photo OP: STOCKHOLM snacks and sights

On a whim, I decided to visit a good friend of mine who went to Stockholm to do some writing for her Ph.D. I ended up being a welcomed distraction, but it was also nice to get away from Prague for a bit and see another city, especially one that I had never visited before. It was a laidback and casual visit, and I did not pressure myself to see all of the sights and do all of the things, but I was sure to eat some delicious things and see some of Stockholm.

I went to the Nationalmuseum to take in some art. I really appreciated the entrance fee (free), but also the way in which the museum was set up. The galleries were organized by time like a timeline rather than by different types of art. The method here allowed me to get lost in time and to gain a more round experience with the feeling and culture of the period. There is a lot to see, but the structure makes it more satisfying and complete.

My friend and I had what we called a nautical day where we explored the Vasa Museum and took a boat ride touring the Stockholm archipelago, with lunch at Strandbistron on the waterfront in between.

The Vasa Museum is a special place. Even if you know nothing about boats, how they are built, the different parts, you are still immersed into the history of this very tragic story about a boat. The museum was designed specifically to house this vessel and tell its tale. The thoughtfulness pervades the various exhibits and enchants its visitors. It is one of Stockholm's most popular museums for a reason.

Then we ourselves went on a boat to see the many islands that are a part of the Stockholm archipelago and to learn about the sights and its history. This was fun and relaxing, but also entertaining and informative.

We wandered around Gamla Stan, Stockholm's historic old town.

We ate a lovely dinner at a trendy place called Nytorget 6 where we had stunning and surprising cocktails and equally surprising meals. We sat at the bar because the place was busy, but I am glad we did because we got to see all the drinks being made and got to feel the true vibe of the place. I had a solitary lobster taco (because of course) followed by the meat special of the night which was short ribs and fries. My friend got the delightful Swedish meatballs. We finished the meal off with a delectable and refreshing dessert layered with lemon curd, berries, and cookie crumble. Nice place and a good recommendation.

And we also waited (with bated breath) for the sun to set.

Keep up with the play-by-play of our adventures on instagram!


photo OP: PARIS

Of course we ate (a lot) in Paris, but we saw the sights, too. 

We saw the Louvre by day and night. At night the lights of the juxtaposing glass pyramids and the grandiose historic palace bounced off of the still pools of water. It was lovely and still at night; the lights and laughter the only dynamics. By day, it bustled and moved with bodies, but we came to see the art.

After a delightful dinner, we walked to Arc de Triomphe and visited the tomb of the unknown soldier as the sun was setting in the city, striping the sky with cotton candy colors. It was a peaceful pause.

We waited longer than I care to admit for entrance to the Catacombs of Paris. Though the line was hot and grueling, longer and more arduous than anyone could have guessed, seeing the collection of bones was totally worth it. The cool air struck us as we entered the realm of the dead. We imagined the lives of these bones, stacked and sorted. It was haunting and beautiful.

At Musee D'Orsay we had to rush through the art, but our minds were tired. We were able to catch glimpses of Impressionist masterpieces and the works of artists outside of our passions. We discussed color and brushstroke while trying the fight the throngs of people.

The Rodin Museum was supposed to be a quiet refuge, a place to meditate in gardens and consider how heavy sculpture can embody movement and emotion. Instead, it was oppressively hot and more crowded than I would have liked. Seeing Rodin's evolution throughout his home was inspiring and riveting despite the hazy conditions.

Sacre Coeur is absolutely stunning, inside and out, above and below. Though I have seen the basilica on multiple occasions, I had never been inside. This time I was able to and so glad that I did. It is striking on the exterior-- tall, white, contrasting the blue sky boldly. Inside is magical, almost like time travel. The sheer size of the church is astonishing, but the feeling of veneration was more palpable. And then, on a whim, we went on the dome, where the climb (and sweat) was definitely worth the views.

The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, and other sights, too.

Follow on instagram for the bites and sights!