Tag Archives: travel

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Souvenirs from Stockholm

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I’m back in The Netherlands!

It was sad to say goodbye to the city that has been my home for 5 months, but it was good. The last week I visited several museums, enjoyed the city from a viewpoint and walked it’s streets to say goodbye.

Coming home was something I really looked forward to: hugging my family again, seeing my grandparents and of course hugging, kissing and playing with my ferret Mexy after missing her for 5 months.

Pretty much as soon as I touched ground in The Netherlands, my whole study abroad period seemed like a big nice dream. Everything around me is familiar and I’m used to it, it’s as if I woke up from a 5 month sleep and hit the play button again.

Luckily I have my family who visited Stockholm, so they can pinch me: It wasn’t just a dream, I really lived in Stockholm.

And I have brought some souvenirs back home to remember my time there. Let me show you what I bought to keep the memory alive.

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The Best of Stockholm

 

Have you ever been to Stockholm? No? Let me show you why you should.

My time in Stockholm is almost coming to an end. I’ve lived there for nearly 5 months and had an amazing time.

There are many reasons why I loved it and one of them was the beautiful city and all it had to offer. Let’s dive in!

 

What I love most about Stockholm is all the beautiful buildings. My favorite is Stadshuset, but there are many many more pretty ones. Almost every building in the inner city, even those where people live, have some embellishment or detail that gives the building it’s own character.

 

The area of Gamla Stan also has nice buildings. This is the old part of the city, which has the royal palace and many small streets to wander.

 

Another thing I really enjoyed is the Tunnelbana (Stockholms subway). Like this it may look nothing special…

 

But once you get inside you will be pleasantly surprised. Each station has it’s own art. Some are more pretty than others, but each one has a unique style.

 

What was also fun about the Tunnelbana was observing people and figuring out the unwritten social rules that apply to it. For example, it’s kind of rude to look at or talk to people. So yes, I’ve been very rude all the time by watching others. :)

 

A very Swedish thing: Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns). And boy are they nice. Me and cinnamon are best buddies, for sure.

 

Stockholm is also very hilly. It’s not like it’s built on a mountain, but my Dutch legs needed some time getting used to it… But now it’s become normal to me and I see it as one of the charms of the city.

 

And a big plus of those hills, is that it gives some nice spots with pretty views over the city.

 

Pretty views in the summer and pretty views in the winter. The change of seasons is really nice in Stockholm. The city is glorious in each jacket that it puts on. I’ve seen it change from bright in the Summer, change it’s leaves during Autumn, to being covered in a pure layer of white snow in the Winter. Every bit was lovely. I’m a little sad I don’t get to see the city burst into life this Spring.

 

Espresso House is my favorite café to have a nice drink, chill with friends or read a book. And big plus: student discounts :)

 

Stockholm is also filled with museums. The Vasamuseet is my favorite so far, because it has an almost fully original Swedish war ship of more than 300 years old. Very very impressive. And in pretty much every museum you are allowed to take pictures, so nice!

 

And even though you are in a capital city with many apartment buildings, that doesn’t mean there’s no nature around. Stockholm has quite a few parks and in about 30 minutes you can set foot in the beautiful Tyresta National Park.

 

Stockholm has a nice balance between activities to do and nature to relax. It’s has the excitement of a capital city and can offer you the joy of a village.

A long story short: you should visit Stockholm. Put it on your list to visit it for 3-5 days and you’ll have time to see everything you’d want and stroll around to embrace it all.

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November Diary

November was awesome. Especially the last week, because my family came to visit Stockholm for a few days! And what an awesome and blessed time we had. We’ve seen a lot of the city and even went into the Archipelago to enjoy the nature and typical Swedish houses there.

It was actually the first family holiday since 11 years! We all enjoyed it and agreed we should do this maybe every 5 years or so, but then to rent a little house in a small town and enjoy walks and bike trips in the nature around. My parents and sister aren’t that much of a city person as I am. 🙂 Nonetheless we had an amazing few days all together.

But to be able to enjoy those days to the fullest, I had to work ahead with my school assignments. That took some motivation, but I got it almost all done before they arrived.

What else I’ve done in November? I honestly don’t remember. All previous memories are wiped away by the memories of my family being here. 🙂 Let’s see if some pictures can help me remember. (more…)

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September Diary

It’s been such an amazing month!

Browsing the city, walking any street that looks pretty (which is about all here), going to Espresso House for fika while reading a book for my course. Strolling around the edge of the islands, I love that Stockholm has so much water. Enjoying every minute of it.

The weather has been pretty good until now. Even though it has become much more wearing-your-jacket-and-a-scarf-weather, there’s still quite a bit of sun which makes it much more enjoyable. But there were also a few rainy days, which was good to get the reading for my studies done.

Because yes, I did start my studies here at Stockholms Universitet. Currently I started a course called Famous Works in Literature in English, very interesting but also a lot of reading. Luckily this was my only course this month (equals 1 class a week of 2 hours), so I had a lot of time to get out and about now it’s still warm(ish).

