Stockholm in winter

Stockolm in winter it is also a particular climate. In Stockholm longer than expected I was not necessarily prepared for winter. After mild weather, the real cold of Scandinavia has arrived for a Swedish capital entirely under the snow with regular temperatures ranging between -10 ° and -15 °. With these temperatures the weather is sunny and the snow is constant. Fortunately the city is equipped and all transport functions normally with the vagaries of the climate. Although in town, one of the advantages of this situation is to observe magnificent landscapes under the snow. The streets are also completely snow covered, which gives a special charm. The day begins to gradually increase with more hours of brightness.

One of the most beautiful views in the city. It is an observatory which is located in the center. It is an hill in the city center. Observatorielunden is a green oasis only a stone’s throw from the throbbing pulse of Drottninggatan. There is an observatory in the park that goes back to the 1700s. One wing, from the end of the nineteenth century, contains Kafé Himlavalvet, known for its delicious waffles and toppings from a special waffle menu.

Staying in Stockholm

In Stockholm for weeks. Stockholm was not my first choice when traveling, but with these days I spend the winter there. One of the advantages is that I already knew the surroundings after having been here in a better season. The days are very short with 5 to 6 hours of daylight during the day. The climate is cold but not that much because it is softened by the proximity of the sea. It is therefore not the best time to visit.

You can still enjoy the cafes and this allows you to work efficiently every day on your financial goals. Living in the city center, the cost of living is indeed high, but we adapt over time. Suddenly, with too many opportunities to go to the Swedish countryside in these times, we are content with the city of Stockholm and have time to work.

Although the city remains important, it is possible to do the whole of the center on foot, which is a positive point, in fact you don’t necessarily need to take the metro. Sweden allows to continue in a daily life with few restrictions, and it also allows me to work on visas as well. I enjoyed Eastern Europe very much but these latter countries did not allow me to work on a visa for certain countries, this is the main reason why I came here.

Vaxholm

Vaxholm is a cute and nice city located in the idyllic archipelago of Stockholm. There is many possibilities to find idyllic places in all these islands, but Vaxholm is very accessible. It is just from 30 km from the capital, and i could reach this place by bus. Moreover the travelcard pass works for this ride so it is very interesting. I could spent an half day there.

The village is very typic with beautiful colors of the houses, Vaxholm counts numerous charming restaurants and shops. The place is surrounded by the water and we can see  many islands all around. Just in front there is the fortress where you can easily reach by boat in just few minutes. This fortress was used to defend Stockholm during many centuries.

 

Many sailing boat navigate on the sea.  We can see fisherman cabin made of wood in peacefull places along the shore. We can walk all around Waxholm by small paths crossing the beautiful houses. It was a real pleasure to observe the landscape, to walk in the streets and and to picnic on a wooden table in a quiet place along the sea. I thing that in summer this place has to be so full. At my moment it was great with just few other tourists. During a trip in Stockholm it is easy to go outside of the city to discover locations like Vaxolm.

 

 

 

 

Stockholm

Stockholm, also called in swedish, the beauty on the water, is a royal capital built on 14 islands, all connected between them by many bridge very well developed. On these bridges we can everywhere contemplate the beauty of the buildings. And he is important to press on the importance of the water in this place, because it is one of the main raison of the charm of the city. It is a modern city in an idyllic archipelageo, very alive at the same time that it is also quiet. In fact it is very easy in few minutes to reach the country side, or simply to reach the green area just beside the city center like Djugarden, which is a real green lung in the city.

Stockholm was the half of my travel in Sweden this time. Since the time that i wanted to see the city and finally  i was there.

After to have explored the north and a part of the gulf of Botnia, i went down and  i stayed 5 days in the swedish capital.

I sleept in two different hostels, one was located in the outskirt and was a little complicated to find, and the other was in the city center near the station. I chose the cheapest hostels in the city for a private room, and i paid around 45/50 euros for the night. I had a small breakfast and a private bathroom. So in the city like Stockholm it was i think a great affair for the price.

At the end of september, as much in the north of the country i had the feeling to be the only tourist and i was in the truth, as much here i saw many other tourists. Moreover It was during the week end. And yes i was surprised to see as many people on the streets in the city center. It was full everytime, and also on sunday, everybody was outside on the streets, all the shops was opened.

I excepted to see less people in the center and that it be more quiet. But it is definitely very alive. Moreover it is a very cosmopolitan country and we can see people of every nationality. Sometimes a bit much with bad experience on fast food to eat during the evening.

I spent many time on the streets shop because it was pleasant and there were many souvenir shops with nice items. Stocholm is the city of coffee, we can stop for a coffee and food everywhere, with big chain like for example expresso house or wayne coffee that we can find in every corner on the streets. The swedish spend many time there. And i experienced this many time, staying in a coffee and working on my laptop there during few hours. Inside, we can have confortable sofas, benches, and different kind of table.

