Stockholm – an amazing library, kanelbullar and pens.

Firstly, apologies for this being very tardy! I’ve been in the throes of buying my first property, hence the slight delay. Anyway, without further ado, here’s the last instalment of my Stockholm blog. Better late than never!

Monday morning meant an early start for me. I had quite a chilled out last full day in the city planned, but there were two things I definitely wanted to do which I’d missed out on my last trip to Stockholm two years earlier. Determined to make the first, I needed to be up early!

A trip up a tower

I left the hotel by 9am, and after stopping off at the central train station to pick up a couple of drinks and navigating yet more dug up pavements and construction works, I arrived at one of Sweden’s most famous buildings. Stockholm City Hall.

Designed by Ragnar Östberg, the city hall was built between 1911 and 1923, from – incredibly – eight million bricks. That’s a lot! As well as being home to some of the city’s administration, it’s where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held each December.

While tours of the main building are available, there was one section in particular I wanted to visit. On my last trip to Stockholm I’d tried, only to discover tickets had already sold out. I was determined not to make the same mistake this time, hence I was there bright and early!

The City Hall Tower stretches 106 meters into the air, and promises one of the best views of the city. But tickets to get to the top are limited – only 30 are available for each forty minute time slot during the tower’s opening season of the 1st of May to the 30th of September. That gave it quite an exclusive feel! Tickets aren’t available online and you can only buy them (at a cost of 60 krone or around £7.30) on the day of your visit.

I arrived at the building at about ten past nine, and managed to secure a ticket for the next visit – at 9.50am. That meant I had around a forty minute wait. I considered going off to grab some breakfast, but quickly calculated that by the time I got anywhere it would be time to get back. So instead I killed time by strolling around.

The area was thronging with tourists – absolutely heaving with them! A couple of coachloads of Chinese tourists had just arrived, and they were busy snapping everything in sight.

I grabbed some photos too, and strolled around the hall’s exterior. Its river-facing facade was covered in scaffolding, but it was still an impressive building.

I stumbled upon an old oak tree – which a sign said had been declared as a “Children’s Meeting Place” in 2006 – a place where children and decision makers could meet and exchange ideas for a better future. I thought that was a nice idea.

Eventually a small line began to form at the base of the tower, so I wandered over and joined it, before we were all directed inside.

A lady explained you could either take a lift up part of the tower then walk the rest or climb the whole way. I got a bit confused and thought she said you could take a lift and climb the whole way or take the stairs part of the way (don’t ask) so initially waited in the queue for the lift.

After realising my mistake, I found the start of the stairs, and started climbing. I’d be taking a step for every day in the year – with the tower containing 365 in total. Another fact is that the tower weights double the weight of the Eiffel Tower! Might come in handy for a pub quiz that….

Halfway up the tower was a round room which contained some statues and busts.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too out of breath from the initial part of the climb amazingly! Here there was also a huge plaster model of Stockholm’s patron saint, which was originally to be properly cast and placed under the tower’s bells. However for some reason that never happened, and it was never made out of anything apart from plaster. It was massive!

After that short stop, the climb actually got a bit easier too. From there, there was only the occasional small flight of stairs, linked by narrow passageways which felt much longer than the circumference of the tower. I couldn’t quite work that out.

After a brisk walk along those, I passed the tower’s bell machinery, before climbing one last steep wooden staircase. I could see daylight peaking through its summit.

Clambering up the last stairs, I walked out on to the tower’s viewpoint.

I’d climbed 73 metres above sea level, and my prize was a great view of the city. Gamla Stan was visible directly across the water….

…while in the other direction, the view was decidedly more modern.

I thought it was interesting how compared to London, or say Tokyo, Stockholm’s buildings are so low level. Somehow it made the city seem more walkable and open.

Craning my neck skywards (and only feeling slightly dizzy as a result) I could see the tower’s massive bells, but I couldn’t glimpse the three crowns on top of the tower which represent Sweden’s national emblem.

After grabbing loads of shots and doing a couple of walks around the viewing area, I began the descent back down to ground level – which was a lot faster than the climb up!

Walking back towards the city, I turned back to gaze at the tower – it was weird to think that just a couple of moments earlier I’d been right at its peak.