 

 

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Welcome to Stockholm! This is a view from one of the smaller islands: Riddarholmen. Lovely view, but the wind was a bit too chilly too hang out there.

 

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If I had to describe Stockholm, the first thing that gets to my mind is the many pretty buildings. The city is filled with big buildings that all have something special, even apartment buildings have some special details about them.

 

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And ofcourse I had to go to the old town Gamla Stan where there’s also the Kungliga Slottet (royal palace) with quite a few guards who walk up and down the side of the building.

 

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And this is Gamla Stan, masses of pretty buildings in loads of colors.

 

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The streets are so pretty and cute. All of them are as long as you look up though, cause there’s quite a few streets with loads and loads of souvenir shops.

 

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And in between all the fun, there needs to be time to get serious. Luckily it was great weather, so I could do some studying on the grass at campus.

 

P9100081 Wandeling Sodermalm v.a. Skanstull

This is what I love best: walking next to the water and circle part of the island. This is the southern part of Södermalm.

 

P9100093 Kastellholmen

And after walking/climbing up you are rewarded with a lovely view over the city. Here you see Skeppsholmen where I went on my first proper day to enjoy Stockholm after I found a place to live.

 

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More views with pretty buildings and little boats.

 

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Yay, the box with my extra luggage finally arrived. Time to enjoy chocolate sprinkles for breakfast again.

 

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This is yet another walk to circle part of an island, this time it was Kungsholmen: from Kristineberg to Stadshuset. It had a really nice rocky trail to hike.

 

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Look, I climbed sooooo high! (kind of)

 

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Water combined with nature will always be a thing I love.

 

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Stadshuset, the City Hall. And it’s so pretty! Beautiful architecture and on one side of the building there’s this gorgeous plant growing on the walls with these pretty fall colors.

 

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There’s also a park an garden on one side of the City Hall which has this terrace so close to the water, really cool. Can I buy the place and live there please?


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Oh, and did I tell about the pretty doors? No? Check it out!

 

P9200081 Tyresta National Park

Besides the city, Sweden ofcourse has much much more to offer. On a Sunday I went to Tyresta National Park where you can just walk around for free!

 

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And guess what, it’s so pretty! I love taking macro shots of plants and flowers.

 

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This is what part of the trail looked like. It made me feel like a kid, when on holidays I would climb rocks together with my sister.

 

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And then there was this lake. Don’t you love the reflection in the lake?

 

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And ofcourse there were some traditional Swedish houses. I can totally imagine myself spending a weekend here.

 

20150922_155450 Stadsbiblioteket

After all of this time it was time to focus a bit more on why I came to Stockholm, to study. I went to the Stadsbiblioteket (city library) which has this awesome kind of book-dome. Unfortunately it didn’t have a spot for me to sit…

 

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So I walked to the next Espresso House to read my book with a nice cup of tea.

 

P9230132 Waldemarsudde op Djurgarden

And now that the weather is still ok, I want to make the walks I want to make. Although this day it was a bit cold… But if you keep walking you will stay warm.

This is Waldemarsudde at Djurgarden, a really beautiful park and garden around a big house.

 

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And yay, more of those red/white Swedish houses! Can’t get enough of them.

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Another study day. This time at the university library where they have these awesome reading seats.

 

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The day after I went to Skansen, the first ever open air museum that displays houses and all things Swedish. It was a really nice place. But there were some employees, dressed up as people from back then. Which by itself is fine, until they drag you in a conversation as if you are back in that time too… Kind of creepy!

 

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A Swedish supermarket, loved the bicycle.

 

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I know you’re not suprised anymore: Swedish houses…

 

P9250251 Tunnbrod

At one of the houses which had this huge oven, someone showed how they bake Tunnbröd. It’s a very thin kind of knackebröd/cracker.

 

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And yes, more Swedish houses. But this time not as you know them, this is from the Sami folks. I really like how the house as these feet of tree roots.

 

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And I’m finishing with this picture of one of my favorite moments. At Skansen there’s also a zoo with a lot of animals you can find in Sweden. And that’s where I got to know Ottie, he’s sooooo cute. He’s looking a bit suspicious in this photo, probably because I’ve been following him around for about an hour… I saw him eating, swimming, playing, running and climbing and finally going to his bed, putting all little twigs in place, wash himself and going into a good bit of sleep.

And yes, I do miss my sweet ferret Mexy. And yes, I’m aware that’s the main reason why I fell so in love with this fellah. 🙂

 

 

Crafts: I only knitted a bit on my scarf, but most of the time I spent exploring Stockholm.

Books: This month I started on my English Literature course here. In September we read The Canterbury Tales by Geofrey Chaucer, The Tempest by William Shakespeare and Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe. I loved reading them, but didn’t fully enjoy the discussions and assignments that came with it.

Movies/series: I finished Pretty Little Liars and now almost finished Suits.

 

Favorite moment: Exploring the city.

