Michal and I are spending our summer in Europe. This year we managed to pack seven weeks of clothes, electronics and other necessities into a single backpack. That was not an easy task but it has made traveling so much easier! Back in the states our home is rented for the summer through Airbnb and we have crafted together a fine team to take care of our home while we are gone.
Sunday night we flew from JFK to Stockholm, Sweeden. Why Sweeden? Well here’s the thing – traveling to Poland sucks. It’s long and tiring. Generally we take a 4 hour bus from Ithaca to NYC, a one-hour subway ride from Port Authority to JFK, an 8 hour flight to Berlin and a 5 hour bus ride from Berlin to Koszalin. This year we decided to buy one way tickets and split up the trip. We landed in Stockholm around noon Monday and flew to Poland around 7AM Tuesday.
Neither one of us had been to Stockholm before. We also did no research on Stockholm and had absolutely no agenda. And we were running on just a few hours of restless sleep.
The most striking thing about Stockholm was the temperature. It was chilly! I had a jeans, sneakers and a light jacket on and was still chilled. We saw people walking around in winter coats. Stores had scarves and hats on racks lining the sidewalks. I’m not sure what the temperature actually was. I’m guessing mid to high 50s.
Stockholm is the capital city that is an archipelago. The city itself was impressively clean and easy to navigate. One Swedish tradition we quickly picked up on is called finka. It consists of enjoying a pastry and a coffee. I could get used to that!
Another food staple I wanted to eat was meatballs. The Swedish meatballs in Ikea are quite delicious so I figured meatballs in Sweden would be even better. We consulted google to find the best meatballs in Stockholm. It was a 30 minute walk from where we were. When we arrived we discovered the place was closed as the owners were off on vacation. We ended up wandering several more hours before we found a place that served meatballs. It got ugly – little sleep, jet lag, HUNGRY, exhausted… but the meatballs were delicious.
Remember when I mentioned we didn’t have an agenda? Well we had booked a hotel close to the airport we needed to fly out of Tuesday morning. This airport was located about an hour and a half from Stockholm. According to website there were busses that left every 30 minutes until 10PM. When we arrived at the bus station around 8, we found out that the website lied. The last bus to the airport left at 7. We ended up finding a way there but did not arrive until after 11 PM. Sweden is so far North that even at 11 at night there was still a bit of daylight.
Stockholm was beautiful. I wish we had had more time as there as some neat museums I would have liked to check out. Sweden was also expensive so our wallets are glad we only had a few hours to spare.
Tuesday we arrived safely in Poland. Tomorrow we take off for the Krkonoše Mountains in South West Poland.