But the city is also expensive, 3 euros (30kr) just for a simple ticket of subway. In the coffee 3 or 4 euros (40kr) for a simple coffee and 6 or 7 euros (70kr) for a sandwich. So i had to be careful about my expenses.

For the subway, however, it was very interesting to take a pass card which allowed to take the subway and the buses in all the area freely for just around 240 kr for three full day. It is quicky making money.

Gamla stan is the old city of Stockholm, is one of the largest preserved medieval city centers in Europe, and one of the best area to see in Stokcholm. This place is like a living pedestrian museum with sights, attractions, restaurants, souvenir shops.

 

Gammelstad

One of the other raison to stop to Lulea for a little time was to visit the church village of Gammelstad. This place is very advised to see there and  to not miss.The place is located at just 15 min by bus our car from Lulea center.

It was for me at the end of the day and i had to hurry in order to see this place before the sunset. I’m arrive at time to have a little time in front of me to walk in the village. It is very beautiful and cute, many houses made of wood in red colors, in small and narrow streets. At the middle the central element : the church, where the rest of the village was built around it. It is very easy because we can see the top of the church from everywhere in Gammelstad. It is the typical example of a church village dating from the 15th century. We find here exactly 424 wood-built houses. it was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1996.

Here you can find the largest late medieval stone church in Northern Sweden.Gammelstad was before the center of Lulea until the 17th century, before to be moved with the time near the shore, building a harbour.  During the full season, you can visit a cottage, learn about traditional cooking, see typical people dressed lile the ancient time; and visit the church. Today many houses are still lodged by the local population, the place is like an area of the city, but an historic area. So i could wander on the small streets at the end of the day when the sunset was arriving and it was very pleasant. It is a place to not miss in north of Sweden.

 

 

Skuleberget in the High coast

Skuleberget is a small moutain located in the high coast peninsula, along the gulf of botnia, in the middle of Sweden. About the history, 9500 years ago, the sea level was 286 meters up the Skuleberget which is the highest marking in the country of the seashore after the ice sheet melting away.
The mountain is at the edge of  Skuleskogen national park, beside the E4 motorway.


It was not easy to access to this place. In fact  without a car, i had to stop with the bus at the village of Docksta, 3km before and after to walk in order to arrive at the foot of the moutain. In summer and winter it exists a cable car to go up until the top. The cable car sizes 1100 meters to reach the top. I didn’t take the right entrance, i started to climb beside the cable car, linking few meters after the right path. The main entrance is located just beside the motorway, with a center explaining this area, and a cafe. So in september the canle car was closed because of the low season. Anyway, i prefer hikking. I reached the moutain pick in around a small hour. I arrived a the top where there was a restaurant closed.

I was totally alone in this place on the morning,  and i didn’t cross anybody during this moment. I was very peacefull, with just the sound of the wildlife. A small viewing platform made of wood was there with a beautiful view of the archipelago. The weather was cloudy but clear enought to have a nice view at the horizon. Enjoying the moment to be totally alone, i stayed one hour on this platform to breath and to observe the horizon. This occasion for me to eat my picnic in order to recover power for the return.

And in fact the return was hard because there were two possibilities; the red path, which is the hardest, and the blue path, wich is normal. I tried the red path and finally i went down maybe as longer as i climbed. Because the path was very abrupt, with rocks on the ground everywhere, and the rocks were sliding. Going down, finally i crossed a small organized group and 2 or 3 other people like me.

So i can advice this place so much, even if probably that this place have to be at it best in summer or winter.

 

Sweden at the end of september

At the end of september i planned a second travel in Sweden for ten days. At this moment it was the very low season in the country, with just few tourist. First time i saw the south west and a little the center. This time i saw a part of the North east, going down after in Stockholm, focusing along the gulf of Botnia.

The first day, after to arrive at Stockholm airport, i took a second airplane to lead at Lulea city. I arrived at Lulea where i stayed two nights. At this area i really had the feeling, and i think that it wasn’t just a feeling, to be almost the only tourist on the place. Anyway it is a fact that at this place at this moment we were very little.

At this period it was already the automn and the colors of the leaves ont the trees were beautiful. So that sure maybe it was not the most beautiful moment to explore Sweden, in fact there wasn’t the sun of midnight, there wasn’t the landscapes covered by the snow. But the country can be explore in every period of the years.

It was not cold at this period, i had around 8° the morning at Lulea and 12° the afternoon. And around 8° the morning at Stockholm and 13° the afternoon. It is different that the continental climate and in this area, at least along the sea, the difference of temperature between the night and the afternoon is low.

