I’m slowly trying to get back to reality after arriving home last night from our trip to Sweden. The time change didn’t affect us all that much going over, but it certainly did coming back. As with any time you’re unplugged for that long, getting back to a routine is painful. I need to dig out of a gigantic pile of email, and have a lot of catching up to do.
The trip itself was phenomenal. Sweden is a beautiful country — far more so than I had even anticipated.
We started the trip by staying three nights in Stockholm, then renting a car, driving across the country on a southern route to Göteborg (I think I can sort of pronounce this now) on the opposite coast, then driving back on a northern route. All along the way, stopping only for a night here and there, while checking out the little towns and cities in between. Then we spent the last two nights back in Stockholm. It sort of felt like we were coming “home” there.
I could go on and on about how much we loved Stockholm — it’s a large city, but clean, with an unhurried pace. And its island stucture of separate regions of the city is fascinating.
One of the highlights was meeting up with Stockholmers, Kate England and Dave Brasgalla, both of Icon Factory. They were both kind enough to show us around a bit and answer our various questions about all things Swedish. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out their stellar work. Would’ve liked to have met more folks along the way, but got too wrapped up in everything.
Some things I liked about Sweden:
- Everyone speaks English. This makes it so easy to travel around the country.
- 11:30pm and the sun is still settting.
- The “head start” you get from a traffic light as it turns red and yellow just before turning green.
- Mariestads beer (I believe the best of those I tried — and there were a lot). Named after a nice little town that we stopped at.
- Glass (ice cream). It’s everywhere. Swedes love ice cream. This is a good thing.
- Saying “tack” (thanks) almost excessively — the only way we ever sounded like locals.
- Hotel Birger Jarl — an amazing Swedish design hotel we capped the trip off with. Highly recommended, with also the best breakfast we had.
- That every house (it seemed) in the country was the same color red.
The entire country was also inspiring from a design perspective — with the the clean lines of the furniture and everyday objects, as well as the sans-serif typography that’s used so often.
As is customary when one goes on a trip to faraway lands, photographic images are captured to immortalize the moment. This trip was no exception, and I’ve posted a 38-image slideshow from the 240 that I took along the way.
It’s time now to get used to the idea of not being on vacation, replying to the mountain of email and working the six-hour time difference out.