I don’t know why I always seem to search out things to climb while I’m in a foreign city – I guess I like the views they offer! One of my sisters refuses to do towers with me now saying they’re all the same bla bla bla 🙄. If you’re ever in Stockholm, I’d recommend you take a trip up the tower. It’s probably one of the best views of the city you’ll find.

A very specific shop

Next, I was headed to a store I’d discovered online before arriving in Stockholm. A shop that really concentrated on selling just one item. I put its location into Apple Maps and started the 40 or so minute walk. The store was in Hornstull – a part of the city I hadn’t visited before.

Getting there involved crossing a bridge again, but for once I was hoping to miss out on the trek through Gamla Stan. And Slussen’s temporary pedestrian bridges. I’d seen enough of both of them!

On the other side of the water after a short climb, I randomly passed a little plaque explaining the rock beside it was the Ordinance Datum for Sweden. From what I could work out, it was one of 2,500 reference points marked in the Swedish Ordnance Survey’s first precision survey of the country. I think it might have been the zero point I was looking at but I couldn’t really fathom out what that meant!

I came across a pretty square….

And after a stroll around that, continued my journey towards Hornstull – only to be greeted by…

…THIS!

Literally 😩😩😩😩. More construction works! Completely blocking the street I was meant to walk up. All these roadworks were beginning to get very annoying! After wandering around to see if I could find an alternative route, I quickly calculated that wasn’t going to be possible. There was only one thing for it – yet again I was going to have to walk through Gamla Stan, and navigate Slussen’s pedestrian bridges yet again. It was a substantial detour which made me cry inside a little.

With a slump in my step I set off towards Slussen…

…and after climbing the walkways and bridges once more, nipped into a shop en route to pick up a nice looking raspberry flavoured drink. I do love raspberries!

The shop I was visiting was at the end of a very long avenue.

As I walked, I passed galleries and little boutiques, most of which seemed to be closed. Some of the works on display were interesting!

Eventually the street started to feel a bit busier, and the odd supermarket and so on appeared.

About ten minutes further down the road I arrived at the store (thankfully open!). It was….

A pen shop!

I always do a quick google for interesting shops before I visit a new city, hence I’d come across Pen Store. I do love stationery, so had marked it out for a visit. Also – as I hadn’t really bought much on this trip, I thought I’d maybe treat myself to a good, refillable pen.

There was only one other customer when I entered – a VERY LOUD Canadian having a VERY ANIMATED conversation with the quiet assistant about Canada and travelling throughout Europe.

I sneaked past both of them and took the store in. It was fairly narrow, but reached back quite far, and the walls were lined with notebooks and you guessed it – pens.

They seriously had every type of pen you could think of. And the notebooks they stocked were pretty cool too – there were your Moleskins yes, but other brands I hadn’t heard of too.

After wandering around taking everything in, another assistant started work, and a few more customers came in including a little dog who I got to pet ☺️. He was only three!

After a brief conversation with the Canadian dude, I got chatting to the really helpful assistant. I showed him the kind of pen that I usually use and love, and explained I was thinking about buying a ‘good’ pen and asked what would he recommend.

Opening up a cabinet full of Lamy brand pens he let me try a couple of my preferred option – rollerballs. I liked one, but it felt a bit thick in my hand so I asked if he had anything that was a bit slimmer. Opening another cabinet he handed me a Lamy 2000. It felt nice and smooth between my thumb and fingers, and then I tried writing with it. Man! It is very hard to describe, but it literally rolled across the paper. It was that smooth. It was almost like you could feel the ink glide across the page. I loved it.

My mind was made up! I got one (luckily for me they were running a 25% off Lamy promotion) and picked also up another more casual pen plus a notebook, and another pen and notebook for my niece, who’s a stationery nut (like me!)

I had a good chat with the guy as I paid, and he advised me on what refills I’d need. If you are in Stockholm and looking for a new pen, this is the place to go. They’re really nice and helpful. It’s worth the walk!

Back out on the street, it felt a bit early for lunch, but I was slightly peckish. Finding there was a branch of a very good local bakery chain around the corner, I headed there for a coffee and kanelbullar – a delicious Swedish bun flavoured with cardamom.

Inside was pretty quiet, with just one other person and a family seated at a small row of tables.

With my picture perfect coffee and bun, I sat and used my new pen to write my postcards.