In Lulea i made a trip of one day until Finland, seeing the border with the city of Happaranda/Tornio, until Kemi. And i used many train and buses. It is relatively easy to find the right buses and right lines just beeing in the bus station. But for the tourism it is sometimes difficult to fnd many informations about the places of interest and about the timetable for the attractions. Moreover many places were empty or closed at this time beacause as i said before, it is a very low season. Another nice trip that i made in Lulea  was to see Gammelstad. This is the old town of Lulea and it is very beautiful, aplce to not miss there. After this i went down by train along the gulf of botnia, crossing the nice landscapes.Then after i arrived at the small city of Harnosand, after a short stop to Umea. Harnosand was at the middle of my trip of the map and the hostel was very affordable, so this was the reason for which i decided to stay there two other nights.

On this place i made a hikking, climbing the moutain called ‘Kukkolaforsen’, and i wanted to do more but just walking it was not easy. Climbing the small moutain during the morning, i was totally alone on this area, until the return where i found just a small group and one or two other people like me, but no more. Harnosand is peacefull, but nothing special to do in this place.

After, going on my trip toward the south i took again bus and train to reach Stockholm where i stayed 5 days. Stockholm was a great experience. In despite that it is a capital it is not to big. It is relatively easy to find our way by the subway, and buses.The city center is very lively and it is very cosmopolitan we find people from all the nationalities, maybe to much sometimes. Except one day where i decided to explore a little the archipelageo  with all the islands, i stayed there to wander on the streets. The last day there finished by a bad weather with wind and rain, but i was not going to complain, i had just one day of rain.

Stockholm was definitely a great experience, for the landscapes i think however that the perfect places to see are the bohuslan coast, and the lake in the center. My two best souvenirs of Sweden will be this;  the bohuslan coast, vattern lake , vanern lake in the winter under the snow, in the first travel. And the Capital during my second travel.

Travel trip in Sweden

In my purpose to discover scandinavian countries, i went to week at the end of february in Sweden.. It was the end of the winter. Instead of to take the airplane and to change, i had the crazy idea to link Sweden from France by the train. So i decided to take the train until Copenhagen. The ride was long i confess but it was an other kind of way to move on the distance. So i took a first train in France between La Rochelle and Paris, then a second train between Paris and Cologne, a third between Cologne and Hambourg, and at the end a fourth between Hambourg and Copenhagen. So around 15 hours between Paris and Copenhagen.. I don’t regret because for example i crossed  the sea between Rostock in Germany  and Gedser in Denmark by the ferry. It was the first time that i saw this. The train stops on the ferry and it is carried on the ferry. The passengers get out of the train and are invited to spend time on the ferry. The cross lasted around 45 minutes.

So i’m arrived to Copenhagen. I’m stayed one night and the tomorrow i rented a car in the capital to link Sweden. It was the real departure for Sweden. And i wanted to do this because i wanted to cross the famous Oresund bridge, linking Denmark and Sweden on a total lenght of 8 km. There is one part on a bridge and the other part on a tunnel. It was very pleasant to drive on the bridge because we can have an amazing view of the surroundings.

For the weather in Sweden at this period, generally you can except to not have a lot of rain during the winter. The weather is usually dry, and so snowy and cold. I can confirm that  at the end of february and beginning of marsh in my concern. In the center around Vattern lake, Vanern lake and on the west coast near Goteborg and above, i had between -5° and -3° the morning, and between  1° and 4° the afternoon. In Malmo and in the south it was a little different and less cooler, around 6/7° the afternoon. So i was very happy because i didn’t think to see as snow as like that. And finally outside of the South, going up near the center and Vattern and Vanern lake, everywhere was covered by the snow. I saw frozen lakes and lakes covered by the snow and it was avesome. Frozen lakes are my best souvenir. Moreover i had sunny days around three quarters of the time there, so it was very pleasant to wal and to be outside with the dry sunny weather.

It is sure that i went in Sweden for the nature and the landscape, the lakes, the ocean, the firs, the fisherman villages…but cities like Goteborg and Malmo where i’m stayed during my trip are very interesting to visit. And we can find many peaceful village in the countryside where it is good to stop for a moment.

So my trip consisted aroud 12 days to drive near the center of Sweden and to see Vanern lake and Vatern lake, it was my main purpose. And then to continue linking the west coast and to see the bohuslan between Norway limit and Goteborg. To stay a little in Goteborg and to go down along the sea from Goteborg to Malmo. And then to come back to Copenhagen and to visit a little this capital and to have a small idea of Denmark.

