Over the summer, I spent 7 weeks traveling around Europe, visiting 7 different places, 1 week in each place. My first stop in Europe was Stockholm, Sweden. On 2 different occasions, I have briefly visited Malmo, Sweden, but this was my first time in Stockholm.
While in Stockholm, I had the chance to catch up with a friend from middle school, whom I hadn’t seen since middle school. While it was quite crazy to see him again, I really enjoyed hanging out with him.
During my time there, I learned of a couple Swedish cultural things that I didn’t know before going there. The first one I discovered while trying to figure out how to wash my clothes. I knew ahead of time that my Airbnb rental did not include laundry facilities, so I assumed that there would be a laundromat nearby, but when it came time for me to clean my clothes I could not one. This led me to search the internet how residents of Stockholm wash their clothes, turns out apartment buildings there have shared laundry facilities in the basement, but my Airbnb host did not provide me with the key so that I could use those machines. From a travel forum frequented by Brits and Americans I learned about the only laundromat in all of Stockholm, and it was on the other side of town from where I was staying.
Another thing I did not know about was that Sweden has a civil defense siren system, nor did I know that one day a year at 3pm they test that siren system nation-wide, and I just happened to be there that particular day of the year. That was quite a shock to me when I heard a sound I had always associated with an air raid siren, and I think I’ve really only heard it in movies, prior to that day.
The last thing that I can think of that I learned while in Stockholm, was that when you order pizza there, it is served with pizzasallad, which is similar to a mild sauerkraut.
I left Stockholm by train, which gave me the opportunity to see lots of the Swedish countryside. It was quite beautiful, with lots of birch trees and red barns.