I tried making kanelbullar a couple of weeks ago and took them into work. They were pretty perfect in terms of taste, but I need to work on my shaping! This one, in contrast, was perfectly knotted. I’ll need to have another go.

A stroll and a scenic station

After quickly checking my surroundings to see if there were any nearby sights I should visit while in Hornstull, I decided to make a quick trip to a nearby park – Tantolunden. It promised small allotments and scenic spots.

Before long I was there – but it was quickly apparent the park was massive and I had no idea where I was going.

I walked up a path hoping it would lead to a view, but turning a corner I was just greeted by more path. As rain began to fall from the sky I decided to bring my exploration of Hornstull to an abrupt end, and headed to the nearest train station to catch a train back into town.

There I had a bit of a disaster trying to add money to my SL access card. After selecting the amount of money I wanted to add on to the card, inserting my debit card and PIN and then taking my card out, my card was charged but then the machine showed a fault message. Feeling a growing queue behind me I quickly retreated and then pondered what to do. I literally couldn’t be bothered asking anyone about it so just decided to try again – this time it worked.

It must be said that at this point, I had a growing sensation of pain in my legs. In about five different areas. It turned out that apart from a glass herring, I’d gained some other souvenirs from my day trip to Vaxholm the day before – in the shape of some rather nasty bites. One had now led to a large red patch growing on my leg which was fiercely itchy and actually bigger than my hand. Further down my other leg two small dark red discs had formed, which were more sore than distracting. Damn those beasties! (That’s a Scottish expression).

Trying to ignore the itching I caught the train back to T-Centralen, Stockholm’s main subway hub, and then looked for a map to try and find out how to get to the closest exit to my hotel.

I found this.

Like no chance I was going to work that out! After staring at it for a couple of minutes I just gave up and followed signs for one of the exits.

That unintentionally led me to catch one of Stockholm’s beautifully decorated metro stations. The city’s subway – featuring 100 stations, has since 1957 called on artists to give each station a unique look. T-Centralen is perhaps one of the most recognisable. It’s blue lined platforms didn’t open until 1975, but are pretty cool, with exposed rock being painted a deep blue.

I waited to a train to arrive so I could grab a long exposure shot, with the blue cave like archways as a background. But I think my shutter speed was set too just too long, as everything was just a vague blur (see below!)

After eventually finding my way out of the station, back in my hotel I quickly dumped my purchases from earlier, and headed back out on to the streets. There was another famous Stockholm building I wanted to visit in the afternoon.

A sight in Vasastaden

By now the rain was pretty heavy so I raised my umbrella, and started walking up a dreary looking Sveavägen – a long shopping street. I had a quick look in the Adidas store, and then carried on trudging.

I spotted a Caffè Nero on my way, which I thought was weird as it was the only one I’d seen during my stay. Starbucks are also thin on the ground in Stockholm, with people seeming to prefer independent coffee shops.

After about half an hour, I reached the building I wanted to visit. And guess what was right beside it – a pleasurable sight given it was time for lunch?

McD’s! Inside it was pretty busy – and there seemed to be a lot of people in there not eating but just ducking out of the persistent rain too. Including a couple of very noisy teenagers.

I decided to mix it up and deviate from my usual order – I went for a Chicken Bacon Clubhouse (though I was tempted by the Veggie Clubhouse) with Salt ‘n’ Pepper stripes (like wedges) and the usual Diet Coke. It took forever! Oh and I had a truffle sauce dip – you wouldn’t get that in the UK!

It was big. And tasty though, so I was pleasantly full after eating it! The ‘stripes’ were also interesting – like flat wedges really. Or ridged crisps.

Back outside it was still raining, but thankfully the place I was visited was mere steps away. I’d come to see Stockholm City Library – or to give it its Swedish name, Stockholms Stadsbibliotek.

It may not look like much from the outside, but its interiors are totes Instagram worthy.

After stepping into the dark entrance, I took a right to look at the library’s cafe as I thought it might be someplace I could sit and write after I’d had a proper look around.

Not really I learned – as it was closed. It had a bit of a depressing air about it too!

So I walked back into the entrance, and took walked up the rather grand but imposing flight of stairs.

At the top, darkness gave way to light – lots of it. I stepped into the middle of a massive reading hall and looked up, and then all around me.

It’s very hard to capture in a picture. But the library was designed in 1927 by architect Gunnar Asplund in a style called Swedish Grace. And in the main reading room, shelves crammed with books run right around the circular edge of the room on three levels.