I sleept three days with couchsurfing at a nice house in the countryside, with a very friendly couple. It was a nice experience. I sleept also many nights with airbnb in Goteborg, Malmo and in the countryside too. Everytime it was a pleasure to sleep with the habitant, and the price was everytime very affordable, even sometimes cheaper. I sleept at the hostel just in Copenhagen. At the final i didn’t spend a lot for the accomodation thanks to airbnb and couchsurfing. Sweden is a little expensive but i didn’t find real difference between my country in France. And in comparaison with Norway or Iceland, i can say that Sweden is not expensive in comparaison of this two countries.

Nice place around Vattern lake

Just before to go in the south of Vanern lake, i saw a little part of the second biggest lake in Sweden : Vattern lake. Lake Vättern is a legendary lake, known not only for it’s mirages, great depth and heavy storms, but for me for the  natural beauty. It is surrounded by the forest of firs. Without to know exactly where to go and wandering on the road, i stopped and i found by chance this incredible beautiful place, between the villages of  Karlsborg and Granvik, where i’m stayed an halfday to walk, to rest and where i ate for the lunch with my pic nic. The name is Djaknesundet i think. And it was so great.

This place was in a creek, with a river flowing into the lake. The color of the water was cristal clear under the sun. The coast was very cut up. The weather was so pleasant and so sunny, reflecting on the lake. So i decided to eat my pic nic on a pontoon for a small boat and to sit there. The view was unbelievable and with the light on the water, again frozen by location, it was the best place ever to eat in the nature. I took my time in order to enjoy the moment.

And during this moment i thought to much about the things, the situation, me, so much in my head. And i could imagine to stay here for a long time and to change my kind of life, instead that to return in my boring place in France. I wanted to be able to be here for a longer time and to disconnect about everything. So at this moment, nobody on the surroundings, just me and the peacefull noise of the water and it was all. Just one or two small boat crossing the rive rarely. And again one more time it was so cool to be there at the end of the winter but also i wanted to be there in the summer and to contemplate for example the sunset on a long day from a sunny summer day or to go swimming on the lake. It will be probably i hope for a next time.So yes this place was one of my best peacefull place ever.

I saw the cute village of Karlsborg, very pleasant to sea because it is located between in one side, Vattern lake, and in the other side, an other small lake. So the city is surrounded by water. So i advice to make a stop in the village and to rest a little there.

 

 

Around Vanern lake

One of my main discovers was to wander around Vanern lake. This lake is the largest in Sweden and maybe the largest in Europe. He is located between the south andf the center of Sweden, and near the second main lake Vattern. The lake and all the area around is a true natural beauty. The water seems very pure and clean. We can find a lot of species of bird and many species of fish.

So first i sleept thanks to couch surfing three days in a very friendly couple, living in a traditionnal house near Falkoping. The place was very difficult to find because it was very lost in the countryside, and it was during the night and the snow, i didn’t use a GPS in Sweden. Fortunately the couple picked me in a place.  Even if it was at the end of february , i could realize how the winter had to be rough. In fact it was snowing at this moment and everything was covered by many centimeters of snow. And it was great because i didn’t except to that, i didn’t except before to leave to see all this snow,  and it was perfect. It was perfect because it was the first time that i could see big lake totally frozen and covered by the snow. So yes three nights with this very nice couple, giving me many advices about the surroundings, affording me a nice meal and talking about Sweden. I had to wake up early to enjoy the beautiful landscapes in this area under the sunny day.

On the road toward the lake, and as Sweden is covered by thousands lakes, i stopped sometimes and i discovered little places around a small lake for a small stroll and to take picture. I didn’t try to walk on the frozen lakes because i was in unknow land. The advantage of the season was that i was definitely alone on this sites. Sometimes i saw beaches appointed for the summer and at this time there was no one. So i could wander on these lakes quietly. And at the same time i imagined how the environment could be during the summer and i wanted to be here during the summer two.  When i saw this natural beauty i wanted just one thing, it was to be here after the snow and to be able to spend time on a small boat or on a canoe kayak in the middle of the lake. And maybe to sleep in a wooden cabin along the shore. I was my wishes and a dream. Maybe i will be able to do this one day in the future. Who know.

Then i i went until the lake Vanern. I saw a part of the south. I stopped first in Mariestad and then i drove along the lake by the small road beside number 44 to link Lidkoping, and i continued until Trollhattan. I stopped in all this small cities to make a turn of the center. Everytime with a nice view. Beside this steps i ‘m stopped many times along the lake to go for a walk in nice paths.

It was a very nice trip, the weather was so sunny, the sky very blue and it was perfect to admire and to take pictures of the place. Probably that during an other season we can make many activites like fishing, cycling, swimming, sailing. Or again different nautical activities like kayak. Diffinitely a place to go for lovers wildlife. And then to finish this trip around Vanern, i sleept with AirBnb in a wooden cabin. The experience was great and i wanted to do this since a long time. It was so good to be in the middle of the wood without any noise around me. Just the cabin, the forest, the birds and the sky.