Monday, November 26, 2012

Stockholm in 10 hours

As you may have already known, I went to a one-day trip to Stockholm last week end.
Conveniently, there is a ferry from Turku to Stockholm, and the trip takes roughly 11 hours, so it's perfect to travel over night.

As I have mentioned before, I had never in my whole life been on such a FREAKING HUGE SHIP (look at the car in comparison!!). Silja Europa is indeed really really big, it's more like a swimming hotel and shopping mall. At first I was also bit afraid because I am slightly agarophobic (i.e. I am scared of vast open spaces like the ocean) but it was dark during the trip anyway, and in the beginning we could still see a lot of lights on the isles of the archipelago.

We were making a lot of jokes about us being like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, because we had a cheap low-class cabin and had to go down a bunch of odd looking, narrow stairs to get to our tiny (and slightly shabby) room, haha. Especially in comparison to the fancy looking rest of the ship our deck... However, we got the tickets quite cheap, so it was okay.

We shared our cabin with two very nice girls, one of which was able to speak perfect German! I was so impressed! We chatted a bit and happily agreed that we all wanted to sleep and not party all night, which for some people is the only reason to book such a cruise... My friend and me spent some time on an upper deck where there were some windows, watching the lights pass by, but soon we went to bed because we were quite tired (after all, we had been to work on Friday before we went home to pack our stuff and get on the ship). I slept surprisingly well, and I didn't even feel any seasickness, despite the constant vibration and slight shaking of my bunk bed, haha.

We arrived in Stockholm at roughly 6am local time and as we left the ship we realized that our cabin had in fact been below the water line (and below the car decks). What a scary thought! I'm just glad I hadn't noticed that before, otherwise I might have slept less well...
As it was still pretty dark, we couldn't see much, but we had a nice walk through the deserted streets of the city towards the old town, where we were supposed to meet our friends.

I was having some troubles with my camera, so please forgive me if some of the photos are not of perfect quality :(

There were wonderful Christmas lights and decorations everywhere, it was such a beautiful sight!

The royal palace, as far as I know. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to check it out... so we just went past it and headed towards the hostel where our friends stayed.

As you can see, around that time it was still pretty dark, but this just made the sight of the lights more beautiful ♥

Unfortunately, it was constantly raining too. Only slightly in the beginning, but the rain started to get heavier.

We met our friends in front of their hostel in Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm, which is located on a small island, and decided to have breakfast. One of the girls wanted to go to a café nearby called "Chokladkoppen" because it looked so nice. The café was open but as we entered we were thrown out and told that they had not opened the shop yet (no sign indicating the opening hours anywhere to see...). They said they won't open before 9am, and it was around 8am at that time, so we went back to the hostel and chatted, because it was rainy and cold outside and we were waiting for two more friends (who are doing their internships in Sweden) to meet us.

They came shortly before 9, and we went to the café again. By that time they had opened there take away counter so we assumed we could go in - but nay! We were thrown out again. "Not yet open." By that time it was raining pretty heavily and some of us started to get really pissed. We waited 10 more minutes till it was 9am sharp and asked again if we "may" come in now, but he told us to wait some more... So after another 10 minutes I suggested we go to another café I saw on the way, because this was really, really bad service. I understand if they want to keep us out as long as they still clean the floors etc. or something like that, but honestly, they were just adjusting the tables to perfectly parallel to each other, preparing whipped cream and rummaging around in their tiny kitchen. Nothing they couldn't have done with us sitting inside and not standing in front of their shop in the rain! So one of the girls asked over the take away counter, when they will consider opening their café, because if they won't open soon we would go some place else. The guy (shop owner?) finally let us in. At last we could get some breakfast after getting up so early and walking all the way from the harbor to the old town!

I had a Blueberry pie and a hot chocolate. The prices were a bit high but the portions were huge.

The service was really, really bad, and one of our friends living in Stockholm told us that it's the case almost everywhere in the city... but at least the food was good. Still it's kinda sad that such a great little café has such terrible service...

So, after the rain had ceased a bit, we went by ferry to Djurgården, where the Vasa museum is located.
Since the weather was so bad, we were quite happy to have an "indoor activity". And it was really interesting!

The sight of the ship is indeed very impressive.

Standing on the upper floors of the exhibition room/gallery and looking down made me feel a bit uneasy ^^"

The ship originally was covered in colorful paint, which was revealed through analysis of dye pigments.

They had a glass shelf with all kinds of different pigments. So pretty!