An ornate massive light hangs down from the tall dome ceiling.

It’s the kind of space that you can’t help but be impressed by.

It’s just beautiful to stand and take it all in, and it had definitely been worth the walk in the rain.

I did a couple of circuits, getting photos from different angles, and just strolling looking at all the different books on display.

I was quite intrigued by the look of this one.

Doors spaced at frequent intervals in the main reading room led you into smaller rooms filled with books and computers.

As I walked around I felt that if I lived in the city I’d spend a lot of time here – it just felt welcoming, and someplace you could come and get a lot of reading or work done.

Stepping back through the cafe, I decided to use the toilet – only to find out I had to pay!

Being Sweden, cards were of course accepted, but somehow that made paying bristle with me even more! I paid my 5 krone though to avail of the facilities.

Despite that I’d recommend a visit to the library if you find yourself in Stockholm. It doesn’t take long, and it is the kind of place that leaves you slightly in awe.

A last trip around the shops

It was still raining outside as I left the library, but it was only around quarter to four, so I decided to have one more trip to the shops.

I took the tunnelbana – or metro – back in to the centre and after a five minute trip was emerging out of Kungsgatan station.

I had a list of shops I wanted to visit, so first of all made my way to the Iittala shop – I’d recently bought a dinnerware set from them and wanted to see if I could some matching coffee cups.

Maybe it was the rain, but the shop was deserted. I didn’t really see cups I particularly liked either, so I didn’t spend long inside.

After a look in H&M Home, I wandered down the street and came across a branch of Eataly. They’re a chain of kind of Italian culinary experiences – large food stores that also contain food counters, restaurants and schools that run cooking classes.

Again, I felt it was a place I’d come all the time if I lived in Stockholm – the range of authentic Italian goods was just enormous, but it was hard to tell how reasonable the prices were.

The dining hall with different counters looked like it had once been a theatre. It would be a nice spot to go for dinner, and reminded me slightly of Platea in Madrid.

Given I’d be making a quick trip to Italy later in 2019, I decided against buying anything, and instead headed for a coffee. Johan & Nyström is widely regarded as one of the best places for coffee in the capital, so I decided to pay it a visit.

The guy serving was friendly, and I grabbed an americano and yet another kanelbullar – my second of the day!

After a day of walking, it was nice just to sit and chill for a bit. I wasn’t done with looking round the shops yet though!

Next on my list was a branch of Samsøe & Samsøe – a cool Scandinavian clothes shop. I walked to Mood Shopping – a small designer shopping centre just around the corner from Johan & Nyström, and had a look around.

Looking through the rails in Samsøe & Samsøe, I grabbed a couple of shirts and t-shirts and went to try them on. It wasn’t going to be though! All three dressing rooms were busy. I waited outside two of them for ten minutes while a girl tried on dresses and an American girl ran in and out of another, swapping clothes before being joined by her friend to also try some clothes on. Which gave me the rage! She could see me waiting!

After standing there like a plum for another five minutes I decided to call it quits. I put the clothes back on the rail and walked. I was a bit annoyed, but, I reflected, I’d probably saved the best part of £200! Every cloud and that….

Next was a trip to a shop I’d visited before in Stockholm – and I’d bought something in their store in Oslo too. Illums Bolighus is a beautiful shop filled with cool Scandinavian homeware, clothing and accessories. Or at least it had been when I last visited its three story shop in Stockholm!

I discovered it had since moved – to a single level building.

I was really disappointed when I walked inside. It looked like a half-hearted jumble sale in a space they’d inherited and decided not to bother fitting out. I left after a quick walk around.

By now I was being slightly gripped with fear that the bites on my legs were serious. They weren’t just massive and very itchy, but they were also actually sore. In a burning kind of way 😩. I decided it was time to seek some professional advice, so found a nearby chemist and walked in.

The pharmacist was lovely and listened patiently as I described where I’d been the day before and pointed out the various red marks on my legs.

If I was hoping she’d reassure me, well I was disappointed! She explained that ticks are common in Sweden, and that many of them carry Lyme disease. She gave me some anti-histamine cream but told me that if there were any sudden changes in the marks I had to visit a doctor straightaway. And not wait until I got home.

