Hej, Sweden!

Our last leg of the journey begins in Göteborg, the second largest city in Sweden. We arrive from Oslo on the train and it's a bit of a shock to the system going from 3 degrees to 21 degrees.

It's Friday night and the area we are staying in is busy with people heading to bars for after work drinks. I quite enjoy the festive atmosphere but Maurizio is a bit grumpy and looking forward to some peace and quiet.

We check in and then head to Moon Thai for dinner - it's just around the corner from our hotel. So this place is a Thailand themed restaurant, and themed is really an understatement. I was too overwhelmed to think about taking any photos inside, but if you check out the website you'll see what I mean. The place is amazing, there's a VW Kombi inside that houses the bar area where we are seated for dinner, and the entire restaurant is decorated to resemble a rainforest jungle. It's surreal. Even the bathrooms are decorated and have a jungle soundtrack playing with bird noises and all!

After a delicious dinner, we go for a stroll around the city. The architecture around Sweden is noticeably different to Denmark - the buildings are more imposing and there's a lot of brick. I like it though.

We only stop for a night in Göteborg but I'd like to come back and explore it a bit more next time - the vibe around here feels nice and lively. We saw a group of bikers roaring around the city and then a rather fancy looking Ferrari out and about too.

The next day, we finally arrive in Stockholm, the last city of our Scandinavian tour.

Stockholm is beautiful, I love the many islands connected by bridges. We are staying on Södermalm, which is featured in the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as one of the settings.

As per tradition, we opt to do a boat tour around Stockholm to get our bearings and see the city, before walking around some of the streets a bit more.

We end up walking a little way around the Royal Palace and onto Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, which dates back to the 13th century. There we duck into a cafe for some fika - the swedish concept of taking time out in your busy schedule to meet up with friends and having a coffee and pastry while catching up.

There are several cool places to explore all over Gamla Stan - every little street and alleyway is full of surprises so you could spend hours wandering through. We actually went back for more of an explore on our last day and visited Stortorget, the main square in Gamla Stan as well as Präsgatan, one of the iconic streets lined with historic buildings.

There are all sorts of little boutique stores down every alleyway, and an overwhelming number of antique stores as well for anyone looking to purchase some history.

It's quite nice getting up a bit earlier and going for a walk around the island before all the tourists arrive, I love these beautiful streets.

You can't go to Stockholm without visiting the biggest IKEA in the world, so we caught a free bus to the store, just 20mins out of the city.

There, we found a gigantic maze designed to trap humans into spending more money than they need to in order to escape. Seriously, it's impossible to find your way out without walking through the entire store first, and it's enormous.

Luckily we can't carry that much home as I've already purchased my bag full of goodies so I content myself with just looking.

They have inspiration display rooms set up to give people ideas, and you can just order the room as is if you like. We managed to find our dining table in one of them!

I also manage to lose my phone in a sofa - it got swallowed I'm pretty sure - and we spent 45 mins running around looking for it... not my best moment.

I do wish we had IKEA in New Zealand, it would be so much better quality than that garbage they sell at Kmart - I can't get on board with that trend because everything just breaks and it's so wasteful!

We also manage to pop into one of the art museums and there was a beautiful piece by Lygia Pape called Ttéia 1,C. The detail and lighting is what really makes it special - it almost feels like it's humming or vibrating, like it's alive. Photos don't do it justice, you need to see it and feel it in person.

The weather was pretty spectacular in Stockholm while we were there, so we decided to get some takeaway for dinner and head up to the top of a hill on Södermalm called Skinnarviksberget, where we can get an amazing view of the city and watch the sunset.

It was a pretty damn spectacular sunset, I can't believe how beautiful it was. I even took a time-lapse of the sun setting but started it a little too late. It was magical watching the city come alive with lights at night. This is my favourite spot in Stockholm. I'd love to live on Södermalm if I could, and I'd come up this hill for picnics all the time in summer.

And so that concludes our honeymoon trip. I'm gutted I have to go home, I've gotten used to traveling now and I think I've caught the travelbug pretty badly after this trip, I'm already planning our next 3 trips overseas and I just don't want to go home. I can't quite face the sobering reality of normal life just yet, but I do miss my cat.

I can't wait to go on more adventures, but until then I'll have to amuse myself with little weekend escapes in our local neighbourhood instead!

Thanks for reading!

#travel #stockholm #sweden #scandinavia #ikea #gamlastan #goteborg #gothenberg #photography #streetphotography

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