Snowy Stockholm

I was in Stockholm over the weekend. The weekend forecast was around minus ten degrees Celsius. Before going, I was told that cold in the Nordics is not the same as the cold in Ireland due to a lower level of humidity. However true, I was bloody cold. For once in my life I was glad to put function over fashion. I bought a warm coat, gloves and hat. I had more layers than a millefeuille.

Stockholm was covered in thick blanket of powdered snow. The air continually froze, adding a of sparkle to the streets. Most of the water in Stockholm’s port was frozen and covered with snow. While it was picturesque, walks were treacherous. The excessive snow makes it difficult to imagine the place during summer months, when nudist beaches are open along Lake Malaren.

I sampled some of the gay scene. On Friday, I went to a gay night called “Paradise”. There were two dance floors. The smaller one played dance and pop. The larger floor played what is called Schlager. Schlager is a type of music that can only be compared to Eurovision music. Imagine a dance floor with nothing but blaring Eurovision music. I only allowed myself to dance to Gina G “Ooh Aah”.

Natives of Stockholm are renowned for their sense of style. Overall, Swedes have a good look. Skinny jeans are mandatory. The men are generally very lean and tend not to be muscled. Quiffs of blonde hair are all the rage. Combine this unique style with above average height and perfect teeth; it is no surprise they are considered a good looking race. After a while, it does get a bit “same ole, same ole”.

Stockholm has a bounty of museums on offer. I visited the Vasa Museum. The Swede’s salvaged a ship, The Vasa, that sank in Stockholm’s port three hundred years ago. It is preserved in a museum with amazing detail. The tale surrounding its sinking must be one of the greatest follies of maritime history. The second museum I was dragged into, Stockholm City Museum, was hardly worth a visit.

Stockholm is by no means cheap. Occasionally, you might notice prices on par with Dublin – a coffee and sandwich for around 80 kronor/€8 – but there are moments when you pinch yourself. A dinner last night at a trendy restaurant “Grillen’” set Boyfriend and I back €140. Unawares to ourselves we booked a table on buffet night. It was expensive considering we served ourselves.

I rounded off my stay with a “Swedish experience”. A boat in the docks, The Lady Patricia, hosts a gay night on a Sunday. The boat had two bars. The smaller bar played Schlager. I vacated this bar quick enough. The larger bar down stairs had a dance floor, which filled quickly. It was the perfect setting to enjoy my eleven euro Captain Morgan and Coke.

This morning, I flew home from Skavsta. Skavsta airport is an hour and a half from Stockholm. Naturally, you can guess I flew with Ryanair. My flights cost me €40 return. Return flights directly to Stockholm cost in the region of €200. An hour and a half on a bus was a small inconvenience for such a cheap fare. I would definitely return later in the year. Those nudist beaches will be worth a look.

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