I had no idea how to visit a doctor in Sweden – let alone where to find one! I kind of made up my mind not to bother, but maybe try and visit a doctor when I got home if the bites hadn’t got better.

After a look in Arket, I stopped off in Designtorget – the homeware shop I’d visited about three or four times on my trip, and picked up a cool plant pot. It helps water the plant so you don’t have to stress about that – definitely something I needed help with! I fancied getting another plant for my flat too.

I had a quick look around the department store NK and visited its food hall to see if there was anything for dinner. There wasn’t really, but I picked up a bag of gourmet crisps for my crispaholic sister.

Looking at my watch I could see I’d walked 23 kilometres and climbed 39 flights of stairs since getting up. And I was really beginning to feel it – I was pretty shattered! Passing through the shopping centre beside my hotel I had a half-hearted look around an enormous Media Markt electronics shop…

…before picking up a ham and cheese roll, some sour cream and onion crisps and a bottle of chocolate milk for dinner.

It wasn’t exactly a fancy or traditional meal on my last night in Stockholm, but I literally didn’t have the energy to go out to a restaurant. Back in my room I polished the lot off before deciding to take a look at a couple of parts of the hotel I hadn’t yet checked out.

At Six has a rooftop bar, but weirdly it’s accessed through a building two doors down – not via the hotel itself. I walked in to what looked like an office block, and then took a lift to the top floor.

After passing an expensive restaurant, a small flight of stairs (that made 40!) took me to the bar. Which was enormous! It had an indoor and outdoor section…

But there was also a walkway which took you over to a bar on another rooftop. That was closed off though, probably as it was early in the week.

Gazing at the view over the balcony I could see Stockholm’s City Hall tower – it felt like ages since I’d been there.

I went for one last glass of rose in the wine bar back at the hotel while I wrote a bit more of my blog, and then took the stairs down several floors to go and look at the hotel’s gym.

It was a bit strange to be honest – situated behind a double door that looked like it led to a laundry room rather than a gym!

Once inside though, I was surprised by how big – and impressive it was. There were a couple of small changing rooms too.

Looking at my watch again I saw I’d walked 29,000 steps, so decided to make it 30,000. I took a short stroll around the block – it was eleven o’clock by now, but there was remarkably still a lightness in the sky.

The streets were pretty much deserted.

It was eleven o’clock by the time I got back to the hotel. I’d crossed the 30,000 steps threshold and quickly clambered into bed. Before long I was out like a light.

One last Swedish breakfast

I woke up on Tuesday morning sad that it was my last day in Stockholm. Luckily my flight back to Dublin wasn’t until after 4pm, so that gave me plenty of time to chill out a bit in the city, and get packed.

I fancied one more nice breakfast before my trip was over, so just after nine I left the hotel and took a right…

Actually for once the construction wasn’t as bad as it looked! The building works were taking place on actual buildings rather than roads.

It was an overcast day as I made my way towards the residential spot of Vasastaden – and a cafe I’d read about as being one of Stockholm’s best.

After about a twenty minute walk I arrived at Pom & Flora Cafe.

Inside I was amazed at how busy the place was considering it was a Tuesday morning. Luckily as I ordered at the counter, I spotted a couple getting up to leave so quickly pointed out I’d be sitting there. I really, really wanted to order something healthy, but when I saw ‘Eggs 2.0’ on the menu, I couldn’t resist 😌.

So I ordered that, a coffee, and took my seat. Not long after, my food arrived. Perhaps not the healthiest! But it was tasty. I’m a sucker for ham and eggs!

Conscious that I wanted to make the most of my last morning in Stockholm, after I’d finished my meal, I got on my way again. Walking to the nearest metro station, Odenplan, I passed the City Library I’d visited the day before…

….and a poster for an interesting looking show with Klara Ku.

Unfortunately I’d missed that!

After a quick journey on the metro, I was emerging back into Stockholm’s centre.

As the metro station exit took me practically right to the door of department store Åhléns, I went for one last look around, checking out the menswear and home departments…

…before going down to the food hall where I picked up a jar of rhubarb chutney.

Then, sadly, it was time to check out! I walked back to the hotel, finished packing, and took one last look around my room. I’d loved my stay at At Six again, and would definitely recommend it for a stay in Stockholm. The decor’s amazing, and something about the room just leaves you feeling relaxed.