This is a replica of the admiral's cabin. Looks kinda cozy, doesn't it?

I was truly amazed by all the ropes and... oh gosh if I could only remember how all that stuff is called!

I've always been kinda fascinated by old ships. Maybe it's due to the fact that a rather early childhood memory of mine is watching my step dad constructing and painting model ships. The ropes, some of which in reality are as thick as my arm, were tiny threads and the wooden parts often as thin as a tooth pick. It was very impressive to see these parts in real size for once!

We then went for a walk back towards the city center... unfortunately I don't remember any street names where we passed by and I also didn't take many photos. But I really want to go back to Stockholm sometime soon and stay for two days or so, so I can see much more of the city!

We didn't have time to go in ;__; The other girls were hungry already... 

I love it how that lit window makes it look like there's some crappy lens flare out of nowhere XD 

Anywhere I go I have to take pictures of lamp posts. Too bad I didn't take any better ones than that :'D 

Architecturegasm all the way! So many beautiful buildings in one place, I was totally amazed. Also, there were lots of Christmas decorations and lights ♥

Super crowded shopping street.... it was horrible to walk around between all those people D: But the lights ♥ 

We went to some place to have pizza, which actually took way longer than expected (unfriendly service there again...). By the time we got our food it was almost 5pm and we would soon have to walk back to the harbor to catch our ship back to Turku!

We saw several very fancy barber shops at Sturengatan, but this was by far the most awesome one!

We arrived at the harbor well before 6pm so we could check in before 6.30 as we were told... but we still had to wait till 7pm till we could board anyway. We were so tired already, we were looking forward to sleep! And is turned out, our cabin on this trip would be so much more comfortable! There were 4 beds but nobody but no one else came, so we had the whole cabin for ourselves.

Fancy fluffy carpet floor!

This time we decided to watch the ship leave the harbor from the sun deck on the very top. Taking a look over the guard rail was kinda crazy. The height of this kind of ship is really frightening!

In the end, we spent our last Swedish money in the duty free shops on board and then want to our cabin. Sister Act was on TV with Finnish subtitles (indeed, we had TV in our cabin! First class all the way, hahaha), watching it was so funny! I wish I had a TV here in my room, so I could learn some more Finnish with the help of subtitles, hehe.

Knowing me, you probably know what was bought by me and what by my friend, haha

We knew we would arrive at 7am local Finnish time in Turku, but there was some confusion regarding how to set the alarm. I knew my smart phone would change the time zone as soon as it gets the Finnish signal. However, on my trip to Sweden it didn't get the signal until I restarted it... To make sure, I set the alarm to wake us at 6.30am. When I woke up, I realized that the clock had already changed and I had another hour of sleep left, so I went back to some kind of half-sleep, figuring they'd have some kind of announcement via the speakers 30 minutes before we reach Turku anyway. However, half an hour later, somebody knocked on our door and all of the sudden, the door was opened and a man said something in Finnish. I was totally startled, half-awake half-sleeping, I suddenly sat up straight in bed and asked "Excuse me?!" but he was already gone. I was in shock. I thought we had overslept! My friend awoke too of course and we dressed and packed in a hurry. But I was irritated... looking at my watch I told here it's 6am and not 7am Finnish time. We soon realized we had been thrown out of bed in vain and the ship was still one hour away from the harbor! We were soooo pissed XD

Anyway, we walked around the ship one last time and watched from the sun deck as we entered Turku harbor. When I arrived back at home it was around 8am (fortunately there was a quick bus connection... I would have been to tired to walk!) and still pitch black so I decided to sleep some more... and I ended up sleeping till noon without even awaking once, haha!

Well, barely back but already planning another trip, I was thinking about taking one day off next week (Thursday is a national holiday here, so Friday would be just perfect) and go to Helsinki to do some shopping for Christmas presents and go to an event on Sunday... but I still need to find a place to sleep. So we'll see. If not, maybe I'll just take a day trip there. Also, I have to start planning my trip to Lapland in February! I'm really excited, but also a bit scared about the costs exploding... but well, traveling is what I actually got my scholarships for, so I might as well use them!

~ ~

Letztes Wochenende habe ich zusammen mit meiner Studienkollegin einen Kurztrip nach Stockholm gemacht, wo wir uns mit ein paar anderen Mädels aus unserem Studiengang trafen.

