Stockholm is a beautiful city, perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world. It could be. My trip though was in more ways than one a disaster.
Despite all this overall I had a great time and I will visit Sweden again, hopefully several times and to try to rectify my last trip.
The first mistake was not to sort out accommodation to the last moment. I had just came back from visiting Ukraine for 2 1/2 week. All my planning had gone into Ukraine that with just over a week to go to Sweden I had no idea where I was going to go, no guidebook or map. My kind friend Oksana from Ukraine offered to try and locate some place to stay via hospitality club before I go. Unfortunately she didn’t get any response.
I booked my a hostel Skanstulls, and this was my first mistake not to digest what I read. A reviewer on hostel bookers had pointed out that there was no staff from 8pm and arriving after this time could mean getting locked out if the guest did not read the email with the code they send.
Well I did read that they have a code and they need 24 hours notice but I needed to stay there that very night. I decided to call Expedia (where I was making the booking from).
I called and said I will arrive after midnight and that I read they need 24 hours will it be a problem. I pressed the customer service agent to check, he went away came back said it was all fine and booked it for 2 nights or so I thought…
My flight was delayed. I arrived late at night. I took an expensive taxi into the centre (everything in Stockholm is expensive) and arrived after 1 am.
Locating the entrance was a problem, tried to ring the bell no answer. I then tried to call the reception no answer. I had checked my email before flying no I had to check using my UK mobile in Sweden still no email.
I had to call Expedia in London after a 20 minute wait I got though, the guy had no answer he promised to try and get through and call me back.
Despite all my best efforts before to avoid it, I was stuck outside on the street with all my luggage at 1 am in the morning!
A while alter still no answer. Then I located there was a special phone number for out of hours but not rather conveniently displayed prominently! and I made yet another phone call. Eventually it was answered I got the code and got in..
Only after then did I hear from Expedia and they hadn’t managed to get in contact! Imagine being stranded in that situation in a foreign city despite doing the best to sort it out For me I was fine, a lone female traveller might not feel so secure.
In the morning I got up went out to explore the old town in what started out as good weather. (The next day was rather different).
I explored the Gamla Stan (the old town) I enjoyed wondering down the streets, beautiful views of waterways and lovely church architecture. It was easy to get around, clean and photogenic.
I went to the old town, witnessed some kind of school sports event that as going on in the town centre and occasionally stopped i the overpriced coffee shops for something o drink or eat.
I then decided to go to the waterfront and then to explore the archipelago And I would start with Vaxholm and return the next day (or so I thought).
Vaxholm was a beautiful excursion. I arrived with no map but took a photo of a map on the island and walked and explored. It was beautiful but the few places to see were shut at the time I arrived.
This did not detract from the trip though. It was a pleasure to stroll through the clean and green town in nice weather and explore places that I hadn’t planned for.
I took the ride back to Stockholm, went to my hostel planned to go out in the evening and see if I could get around to meeting a local.
This is where the next problem occurred..my keys were not working! I couldn’t get in. When I did, I didn’t go out that evening not wanting a repeat and didn’t east either. Evening wasted (there was no reception present to sort it out).
When checking out I had found apparently I had booked just 1 day I was sure I had said two to Expedia but had no where of knowing and so that is why the key didn’t work.
I had just day number two..
Day No 2 was heavy rain throwing out my plans of exploring the archipelago or in fact anywhere.
I did wander in the town but most places I had seen in lovely weather the day before.
I write the day off (it did improve later but too late) and decided I will come back again much better prepared.
Stockholm is a beautiful enough city to warrant further visits and that I would be glad to do hopefully in obliging weather.
Beautiful and green city with lots of waterways.
Skanstulls hostel’s service.