I left my luggage at reception, and as I had half an hour or so before I had to leave for the airport, I nipped next door to Gallerian and had a juice and coffee in Joe & The Juice while catching up on emails.

Flying home

Then it was time to leave! I picked up my bags and walked to Central Station. Getting there (which involved flights of steps) was so much easier this time around than on my previous visit a couple of years ago when I’d had a massive suitcase!

The Arlanda Express train was already at the platform, so I climbed aboard.

Fifteen minutes later I was navigating my way to check in. I dropped my bag and headed through security. It was all pretty painless!

The first thing I had to do airside was find a postbox so I could post my postcards. And that wasn’t easy! I looked up a map of the terminal which did show a post box being present, but try as I might I just couldn’t find it. In the end a helpful lady in a shop pointed me towards a a tiny green box on the wall. No sign or anything beside it!

I dropped my cards in and then headed to check out Arlanda’s lounges.

My ticket with SAS gave me access to their lounge, but I was intrigued to try out the American Express Lounge “by Pontus”. Amex have been growing their lounge presence at airports around the world (one is due to open in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 soon) but the one in Stockholm is a bit different in that it’s operated by a restaurant – as far as I could work out anyway!

I headed up the stairs, and after checking in at the restaurant’s front desk, was pointed to a walled off area. Entering that, my card was checked before I was given a menu and directed to take a seat.

I struggled to get a good photo of the place as it was pretty busy. I got this photo of the entrance….

…and this view from my seat.

It was a bit different from a normal lounge, given that it was after all a separate part of a restaurant, but the area was long, and there were still a fair few free seats – it wasn’t cramped by any means.

I hadn’t particularly planned on eating, given I’d had breakfast, but it was 2pm so I decided to have lunch too! From the menu I decided to have one last traditional Swedish meal. I ordered a veal burger with mash, lingon berries, browned butter and summer peas.

It literally arrived within four seconds, so I assumed it had already been prepared and was just dished up, but it was absolutely roasting hot, so I wasn’t bothered!

It was tasty, if slightly on the heavy side!

Having eaten my fill I headed off to check out the SAS lounge.

Which again wasn’t brilliantly signposted. I eventually had to look at a map again to work out exactly where the entrance was (upstairs it turned out).

After scanning my boarding pass at the entrance, I was allowed into the main part of the lounge. There is a separate area for SAS Gold card holders, which would undoubtedly be nicer, but unfortunately I didn’t have access to that!

Considering the lounge is at what must be one of SAS’s main hubs I wasn’t particularly impressed, although it probably wasn’t the lounge used by long-haul passengers.

It was pretty busy, and not that clean, and some of the power points didn’t work either.

There was a bog standard, simple buffet on offer, but at least the coffee was half decent!

I replied to a couple of emails then made my way to the gate – where weirdly there was a massive roped off area of… nothing.

Around fifty minutes later we were airborne. I gazed out the window as we flew over Sweden towards Dublin. See if you can spot the other plane in the picture below!

Dinner came in the same format as the meal on the way out – in that cleverly packaged box. This time, it was veal with potato, golden beats and hibiscus infused cabbage and cream of garlic confit.

I’ve got to say whoever writes those descriptions deserves a pay rise! They make what is effectively a salad in a box sound extremely premium. And the use of area names beside ingredients (it’s Stora Tollby Gård potato, not just potato and Sjökumla garlic confit, not just garlic confit) makes it sound like they’ve been chosen with great care too. Anyway here’s what it looked like!

I watched TV on my iPad and accompanied the chocolates we were given with a glass of wine. Or… er… maybe two.

We landed on time, and getting the bus to my hotel where I’d overnight was pretty painless.

Thoughts on my trip

I’d had yet another, great time in Scandinavia. I just love it, and can’t recommend it highly enough for a short – or long – break. There’s something about the lifestyle, the design, the people, that just make it such a relaxing place to be. I came back feeling the most chilled out I had in ages.

For me the highlight had been my day on Vaxholm, but I’d also really enjoyed Yasuragi, and doing that on my first day had definitely been a good idea.

Where next?

After a couple of years of just doing short-haul type trips around Europe, I’ve decided that this year the time is right for me to do another big, long-haul trip. This November I’ll be heading off on a three week jaunt, visiting three countries I’ve never set foot in before. Though I will squeeze in another quick trip to Scandinavia on my return!

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