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45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

3 August 2014

Stockholm in summer

26th July 2014

Stockholm in summer is hot. It’s easy to forget about Britain’s unique maritime climate and, associating Sweden with snow and ice, think that visiting in July will “at least be bearably warm” (which is what we said to ourselves when planning the trip). Well, in spite of being at the same latitude as Aberdeen it is sweltering here. 30 degrees as we rolled in a bus from distant Vasteras airport towards the city. Yeah. Ryanair might be deemed a bit cheeky to call Vasteras a Stockholm airport – distance wise that’s rather like describing Birmingham as a London airport.

The city is beautiful, although it’s not so much the architecture as all the water. It’s a truth I’ve seen around the world – the presence of lots of water and/or topography make any city more beautiful, no matter the skill of its architects. Stockholm chiefly has water, though the southern suburb of Sodermalm does look impressive perched on a hill over the harbour.

The warmth of summer drives Swedes out into their countryside, which results in all the finest Stockholm restaurants closing for two months. Bit disappointing for Salty Plums (my other blog, what did you think I meant?), although it does mean we can wander and dine at liberty without feeling the urge to make sure we’re carefully picking restaurants that are widely agreed to be “the best”. Yeah, I’m looking for silver linings!

Our first evening meal is the only one we’ve booked – the “Svinet” whole pig barbecue in the courtyard of our hotel. It’s an awesome feast of piggy goodness, with a wonderful gazpacho to start. Our hotel, the Victory, is generally pretty good. The public areas and our room are stuffed with eclectic paraphenalia on a nautical theme. The room is let down a bit by a tiny shower and no thought being given to privacy; the curtains need to be closed during the day if we’re bothered by what the folk across the alley might see.

Anyway, a good first day (I’ve utterly failed to mention the hours we spent out exploring the old town), but after a 5:30 start rather tiring!

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