Die Reise mit der Fähre war für mich ziemlich aufregend, da ich noch nie zuvor auf einem so riesigen Schiff war. Es war auch eigentlich eher wie ein Hotel als ein Schiff. Und irgendwie fühlten wir uns wie Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic als wir Treppe um Treppe hinab in den Bauch des Schiffes stiegen, um unsere kleinen Kojen zu beziehen, haha! Obwohl die Kabine eher mickrig war war der Trip ganz okay, so dass wir sogar recht ausgeruht waren als wir um 6 Uhr Morgens in Stockholm ankamen. 

Zunächst marschierten wir zu Fuß zur Altstadt wo wir unsere in London arbeitenden Freundinnen vor ihrem Hostel abolten und auf die anderen Mädels, die in Schweden ihr Praktikum machen, trafen. Die Altstadt von Stockholm ist (so wie der Rest der Stadt) wirklich wunderschön, dem konnte selbst das miese Wetter keinen Abbruch tun. Leider hatten wir das Pech dass das Kaffee in dem wir frühstücken wollten mit furchtbar unfreundlichem Personal "gesegnet" war, das uns eine halbe Stunde im Regen warten ließ, obwohl sie schon geöffnet hatten. Schlussendlich erbarmte man sich unser. Das Essen war gut - aber macht den miesen Service leider dennoch nicht wett....
Nach dieser Stärkung ging es jedenfalls mit der Fähre auf die Insel  Djurgården zum Vasa Museum. Ich finde alte Schiffe ja schon sehr faszinierend, alleine wenn man sich überlegt was für eine Wahnsinnsarbeit es war diese zu planen und zu konstruieren, und dann schlussendlich zu fahren und zu steuern! Echt beeindruckend!

Im Anschluss spazierten wir noch durch die Stadt, am Wasser entlang, und ich konnte mich an den Gebäuden gar nicht satt sehen. Das "Flair" der Stadt und die Architektur gefallen mir wirklich sehr, sehr gut, und so würde ich mir wirklich wünschen dass ich bald einmal wieder kommen und vielleicht etwas länger dort bleiben kann.

Nachdem wir noch gemeinsam ein verfrühtes Abendessen zu uns genommen hatten, mussten wir beiden Wahl-Finnen auch schon wieder gehen, da uns ja noch der Fußmarsch zurück zum Hafen bevorstand. Leider habe ich bei weitem nicht mal annähernd so viel von der Stadt gesehen wie ich gerne gewollt hätte, aber das schlechte Wetter und die begrenzte Zeit machte es uns auch nicht einfach. Dennoch waren wir am Ende ziemlich erschöpft von den zurückgelegten Strecken, und waren daher sehr erfreut dass wir die 4er Kabine ganz für uns hatten und uns ausbreiten und entspannen konnten. Im Vergleich zur Hinfahrt war die Kabine auf der Rückreise um einiges luxuriöser - obwohl sie nur knapp 5€ mehr gekostet hat :'D

Im Endeffekt kamen wir um 7 Uhr Morgens in Turku an, und wären wir nicht eine Stunde zu früh von irgendeinem Schiffsheini geweckt worden wären wir auch vielleicht einigermaßen ausgeruht gewesen. So jedoch war das erste was ich tat als ich zu Hause ankam, ins Bett zu fallen und noch einmal eine Runde zu schlafen, haha!

Und kaum bin ich zu Hause plane ich schon weitere Reisen. Übernächstes Wochenende möchte ich für zumindest einen Tag nach Helsinki und im Februar, wenn ich mit der Arbeit fertig bin, soll es dann endlich nach Lappland gehen, mir meinen jahrelangen Traum erfüllen: die Aurora Borealis sehen ♥


  1. das sieht alles so schön und spannend aus *_*

    Aber dass die Leute da so unfreundlich waren... krass. Ich mein, die wollen doch was verkaufen und sind sicher nicht das einzige Café da. Echt mies, euch im Regen warten zu lassen :(

    1. Ich habs mir auch gedacht. Nachdem meine Kollegin meinte es wäre überall in Schweden so (zumindest in Stockholm überall wo sie bisher war) scheint es wohl ne Art Eigendynamik zu haben, dass die es sich deswegen "leisten können" weil sie wissen dass überall anders auch alle unfreundlich sind :'D

  2. Ein toller Bericht! Das Vasamuseum fand ich auch wahnsinnig schön gemacht.

  3. Wirklich sehr sehr schöne Fotos. Wie man sieht, dass es langsam "hell" wird anhand der Bilder. Scheint eine schöne Stadt zu sein!


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