for ourselves.
Honestly, I am a bit bored of going just to the capital cities because while the architecture changes and the layout is a bit different ultimately they basically contain all of the same things - same shops, supermarkets, tacky souvineer shops, etc. Still, it was interesting to see that Stockholm is based on 14 small islands. We didn't see all the islands but we went to Gamla Stan which is refered to as Old Town and we thought it was beautiful there.
As we were strolling around Stockholm it was lightly snowing and we found an out door ice-skating rink and went skating in the snow. That was so much fun. A young kid named Emilio befriended us and he followed us around on the ice-skating rink and then threw tiny baby sized snow balls at me when Kelly and I had a snow fight. Absolutely gorgeous kid. I stacked it twice while skating - I think I got a bit optomistic with my speed and landed quite nicely on my bottom but it was fun. I had a massive bruise the next day on both my knees. Ouch.
We went to a bar that night and met some local Swedish boys who were lovely to chat to. I sang a few songs on karaokee which was interesting - no one booed at me so I think I did okay. We went with some guys we met at our hostel and oh my goodness.. you really do need to be careful who you trust. One of the guys was an absolute darling (a show off but nice) and the other guy who was Brazilian was a wanker. Kel and I got ready to leave and he'd decided to stay but changed his mind. I went to the toilet and left Kelly outside with him for a few minutes and when I came outside Kelly looked terrified and the Brazilian dude didn't look happy. Anyway we caught the taxi home and while Kelly and I left him so we could grab a drunken kebab to eat she told me what happened... Apparently when he came outside Kelly said something to him in a sweet voice and he grabbed her by the hair and pulled it hard and yelled something like 'DON'T YOU DARE SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT' and whatever else so she was freaked out. Some weird people in the world. So, he headed back to the hostel, we went in search of food and on the way we bumped into some guys who asked us if we wanted to 'suck their white nigger cock'.... yeah like I said, interesting! We got our food and started walking back to the hostel when some guy in a white car starts driving slowly beside us and tries talking to us in Swedish. By this stage Kel and I were a bit freaked out by the Brazilian and the cock guys so we bolted towards our hostel (which was a metre away) and locked the door behind us. Next thing we know we hear this tapping on the glass and Kel goes to open the door with me whispering to leave it shut - turns out if was just this guy from the hostel who'd forgotten his code. So my point is travelling independently is fine but you just need to be smart!
We decided that we didn't want to spend another day exploring Stockholm even though we'd barely touched on the city but we both wanted to get out and explore another town. We were recommended this place called Sigtuna which was an hour and a half out of Stockholm and it was the most beautiful little town. Small, local shops with real Swedish people. It was lovely and the landscape was beautiful. It didn't snow that day but there was some on the grass and around so it was very pretty.
Words really can't describe our Swedish experience but I would have to say that this would be one of my favourite trips thus far. It was so nice to take things at our own pace and explore what we wanted. We've become much more independent as travellers and feel comfortable going off the beaten track a little bit more now.