Declaration of love

Travel Tips

There is no other way to call my post about my favorite country, which is Sweden. Unexpectedly for me, I fell madly in love with her. Not right away. Only from the second time. At the moment I am flying from Stockholm to St. Petersburg after my third visit to this country and I feel that right now I must write everything that I think about it. Yes, right now. Spread out over three seats (in the whole plane we are at most 25 people). I love Scandinavian Airlines.

This post is more lyrical. Here I want to describe the emotional component of my trips. Practical information can be found here.

If you want to order a comprehensive planning of your trip to Sweden or, on the contrary, learn how to organize your trips on your own, then you are here 🙂

2012

The first time I came to Sweden was about 2.5 years ago. Why I went there, I already wrote in the post “3 Incredible Days in Iceland”. I will only repeat that Sweden was not originally the main country of my trip. I was going there without much emotion. And upon arrival, the passport control officer also did not want to let me into the country for a long time, because he did not like my Danish visa. So I have never been interrogated at the border. But this, perhaps, was the only unpleasant episode associated with Sweden.

Despite the fact that I arrived alone, my Vika was already in Stockholm, who met me with Kloss (her almost Swedish husband). They took me to the hostel, which was right in the Old Town. The next day sister Vicky arrived. Thus, it turned out to be a company of 4 people, two of which were practically local.

That time I visited the most important sights of Sweden – Museums of Vassa and Skansen, City Hallcrawled up and down the whole Old citywent on a boat to Vaxholmrolled into the ancient capital of Sweden Uppsalu. And we also walked on foot (and this is almost through the whole city) to Globe arenas – the largest stadium in the Swedish capital. I couldn’t ignore the fact that Sweden is a hockey country. In general, I was engaged in purely touristic things for 5 days, and then the three of us (I, Vika and her sister) got on the train and went to Malmo (the third largest city in Sweden), and from there straight to Copenhagen.

By the way, many Swedes living in Malmö go to work in Denmark every day – just cross the bridge. I walk from home to the nearest metro station a little less than they go to another country.

2014

The second visit to Sweden was completely spontaneous. On the way from Zurich to St. Petersburg six months ago I had a 4-hour layover in Stockholm. I left Switzerland in some kind of depressed state – the country is stunningly beautiful and amazing, but the system and people made me feel such a terrible longing that even six months after that trip, I can’t force myself to sit down and write about it. At the same time, whatever one may say, I still have very pleasant memories of Stockholm. Maybe not even from the city itself, but from the trip as a whole. Therefore, already sitting on a plane flying from Zurich to Stockholm, I decided that I would not sit at the airport, but go to the city. I may have only an hour for the walk itself, but I needed it.

Therefore, after getting off the plane, I went straight to buy a bus ticket to the center. I immediately felt the difference. The girl I asked for the bus schedule was very friendly and smiling. So was the driver. There was also Wi-Fi on the bus, which, oddly enough, is not so good in Switzerland. The mood began to rise with lightning speed.

Arriving in the center, I easily (despite the fact that I had not been in Stockholm for 2 years) found my way to the Old Town. And there’s something on me memories came flooding back and emotions of a trip 2 years ago, which I still consider to be the best in my track record. There was exactly enough time to walk from the station to the Old Town, walk along its cozy streets and come back, stopping at 7eleven along the way to buy coffee and a croissant and chat with a nice cashier guy.

I returned to the airport in a completely different mood. Such a short visit was enough to reconsider their attitude towards the country. In contrast to Switzerland, the restrained Swedes no longer seemed so cold, and Swedish prices were incredibly high.

And again 2014

Needless to say, the third time I went to Sweden quite spontaneously. More precisely, I spontaneously decided that I would go there. But this is written in my post about how I bought tickets to Kamchatka. Seems illogical? But that’s exactly how it was.

In general, I had to stay in Stockholm for 5 days and stay in the same hostel as the first time. But 2 weeks before my trip, my Swede friend, with whom we communicated well in the Philippines (he also lived there), wrote to me that he would just be in Stockholm and would be happy to accommodate me. Happiness knew no bounds.

If the first trip was purely touristic, then this time I wanted to learn more about the everyday life of the Swedish people. And here it is, the most that neither is a great way to do it. Of course, I accepted Jacob’s offer, and we agreed that we would meet at the station.

But all the cards were mixed … the officer at passport control (oh my God, again ?!) This time, passing through control was not so terrible. Probably because I entered on a Swedish visa. But, most likely, for the same reason, the officer himself announced the name of the hostel in which, judging by the documents, I was supposed to live. Then I realized that since he knew where I should live, he would be able to find out if I really stayed there. Of course, not personally, but when you leave or when you next apply for a visa, it may come up that I did not appear there. Therefore, having received the coveted stamp in my passport, I reasoned that it was better to spend at least one night where I was supposed to, namely, in a hostel. Thanks to the wifi on the bus, for being able to write to Jacob that plans are changing, and at the newly appointed hour I will be waiting for him at the newly appointed place.

Pleasant circumstances

I got to the hostel, warned that I would only be there for one night, received the key and went to the room. I open the door and see that instead of the 8-bed room where I booked the bed, they gave me a 1-bed room. Surprise! And later it turned out that the girl at the reception accidentally withdrew more money from my card than was necessary, so later, during the check-out, a refund was made to my card.

On the same evening, we met with Jacob, went to a bar and agreed on how I would move in with him. And here again a surprise awaited me. I thought that I would have to live somewhere on the outskirts, but it turned out that the apartment of my Swedish friend is just a 15-minute walk from the Old Town, very close to the Town Hall. That’s where I moved the next day.

In general, my stay in Sweden took place in light mode – I just walked, went to the grocery store, cooked, wrote a blog, watched a series on my computer, hung out, visited a couple of museums, went to hockey.

The most unusual lunch in my life

But the most remarkable event of this trip is definitely lunch in the canteen of the Swedish government! A very unexpected bonus. I don’t know if Russians have been there before. It seems nothing special, but the very realization that the main people of the state who decide its policy are sitting at neighboring tables is very unusual. Thanks to my friend from the Swedish Ministry of Finance. And by the way, they serve beer for dinner. So that.

Interesting

From this trip, I deduced the following for myself: the statement “The severity of laws is compensated by the non-obligation of their implementation” fully applies to Sweden. Surprising but true. It is forbidden to drink alcohol in the subway, but in front of me, the police made a remark to one guy, he answered them in English that he did not understand what they were saying, and they just left. Or else: there are a lot of traffic lights in the city, while everyone crosses the road at a red light. “Well, yes, it is forbidden to cross the road at a red light, but we have no punishment for this.” This is all of Sweden. But, nevertheless, you feel safe and do not see lawlessness. You see, mentality plays a big role. In Russia, everything is forbidden and there are punishments for everything, but what’s the point?

In general, unexpectedly for me, Sweden became the first country to which I returned. China, in which I have been 5 times, does not count – I did not go there out of love.

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