The highlight of my train trip from Berlin to Stockholm was going over the Great Belt Bridge between Zealand and Sprogø in Denmark. Although the train takes a tunnel for the spectacular suspension bridge section, the box girder bridge from Sprogø to Funen is truly magnificent.
Arriving at Stockholm Central Station at 11pm after changes in Hamburg and Copenhagen, I navigated my way by taxi to Skeppsholmen Island, where you have the choice of a stunning renovated hotel or the cheaper hostel. Waking up to the view of Gamla Stan, (the old town) across the water is a fabulous way to start the day in Stockholm. The ship opposite the hostel offers a reasonably priced brunch on weekends, with a cozy atmosphere and mix of locals and visitors.
My friend Hanna met me along the waterfront and took me to visit a beautiful exhibition at Index Artspace, then we wandered up the hill to the Kulturhuset. Its five floors include a cinema, gallery, cafes and another great view over the city with an entire level dedicated to children’s exploration and play.
We stumbled across the flea market in the main square, each buying a keepsake to remind us of the day: mine a bright red Finnish parka coat that I managed to bargain to half price and hers a lovely blue handmade woolen dress and a fitted riding jacket. I also picked up some nostalgic and handmade cookie cutters in curious Scandinavian shapes, from leaves to a gingerbread man. We then discovered the tiny Cafe Frankfurt up the hill from Index while we waited for the gallery to open. With retro wallpaper, friendly service and sleepy locals, it was the perfect place to enjoy the Sunday morning brunch.
Then it was back to Skeppsholmen to visit our friend Tamara in her studio at the Royal Art Academy next to the Moderna Museet. Preparing for her Masters show, I was fascinated to watch her construct a concrete chair she designed under hypnosis.
After that it was time for the train up North to Kiruna and the Ice Hotel – but that’s another story!