We left Copenhagen on a high…high speed train that is. We took the XJ2000 train up to Stockholm. It was about a 5 hour journey through the southern countryside of Sweden. Was there much to see? Uh, that would be a no. There is not much in southern Sweden at all, but it was nice not to have to sit at an airport for a few hours, then travel, go through immigration, etc. The train had food, free WiFi, big seats, and moved at 100 mph, so I was pretty impressed. We finally got to Stockholm around 9:30, and looked for our host Nick. Luckily, we spotted him walking around after about 10 minutes, as the train station in Stockholm is pretty big. We headed home, luckily again, since Nick had enjoyed a few libations before meeting us, and wasn’t 100% sure of what direction we were going. In the end, we found our way back to his pad and crashed out for the night.

US Embassy in Stockholm...not too shabby

US Embassy in Stockholm...not too shabby

We hit the city the next day and had the best weather day Stockholm has seen in about 6 months. Safe to say, every single person in the city was outside enjoying the weather, cafe’s were packed, bars were boisterous. It always makes a city more inviting when everyone is out enjoying it I think. Stockholm is on quite a few islands all connected together by bridges and subways, and the city is pretty easy to get around. When the weather is nice, there really isn’t any place in the city that isn’t within walking distance. Along with that, there is no “skyline” in this city, which again was nice, and made the city feel more like a village. We immediatley liked it, as it reminded us of Copenhagen and Amsterdam. We honestly liked all of the Nordic countries we visited.

Nick pointing to something...maybe where we were on the map?

Nick pointing to something...maybe where we were? No, that's the red dot

We had heard that Nick was throwing a little get together on Saturday night to force all the local friends he had to talk to us. Just kidding man. He had a bunch of his friends over, who were all from Sweden, and we chatted with them and then tried to interpret some things they were saying in Swedish…to no avail, it’s a unique language. Seems like all of them had spent some time in the States, and their English was incredible. The fact that Americans aren’t taught a foreign language from a very young age is too bad, yet everyone around the world feels like they should know our language. Anyway, it was interesting to learn a little more about their upbringing in Sweden, and one guy even talked cars with me, which was great, as I’m a car nut. He had almost the same car I do, so we were just comparing notes, almost felt like home…until he went off on a tangent in Swedish, and I was lost again.

We headed off to the bar, which actually was the second level of a local Scandic hotel, and was pretty nice. Taxes in Sweden are crazy, and when you order a mixed drink, there is a tax put on each individual liquor in the drink. So for example, a long island iced tea, which I never order, is about a $40 drink in Stockholm, since there is a 25% tax put on each of the 10 liquors in the drink, it’s pretty crazy. Safe to say, most drink beer, wine, or something on the rocks to save on the budget a bit. It’s also quite the fashion scene, and every girl in Stockholm seems to wear a skirt no matter what time of year it is. We closed down the bar, and of course wanted to get some late night food. We figured most would go for hot dogs, which are popular here just like in Copenhagen, but that’s not where we went. Pizza? no. Sandwiches? no. The most popular stop for late night food in Stockholm is………..McDonalds!! I almost fell over when I saw the lines inside the place, it was disgusting but at the same time hilarious. This place is one of the sole reasons McDonald’s is still in business in my belief, the traffic going through this place was unbelievable…and quite a way to end the night.

Stockholm day 3 up next!