It's not every day I get a hug from an unknown woman and wave hysterically at some lost French tourists. But we take one thing at a time. We start today's post somewhere around 10 o'clock this morning, when breakfast was finally finished.
Clear blue sky and zero degrees around. Stockholm showed itself today in its best mood. We were also in our best mood, so we decided on a Saturday walk on Djurgården. All our favorite cafes on the island turned out to be closed for the season, so we set out Waldemarsudde and the cozy little one the coffee house Ektorpet with their good waffles.
As usual, our planning is last-minute, so once we figure out where we're going to go Djurgården, then we had missed our direct ferry by five minutes. Five minutes. It would have felt better if we missed by half an hour, now we would actually have had a chance to catch up if I hadn't sipped that last cup of coffee for so long. But well, it had to be via the Djurgård ferry instead. And the last morning cup of coffee on Saturday morning is always the best, isn't it?
You can't help but love Stockholm on a day like this. Not too many tourists, no queues and lots of fresh and lovely air. We sat outside on the ferry and enjoyed the sun on our faces. Soon it will turn around!
Well arrived at Djurgården we see that Gröna Lund seems to be rebuilding considerably for this year's season. Large parts of the area below the Tyrol are leveled with the ground and are being dug and piled to the full. Hopefully it will be a ride that does not include either free fall (too many of those already at Grönan!) or some hysterical spinning (could be the aunt in me talking, but I no longer see the pleasure in being sick? ). More beautiful roller coasters for the people, I'm just saying.
We take a small detour on the way to Waldemarsudde and walk in the nice quarters at Broad street, right next to Gröna Lund. We meander through alleyways that I can't remember ever walking down before, with nice little wooden houses with shuttered windows and cobblestones. Here I have to walk again, I see before me strolling here in the spring sun in a flowery summer dress and a soft ice cream.
Waldemarsudde is full of Sunday strolls, even though it's only Saturday. Is it called Saturday flaneurs then? The fireplace at Café Ektorpet is lit so that the chimney almost glows. The smell of coffee meets us before we've even opened the front door.
Christmas is not put away yet at Ektorpet. Although I've been frantically witch-hunting every little gnome at home in the apartment, it felt right here and now with amaryllis and hyacinths in white Waldemarsuddepots. The fireplace crackles, my mushroom soup is perfectly creamy and peppery, and my daughter's waffle with cream and raspberry jam is slurping down. I would love to take more winter days like this, thank you!
We walk on by Waldemarsudde, the sun already beginning to have difficulty reaching above the horizon. You can almost see that the sun is straining its neck over Södermalm to reach us with its rays Djurgården.
When I'm walking and enjoying all the statues and beautiful surroundings at the castle, I suddenly feel an arm around me from behind. A completely unknown woman hugs me quite tightly. "You don't forget to take a picture of them, do you?" she says happily, pointing to my husband and daughter. I can't help but laugh. Well, I had probably actually forgotten to photograph those two. I had been so focused on photographing the splendor around me, so I forgot to photograph what actually means the most to me. Sometimes you need a hug from an unknown woman to wake you up. If you are reading this: Thank you! :)
We jump on the tram towards the city again. An elderly French couple look confused and try to make themselves understood, but they don't know any English. The conductor tries as best she can to explain how they have to go to get to Gamla Stan. Just as we are about to get off at the T-central, the conductor looks at us and asks if we could help the two tourists down the subway and show them the way to Gamla Stan. Of course we can! I try to explain in my school French that we would also take "le Métro" to Gamla Stan. They could simply come with us. Oh, how happy they were! They talk in so much French that I don't even understand half of it. But they come along.
The couple are talking and what I understand is that they are having a soooo nice weekend in Stockholm and they were soooo happy that we Swedes were so nice and helpful. The man grimaced when he was going to describe how helpful the French are... That we helped them, that had never happened in France, he claimed! I'm inclined to agree. I can still remember when I tried to buy "une baguette" in Paris and the bakery assistant refused to try to understand me. I mean, how much could I have mispronounced the word baguette?
Once on the subway towards Gamla Stan, the couple starts talking to everyone who was sitting around us. One of the girls in the carriage had studied in Strasbourg, so the tourists were so excited that they almost missed jumping off the metro. They barely made it off the train and when the subway then rolled on, I saw the man standing on the platform and waving to us with a big smile. I really hope that they have a lovely weekend in Stockholm and that they meet more helpful Stockholmers. Because we are a lovely and helpful bunch who live here, aren't we?
A hearty raclette (of course with pickled onions and cornichons!) later, it's now time for Saturday snuggles on the sofa! I hope you have a lovely weekend - at least I think so! :)
Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.