So, after spending 6 weeks in Europe, after spending a couple weeks in Canada, I went back to Europe, specifically Sweden, for 3 weeks to hang out with my boyfriend, who lives there! I was there from late June to July, and like I mentioned in my Norway post, Scandinavia was going through a heat wave so it was quite hot when I was there, like 30 degrees hot, which apparently is not that common. I'll have to be honest, I really didn't do much during this trip. I had actually lived in Sweden for 4 months when I attended Lund University for an exchange semester. Funny story actually, it turns out I had a class with my boyfriend (that I never attended because it was in Swedish), but we never actually met until a year after that, when he went on exchange to Canada! Anyway, I spent most of the trip lazing around on my boyfriend's couch - we spent most of the time in Malmö, where he lives, and around 5 days in Stockholm!
Honestly, I didn't really leave the couch much while I was in Malmö, only to go find food! Malmö isn't that fascinating of a city, they have the Turning Torso sky-scraper which is like the tallest building in Sweden (it's not even THAT tall), and there was a shopping mall that I enjoyed browsing too, even though I didn't buy anything because the sales tax is way higher. There was also a beach that I went to once, because I was too lazy to leave my spot on the couch to lie on a spot on the beach. My boyfriend's place was along the water, facing Denmark, so you can see the bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark, as well as Copenhagen across the water if the skies were clear. From here, I enjoyed many beautiful sunsets facing the sea, without even having to leave the apartment, which was quite nice.
Another thing I did was eat a lot! Normally, I'm not actually that big a fan of traditional Swedish foods (picked herring... bleh), but I guess some of it is actually quite tasty, and I do love meatballs! We didn't dine out that much since we had a place to cook and everything in Sweden is expensive (but not as expensive as Norway), but we did treat ourselves to a couple nice restaurants. We went to a resturant called Bullen to celebrate my birthday - it was classic Swedish food, huge portions, and really tasty!
Another restaurant we tried out was called Snapphane. It is the sister restaurant of Vollmers, which has 2 Michelin stars. There are a couple Michelin starred restaurants in Malmö, and they are all super expensive, but I do want to try them eventually! Snapphane is less expensive than Vollmers, but still quite pricey, but it was really tasty as well, but I'm not sure I would go there again and pay those prices. We had a 6 course tasting menu, but I can't say I was too full by the end of the meal, with the fine dining portions.
We also went to a Japanese restaurant called Saiko in Malmö, we had heard good things about it - the chef had won an international sushi contest or something, so we thought we would try it out. The restaurant is pretty small and cozy, we actually sat at a table on the floor, true Japanese style. They had a tasting menu, but since we had already spent all our money at Snapphane, we decided to just order à-la-carte. It was super delicious, not just the sushi but the other Japanese dishes as well, although the portions again were small. I would definitely come back to eat here when I'm in Malmö next.
On one of the few occasions that I decided to leave the couch, we took a day trip to Copenhagen on the weekend, mostly just to have a change of scenery, as we had both been to Copenhagen a few times already. The main purpose of our trip was to eat some ramen - I know, ramen in Scandinavia?!? There are actually a couple difference places in Copenhagen, we went to one called Ramen to Bíiru, which just means Ramen and Beer. It was actually decent - definitely not as good as the ones in Toronto, and I'm sure it doesn't compare to ramen in Japan, but I thoroughly enjoyed my bowl of ramen. We also checked out one of the food halls in Copenhagen, Torvehallerne, but just looked around.
Afterwards, we pretty much just walked around the city and enjoyed the nice weather, without a plan or anything since I had already done the touristy activities in Copenhagen, and my boyfriend had been here so many times. We still went to visit Nyhavn, where the classic colourful buildings are though! We also enjoyed a beer by the canal to take a break from all the walking, so that was nice. Copenhagen is such a cute little city - I always enjoy coming here, and I hope to visit again!
We spent a few days in Stockholm as well, which I've also seen when I was an exchange student (and also when I lived here from birth to 2 years old, but I don't remember anything). I had already done all the touristy things when I came here on exchange with my parents (Boat tour, Djurgården, Royal Palace). I went into downtown Stockholm for a couple days, and checked out Gamla Stan, the Swedish old town that is kind of on its own island inside Stockholm.
Another thing I did while I was in Stockholm was go check out the Swedish archipelago (I find it so difficult to spell this word). We went out to one of the islands - this one was one of the islands that was further away (there are many within a 30min radius of Stockholm). I think you can take a ferry directly from Stockholm that takes 2hrs and 15min, but we drove out for an hour to a small town somewhere, and then took a shorter amount of time (but still around 1.5hrs) to get to Sandhamn. I don't know the details too well because I was just following, and not really paying attention. Once we were on Sandhamn, we got some lunch, and then explored the tiny island for a bit. The weather was super pleasant, but actually way chillier out in the archipelago than it was in central Stockholm. Anywho, it's a really cute, quaint little island, and it was really nice strolling around in nature for a few hours. I definitely recommend checking out at least one island out in the archipelago if you're ever in Stockholm, it's really beautiful out on the water!