when you live in sweden and apply for swedish citizenship, then you have to send in your passport with your application. due to the fact that i sent my passport in back in april and have just now heard that it is a waiting period of a year to get an answer to your application, lina and i haven’t been able to travel anywhere out of the country this summer. (yes, i can ask for my passport back, but it seems to stop my process and i’m afraid to lose my place in line).
in any case, this has been a blessing in disguise. yes, i have travel fever. yes, lina does too. but, the thing is, we want to travel to other places in europe and back home to the states. but we can never do both. it is a deeply complicated decision to make…. home again or someplace new? get my drift?
with the absence of a passport right now, the decision has been made for us. travel within sweden. and travel only an hour or so away from home. little trips. day adventures. weekend excursions.
oh, yeah, i’m all for the big, exciting, exotic trips. all. for. them. but, this has felt like the perfect little balance right now. it’s good to remember to take advantage of and appreciate what you have around you. and, to top it all off, we’ve been super duper spontaneous, which also feeds my gypsy soul.
so, while i once dreamed that this summer would get me back to asheville for a bit (and i still ache for that), it has turned out to so far be a wonderful swedish staycation. we have been on our staycation for 2 weeks so far, and have one more week to go. here’s how we spent our middle staycation week:
we started off our week in södermalm, the funky greenwich village-like neighborhood of stockholm. we had been there during the weekend for the pride parade, and monday was our last morning in an incredible airbnb apartment. after checking out and wishing our hosts a great move to LA, lina and i hit the streets to find some breakfast + do a little vintage shopping before taking the train back home.
back home in uppsala, we woke up + decided we wanted to play putt putt. so we did. it’s always fun to relive your childhood, isn’t it?! by the way, i suck. but, i still had fun!
i started finally getting into vacay mode and waking up late-ish. one morning, as i rolled over and opened my eyes, my love immediately said, “wanna go on an adventure today?”. well, of course i did! so, we took a bus about an hour out of the city to the little town of sigtuna.
sigtuna is sweden’s oldest, first city. their motto is “where sweden begins”. in fact, the city was founded in 980. for real. it’s filled with ruins, medieval castles and churches, rune stones (memorial stones), and viking vibes. and of course, today, it’s old buildings are filled with cafes, stores, and cozy places. oh, and it is on the water, making this the perfect summer day destination. we had no plans, no agendas, nothing on our minds except exploration + discovery, seeing where the minutes + hours led us.
we did get a few amazing recommendations from a fellow uppsala blogger/artist/illustrator who grew up in sigtuna. it’s always soooooo great to get tips from people who know about little hidden gems or the best of the best. so, other than her awesome tips, we just walked and took things as they came.
we hunted rune stones (memorial stones from the 11th century) are located all throughout the city. there are more here than anywhere else in sweden!
explored st.olof’s church ruins: a medieval place filled with secrets + mystery from the early christians in the area. i could feel it. amazing.
i just had to erect my own little cairn as a memorial, in honor of all of the history + beauty around me.
we took off up a short trail into the woods and stumbled upon a stunning view over the city + harbor
historial + nature exploring done, it was time for fika at tant brun, a cozy, very old-fashioned cafe in a home from the middle ages. so freaking cool.
it was an incredible day, complete with fikas, window shopping, beer, hot chocolate, good eats, amazing views, ancient + mysterious ruins, history, and summer feelings galore. we even managed to get an extra hour in sigtuna because we missed our bus back to uppsala – well, we saw the bus, but were standing at the wrong bus stop, so it drove right by us. hehe.
we arrived home again, just in time for sunset and rested our tired, but satisfied souls on the sofa for a while as we talked about possible adventures for the next day! and, i suppose you have noticed that summer has finally arrived in sweden! thank you, august!
liz’s mini sigtuna city guide
*based only on my little day experience + the things i saw and did. there is so much more to do + see. these are just my tips on some fun places i discovered in about 8 hours. hehe.
wander down stora gatan // this is the main street. the buildings are old + crooked, left over from the middle ages, but they are filled with cute, quirky, fun little shops of all kinds. take your time and just window shop. i couldn’t stop imagining the street hundreds of years ago and what it must have been like.
follow the rune stone trail // (you can find a map in the tourist center on store gatan) // explore + discover the memorial stones that wealthy people left back in the early middle ages. there is even one w=that a man erected for himself. ha!
visit the ruins // st olaf’s church’s ruins are located just a street behind the city hall in the town square. wander through the cemetery and then gaze up at the old early medieval building in ruins. how many secrets + mysteries does that place hold? i just had to touch the wall and let the vibes run through me. so powerful and amazing. just so you know, there are two other ruins in the area, i believe. check them out too!
hang out by (or on!) the water // there are places everywhere to just sit and enjoy the view. or, if you are daring, try some paddle boarding in the summer. they have rentals right there in the city park by the water.
fika (coffee + pastries):
rc chocolat // a typical kind of cafe, but with handmade, eye-popping chocolates. we had hot chocolate, which was recommended to us. i had the dark chocolate + lina and the mild chocolate. both were divine. and it was perfect timing because the clouds crept in and made it chilly for an hour or so.
tant brun (old lady brown) // a old-fashioned cafe in a building from the middle ages. it is so freaking cozy. a great place in the summer to eat a traditional fika of coffee and pie in the beautiful, lush garden. but, i imagine that inside beside the fire place would be amazing in the winter. this is a classic must-do, i think. wink. wink.
beer + food:
farbror blå (uncle blue) // a swedish restaurant in the town square with lots of outdoor seating. the sun’s shining so we drank some sigtuna beer and ate fries. perfect people watching and sunning combo.
våfflan // a popular little cafe + bar at the end of the dock in the harbor. lots of seating, but hold out for a table closest to the water. the view is to die for + it’s fun to watch people docking their boats right there. great local beer. the food looked good, but we didn’t eat any. the perfect summer place.
båthuset krog & bar // i did not eat or drink here. but, it looked so cozy. it’s in the harbor right at the end of the dock, beside våfflan.
knocks boutique // when i walked into the the little shop on stora gatan, even i had to bend down thanks to the old, medieval building. how cool is that? inside there was an eclectic array interior decorating things, clothes, toiletries, jewelry, trinkets, pottery, just tons of fun stuff. and the boutique is so cozy and old, so the atmosphere was wonderful. have i mentioned how old it is?
stora gatan shopping // as i said above, just go in and out of all of the shops. they are all cute and fun. i didn’t see them all, so i’ve got more to explore on my next visit!
guess what, friends?! this post only got us to last thursday. i have more to share with you from my week thirty two staycation – which includes a spontaneous, unplanned, second airbnb trip to stockholm! so, check back tomorrow for yet another post about my staycation + another cozy weekend in stockholm. geez, i love the adventure of last minute decisions!
hope you had a great week and that your weekend was exactly what you wanted. and, if not, then i wish you better vibes and energy as this week gets underway. sending lots of love + light to you all.
onwards + upwards! xo
if you want any more tips about sigtuna, or have questions, or have any of your own tips to share, please leave a comment and let me know! xx