At the time of writing this, it is day (technically) two of my trip to Stockholm, Sweden and Amsterdam, Netherlands. We got in on the 27th at 8am Stockholm time, which was really around 2am for me. I was very jet lagged and quite exhausted, but I wasn’t able to check into my hotel yet. A couple other people on the trip and I decided to go exploring around Stockholm and do some window shopping. The first thing that popped out to me was how different the buildings were and the layout of the city. The buildings were almost all the same height, with restaurants and stores on the first floor, and apartments and offices above them. The actual design of the buildings were very different from what I was used to, as they were very ornate and each one was unique from the others. The city itself was much more quiet than I would have assumed for the country’s capital. It was overall VERY different from big cities in the U.S. like New York and Chicago. On Day 1 (which I consider Day 1 because it was my first full day) we started off with a walking tour of the city. Something that stood out to me was how people-oriented the city layout was. The sidewalks were usually bigger than the streets, and many times cars had to yield to pedestrians. This was drastically different than American cities, which are usually built for car use, not walking. It was also fascinating how unique all the buildings are. Each one seemed to have its own style and something that made it stand out from the others. You didn’t see any of the “minimalism” of U.S. buildings where they’re all rectangles with straight lines and lots of windows. These buildings had character and history you could immediately see. Within this tour we saw places like Eldkvarnen, which is where the Stockholm City Hall is now located, the house of the nobility, and Gamla Stan, one of the islands of Stockholm. There we learned about history and got to see all of the beautiful buildings and statues there. In Gamla Stan we got to see the changing of the guards in front of the Royal Palace of Stockholm, which took around 40 minutes and was very precise. We also saw the Abba Museum, which was probably one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. It was super interesting and very interactive! I’ve decided everywhere I go on this trip I am going to get a postcard as a souvenir, so by the end of the trip I have postcards from all over. I got a postcard from the Abba Museum, and one from Gamla Stan. I’m excited for the embassy visits I am going to today, and hopefully some shopping!

Here’s one of the pictures I took at Stockholm’s City Hall. You can see lots of statues and busts of important figures throughout Sweden’s history.