Islands surrounded by water…or our travels to Europe part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, we are just back from our trip to Europe. I thought I would summarise what we did, ate and saw in three posts with six things about each place we visited, starting today with Stockholm.

1 . Being in Sweden

The first thing I noticed on arriving was the sound of winter tyres. It’s a special sound, that if you know it, you will know what I mean.  If you don’t, go to Sweden one winter.  It is compulsory to use winter tyres between 1 October and 15 April.

Stockholm skies

2. Walking

Stockholm is a great city to walk around, whether it be through the old historic and tourist centre of Gamla stan, the always interesting Södermalm or round the museums. There is everything from the Moderna Museet of contemporary art, to the Vasa museum built around a ship that sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628 and was salvaged in 1961, and even the Abba museum, if you are a fan. When you are tired of walking there is a good public transport infrastructure with trams, buses, an underground (tunnelbahn) and ferries between the islands.

Stockholm street

3. Shopping

There are lots of places to shop…from cheap chain stores like Lindex, to designer labels and everything in between. It is also worth checking out the the Filippa K second hand shop, such a great concept. Look out for a branch of Designtorget for Swedish designer gifts for yourself or others.  We got a lovely blue candlestick that takes both t-lights and stick candles and believe it or not, a couple of wine glasses, which survived the journey home.  If you are not flying half way round the world and like candles, then look for Lagerhaus.  These block candles are impossible to find in New Zealand and I wish I could have packed a few to take home. I also bought this dress in Cos, one of my favourite labels, which is not available in New Zealand (but luckily is in Australia, so I don’t have to wait until trips to Europe).

A new candlestick

4. Eating

This trip was about seeing family, and so most of our meals were at different homes, but we did have dinner one night at an excellent Lebanese restaurant, Tabbouli . We went for the 16 small dish option, which had all sorts of things from falafel to hummus to spicy sausages.  We also had lunch one day at BC Burger, just the thing on a chilly Sunday.

Walking to dinner

5. Easter

We were in Sweden for Easter, enjoying seeing pussy willow, spring flowers and the traditional Easter decorations of feathers on sticks.

Easter feathers

6. Nordiska Museet

This museum is home to large collection of cultural artefacts, including dolls’ houses, furniture and textiles and jewellery.  Just my sort of place!

Gustav Vasa

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on




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