This is a blog about my travels. My "regular" life is much too boring to bother blogging about.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Södermalm, or how I discovered Stockholm's soul

Ahoy. In Stockholm now, about to sleep my second night here. Synopsis: it's a'ight. I definitely prefer Copenhagen, but there is a case to be made for this city too. It's very pretty, particularly the old town. The public buildings are large and impressive. There are lots of swell sounding museums. There is lots of green space. And so forth. But walking around today... I'm not going to lie, I was a little bored. There was little of the grit or impatience or EXCITEMENT that is so refreshing about Copenhagen, and that smacks you in the face as soon as you abandon the tourist hordes. Did this city have a soul?

I should have known better. Last night, upon arrival, we met up with Cailan's friend Henrik at a bar in Södermalm, which appears to be the trendy or boho or hipster district du jour. The bar was great, and so were Henrik and his friends, and then we went to another bar, with Henrik but without the friends, and it was pretty great too. And a lot of other bars that we didn't go to likewise appeared to be pretty great. A lot of them had lineups, and there was a pretty lively street scene too. Obviously, we should have made a beeline for Södermalm this morning, but we were stupid and chose to wander around Stockholm's shopping area, which was about as souless an area as one can imagine (bearing the scars of 1960s urban renewal projects). Better late than never I suppose. We went for dinner in Södermalm, to some really old beer hall with high ceilings and really traditional Swedish food on the menu. The ambiance was raucous, the food was... errr... Swedish (OK, I didn't like my dish, it was too rich, but my starter, herring and cheese, was amazing), and there were fun drawings on the walls. That was more like it. A brief stroll through the streets post-dinner confirmed that Södermalm was indeed the place that Stockholm goes to party.

So yeah, we're heading there first thing tomorrow morning.


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