Soaking Up The Sun (Minus The Warmth)

This week’s theme was simple: Get outside. As Stockholm edges closer to winter, I’ve felt the urge to explore the city and its nature more and more. Of course, the early sunsets, snow (?), and holiday lights are sure to bring their own charm. But the chances to enjoy wandering through the city’s neighborhoods in a t-shirt are winding down. Luckily this week was filled with outdoor excursions, starting with our group camping trip.

We set out for Tyresta National Park early Saturday morning, targeting the larger of two lakes for our campsite. After a train, bus, and short hike, we arrived at the trail-head. On the way we realized we left all our hot dogs (the centerpiece of our dinner) in the fridge, and had to re-stock at a local mall. The campsite had stunning views of the pristine lake, which made for a very refreshing (read: absolutely frigid) afternoon swim.

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The sun sets on our lake. Some of us, (me) were crazy enough to swim again in the morning

Our early arrival gave us plenty of time for scenic day hikes around the lake. Funnily, sound carried well enough across the water for loud conversations (and one silverback-like territorial showdown). The evening was filled with campfire-grilled hot dogs and s’mores alongside some locals, and several deep talks. We hiked out the next morning, capping off the trip with a much-needed food binge at the bus stop’s nearby mall.

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The Tabellen group enjoying good company and splendid scenery
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Probably the only path in Stockholm without a bike lane

 

Wednesday after my study tour to a local think tank, some friends and I went on a trek through Sodermalm, hitting up thrift shops recommended to us by DIS staff. While not the city bike excursion I had planned, we had a fantastic time meandering the neighborhoods and shops of this trendy and young area. Full disclosure: I’m not a shopper by any means, and trying on clothes is not my forte. But I did like sifting through the racks of retro clothes in these funky stores. It was a great way to see new neighborhoods, and we each had some nice finds. Personally, I got a $6 workout shirt and a neat San Francisco shirt (I know, not Swedish at all, but I’ll always remember where I got it). The stores had a surprising amount of American professional sports and college gear, even from smaller teams and schools.

Tonight will be very relaxing, as I won’t be doing anything active before tomorrow’s half-marathon. I’m feeling great about the race, and am shooting for an 8-minute/mile pace. The route looks incredible, covering the old town of Gamla Stan and the waterfronts across the city. Tonight my friends and I will enjoy a hearty pasta dinner, and a quiet night (a typical Swedish Fredagysmys). Read more about the cozy Friday tradition at https://sweden.se/culture-traditions/cosy-friday/. Tomorrow’s race earns us all a well-deserved beer and meal with our friends, as well as an incredible experience.

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Route Map in kilometers, complete with the snack/drink stations

That’s all for this week, next post will feature a full race breakdown and review of my core course study trip to Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Those are some fine fungi!

Weekly Food Pic: The mushroom man at the market by the library in Norrmalm. I’ve passed this square several times, and its usually filled with passerby off to the subway station or nearby library and indoor food hall. No purchases, but a fun stop on my walk to a local cafe to write this post!

Wish me luck tomorrow!

-Michael

 

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