It’s not easy to travel from Scandinavia to Europe – especially from Bergen, Norway to Berlin, Germany. So, what we decided to do was to take the slow route and visit Stockholm and Copenhagen en route to Berlin. Bergen to Stockholm was a long day. 12 hours just about on a train, six hours from Bergen to Olso and another six to Stockholm. Long trains are fine – get the long travel days over with and cover some major distance, plus with our eurail passes every train is already paid for. We arrived in Stockholm at 9:30pm and walked to find our hostel, a short distance away. Fail. For whatever reason, we were so turned around and spent an hour trying to find our hostel, eventually asking a 7/11 employee where the street was.
To our surprise, the hostel was modern, well lit and one of the cleaner and cooler places we have stayed. We unpacked our electronics and chugged a ton of water before laying in our bunk bed. Kim got top bunk.. After 12 hours on trains, we passed out, as tomorrow would be a long day of sight seeing and walking.
We slept in and woke up at 9am, got ready and walked next door to 7/11 for coffee and muffins. Map in hand, we headed for Gamla Stan, the oldest part of the city. It was about a 20 minute walk. We arrived in the old district and immediately noticed the beautiful cobblestone narrow alleyways and old buildings. Small cafés and tourist shops lined the alley ways. It is so amazing that places like this still exist. Had we done it right, we would have booked a hostel in Galma Stan.
We walked through the alleys and found the oldest part of the oldest part of Stockholm only to find directly behind us the most photographed colorful buildings in Stockholm. We took a few pictures and looked at our map to find where the Vasa museum was in relation to where we were now. About another 20 minute walk or so. Good thing Stockholm is a pretty city to walk around – it’s a set of small islands, with tons of bridges connecting them all. It’s 1/3 buildings, 1/3 parks and 1/3 water. Every building, the ground, cobblestones, water, people – I swear they have sparkles.
The Vasa museum showcases a restored 333 year old ship, 98% original. We stayed and ate lunch at the cafe there, it was a buffet so we ate up. The ship sank 40 minutes into it’s maiden voyage. It lay at the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor and it’s exact location was forgotten until the 1960s. Bodies, clothing, cannons, sails, clothing, and coins we found inside the ship that sank too fast and trapped many and their belongings inside. The ship was brightly colored and had two decks of cannons – it would have been a destructive ship had it ever made it out of the harbor. It was built too top heavy and basically tipped over after a heavy gust of wind and water filled the lower cannon decks, thus sinking it. We stayed for three hours, admiring the artifacts and skeletons of sailors from 300+ years ago. AMAZING.
Tired, food coma we needed to make the long way back to the hostel. We rested for a few hours and headed back out for dinner and to see the old town at night.
Lanterns, spooky alleys, awesome. We enjoyed two beers in one of the colorful buildings we’d seen earlier, the orange one, and then got hotdogs and beer at our fave 7/11 for 40$ krona each. It was delicious. We went to sleep and woke up bright and early to catch train to Copenhagen.
We arrived in Copenhagen around 1:30 after 6 hour train ride from Stockholm. Again, nothing too entertaining on the train. Coffee, nap, write blog post, get tired of writing blog post, debate getting snacks on train, look at map, look outside window, etc.
Copenhagen is insanely expensive. It was a lot more pricey than Norway, which we didn’t think was possible. We had booked a budget hotel since hostels were the same price if not more expensive than hotels. It was located behind the train station, which we were initially hesitant about, but it ended up being great. Nothing to worry about Mr. Steve’s. The only issue was that the hotel tried to up-sell us to a more expensive room, since “our” room wasn’t ready yet. Yeah right, we didn’t fall for that baloney and asked every 15 minutes if our room was ready until the front desk agent finally checked us in and provided our keys. It was a tiny but very very modern and clean – and for $60 Euro it better be.
We changed and headed out to explore knowing we only had several hours to explore the city – we were only staying one night. It was unreasonably too expensive to stay for more than one night. We ended up forgetting the tour map at our hotel so we walked down most popular streets until we found hotel. Thank you hotel concierge! We passed Trivoli Gardens, got McDonald’s for a snack and wanted to visit the picturesque canal neighborhood, Nyhaven.
We wanted to see Hans Christian Anderson’s the little mermaid inspired statue, a 1.7 km walk from where we were. It was windy and cold but we made it. There were tourists bundled up taking turns taking photos with the statue. And we did the same. The park surrounding the area looked like a castle town, lots of locals running loops.
Wanting to see the world’s best restaurant according to the world and Anthony Bourdain, Noma, but had a even longer walk ahead of us. Knowing we had only one day in Copenhagen, we passed the royal palace en route and walked over bridges to get to Christiana island, headed for Noma.
We saw some hippies and attempted to find the hidden gem of a restaurant. It was located in a residential area and construction made us confused but we finally found it and walked past it to the edge of the pier. It was pretty cool.
It was a 8+ mile day. Exhausted, stinky, we showered and ate dinner, drank a bottle of wine and finished up some email work before calling it a night. We had a super early train the next day and felt like we had seen the best parts of Copenhagen. Whew.