Stockholm – Some Talking Points

Biking

From a biker’s perspective, Stockholm is nothing short of a paradise. In over two weeks, I’ve stumbled across a vast bike-road network consisting of silky tracks. In fact, to my surprise, I’ve quite often found ways through the city that are shorter than those a car would take. Having pedalled through forests, farm-fields and an urban jungle – I would definitely recommend buying/renting a bike. Some good stores are decathlon and bikester (for cheap options). You can also find some decent second hand bikes on “www.blocket.se.”

One potential downside, especially for those who hail from flat terrained areas is the Swedish landscape. It rolls up and down like waves frozen on the surface of an ocean. This makes biking in Stockholm both mesmerising and tough. The struggle of climbing up steep ascents replaces the ecstacy of flying down hills every minute. On a positive note, Biking here is rewarding given that it teaches how to use gears. Back where I come from, Jaipur, gears are pretty much useless given that all roads are completely flat. Here, gears are more important than velocity. It is crucial to change to the right gear at the right time.

Grimsta Natural Reserve

Personally, I love the Grimsta area, and also the route from Hasselby to Bromma Airport. The latter is a clear-cut forest trail, full of jagged rocks, slippery declines and unfathomable heights at times. Last week, while biking on this trail, I even encountered a deer (it bolted away upon hearing me). I did miss out on the opportunity of bird-watching here, so do bring your binoculars if you can.

The trail is, at it its best, completely cut off from the surrounding residential areas. Although Google Maps will guide you through it, one of the best way to actually explore here would be to use your natural compass. A definite vote of approval from me, and a place explorers and bikers can’t afford to miss.

Hasselby –> Bromma

The journey to Bromma from Hasselby isn’t as isolated as the Grimsta trail. One gets to cross small streams, rustic wooden bridges and if fortunate, experience an airplane fly overhead before crossing Bromma airport. You can feel the wind surge it generates! If you have the time, you can even walk while surrounded by acres of farmland with almost no one in sight.

Landmarks

Stadsbiblioteket – Every website will you warn you about missing out on this stunning library. I spent my entire saturday in here, and I can assure, a trip here wouldn’t be wasteful. You can get the descriptions on other websites, but be sure to avoid sticking to the main hall. The library has more than five smaller halls, full of books in a vast array of languages. Furthermore, you can also get free water and wi-fi here, along with a station for charging your electrical appliances.

Armé Museum – Haven’t fully seen this one yet, but the gallery themed on the 16th to 19th centuries is amazing. Seldom will you find a museum where the number of life-scale models and touchable stuff (yes, I’m not lying) outnumbers items hidden away behind glass walls. Seldom will you find a museum with so many to-scale models. Also note that it has quite a high number of items that can be touched and lifted. Like many other museums in Stockholm, this too is free to visit (and also gives free lockers and charging stations).

Gamla Stan – A special place in that it has the ability to ensure you wander around for hours without even realising it. This archaic island, with its tiny row houses, stuffed cafes and small squares is a must-see, even if you loathe touring historical sites (like me). Also, don’t forget to try out some ice cream. There are some mesmerising flavours available throughout the area. My favorite is ‘Stikki Nikki.’