Suckiest moment: The only thing I hated this month was when I had trouble with receiving a package. I’ve been waiting for 5 hours outside on a bench for a package to arrive, but it never came. Even though the status update said they came by…

 

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August's Diary

Wow, what a month August turned out to be.

It went from finishing my summerjob, packing everything I own, hopping on a plane and starting my life in Stockholm. By itself already quite an experience.

But the experience became more like an adventure of surviving for me. Why? Because when I arrived in Stockholm, the room that I signed and paid for didn’t exist. I got scammed! My heart broke at that moment, what was supposed to be such a good start, turned into being homeless…

It was such a horrible feeling. To go from all excited about studying abroad, to not knowing where you’re going to sleep tonight. Luckily there was a hotel owner at the café that I went in to ask for help. She offered me a room in her hotel for two nights for a great price. That was such a blessing! And when I arrived at the hotel it was even more of a blessing: it was so pretty and luxurious! I really needed that and it softened a bit of the pain.

But even though the hotel was great, two nights later I would be on the streets again. So the search began for places to stay a couple of nights and a room to rent for longer term.

On Sunday (I arrived Saturday) I went to an international church that was nearby the hotel and told my story in tears to the pastor. They were kind enough to tell the church about my situation and ask if somebody could take me in for a couple of nights or knew about a room I could rent. And another blessing was given to me: I left that church with at least 4 addresses where I could stay for a couple of nights! This really took some weight off my shoulders and gave me time to focus on a more permanent place to stay.

And through all of this I made friends with the people I stayed with, had great conversations and they really helped me out.

I know I’ve never really told about my faith on this blog, but I can’t not do it right now. My God really helped me. I was surprised in how much I trusted in Him and it was so amazing to see that He does provide what you need.

Because in exactly one week I found a room that I could rent at least till the end of the year! I could hardly believe it when I walked out of the door after I went to see the room. I had a contract in my bag and a key to a house!

After cancelling all other appointments I had to see rooms, I took the metro into the city. And when I walked out of it, I think I’ve been smiling for the first few hours. I celebrated with a lovely lunch at a restaurant. All on my own, but it was the best lunch I ever had. After that I walked around, adapting to something I was now sure of: this is my home town for the coming months! SO AMAZING!

So due to circumstances there are less pictures than I promised you last month, but I’m glad I can share some of my preparations and the last few days of the month that I did get to enjoy Stockholm.

 

20150807_144355 Working hard at UMC

So yeah, even at work I was preparing for my life in Sweden. 🙂

 

 

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When my summer job was done, I packed my last things and a few days later my dad came to pick me up. It just fitted in the car, I was so glad! (if you’re wondering: I didn’t get to take my ferret to Stockholm, my parents are taking good care of her)

 

 

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And then the day is there: time to leave Holland… I did shed some tears saying goodbye to my Mexy and at the airport when saying goodbye to my parents. And oh my, when the plane took off… It’s good that there was so much sound from the engines, otherwise people would’ve heard me crying. I’m soooo sentimental…

 

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And when in Stockholm a few more tears came out, a lot more tears. Luckily I was able to get this hotelroom for two nights. And do you see those three cute pluche dogs? I hugged them like crazy many times.

 

20150829_124057 Yay, a place to stay!

And this is one week after the picture above… I really don’t like how I look, but can you see the joy in my eyes? Finally I could start my life in Stockholm.

 

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And this is the lunch I celebrated my new home town with. A delicious burger with tomatoes and feta cheese. And deliciously spiced baked potatoe with tzatziki sauce. Yummy!

 

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And then: time to wander around, enjoy the place I’m in and see it’s prettyness.

 


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I love the waters here in Stockholm, it makes the city look even more enchanting.

 

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And yeah, who would I be without a picture of the nations flag. (you may not know, but somehow I always do this when I’m in another country.

 

P8290159 Kastellholmen

I walked to and on the islands Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen. Everything is so gorgeous. And to make it even more like a fairytale: there was a wedding that day. I saw the bride and groom having their pictures taken and I saw all the guests arrive at the castle you see in the back.

 

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And all the buildings are so pretty too!

Even plain apartment buildings in this city have some decorative detail on them.

 

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This is lake Malaren, where one of the people I stayed with for a few nights took me on a walk when the sun was setting.

 

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I fell in love with this picture. So beautiful.

 

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And this is me at lake Malaren, to proof that I was really there. 🙂

 

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And to finish: this is the station from where I will always take the metro into the city. All stations are decorated differently, really nice to explore!

 

 

Crafts: I haven’t made so much progress on my summery scarf, but still working on it sometimes.

Books: I read and finished ‘Friday on my Mind’ by Nicci French.

Movies/series: I’ve mostly watched ‘Pretty Little Liars’ on Netflix. And yay! Flikken Maastricht has started again!

 

Favorite moment: No doubt, the day I got the key to my room and got to relax and explore this amazing city.

Suckiest moment: No doubt either, the day I got scammed and became kind of homeless.