The love of two people is truly a magical thing, and I was both happy and honored to witness the love of two friends take the next steps in this thing called life. And in a gorgeous part of Europe no less. I traveled by trains, planes and automobiles to a small town in Sweden and toasted the newly wed couple in a beautiful and memorable celebration. “Skål!” (Cheers!) was shouted over and over while loved ones toasted the happy couple during the dinner portion. Smiles were a plenty, laughs were had (even when we didn’t understand what was being said!) and new memories with new friends were made. The wedding was gorgeous. And the next best part was being able to explore their home country and go on yet my latest food adventure.
Where do I even begin on this one? First I guess the flight! With a layover in Finland, I can’t say I explored that country at all, just looked out over the beautiful countryside as we landed and grabbed a coffee at the airport. Maybe on the list for a future trip?
But on to Sweden. My friends grew up in a town called Borås outside Göteborg which is where my first stop was. Staying at a hotel in the middle of town, despite how tired I felt from the flight (even though I actually slept!) I needed to get out and explore right away. The city has a strong history in textiles, with there being a couple of textile museums to learn the history. There were art pieces all around the city, a canal which ran through, cobble stone roads, and a Pinocchio statue called Walking to Boras. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this city, and the food was so good (I’ll get to that!). The wedding was held at a beautiful venue in the countryside about a half hours bus ride from town. Set in a barn on a lake, a little rain showered the closing of their wedding vows, but the sun shone brightly for them after.
A train ride north to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, brought a whole new atmosphere and wonderful city to explore. Exploring this beautiful archipelago must be done on foot, as there’s so much to take in that traveling from place to place by cab would be a huge disservice. Also recommended is some sort of canal ride or tour to really get a sense of the archipelago. Made up of 14 islands, some are far more touristy than others, but we took it all in. A boat ride to the closest of the islands from downtown Stockholm, Fjäderholmarna, made for a great afternoon. This island was a sight to be seen between the water, the greenery and the little shops and artisans, including a small brewery. For the rest of Stockholm, I made sure to take in the sights, visit the all famous Vasa Museum, visited the touristy yet a must-to-be-seen Gamla Stan (Old Town), walked past the Palace and visited some parks.
Now, on to the best part. The food. And oh my was it good. There are a few key dishes that Sweden is known for. Of course, meatballs is a must have. Served with the all famous lingonberries.
Or on a stick at a wedding!
Anything fish from fish soup, toast skagen (shrimp on toast), smoked salmon, cured salmon, fish roe, herring and shrimp salad.
And of course, my favorite, cinnamon buns. I love cinnamon buns. And no you American people, it’s not just an IKEA thing. This is a very traditional pastry to have during their “fika” which is a sociable coffee break. Well, I can say I had my fair share of these.
So that concludes my amazing Swedish food adventure. I checked just about everything off my food list. “Tack” (thank you) to my lovely friends for inviting me to witness their wedding and for sharing their beautiful country with me. I can’t wait to go back!
Oh, and no layover in Heathrow Airport is complete without the purchase of plenty of English chocolates. Because English chocolate is the best. And I really need my (good) Dairy Milk fix 🙂