Picnics and Dynamite: Outdoor LLC Trips

After my Study Tour adventures with the Global Economics program, I’m back in Stockholm to share the last two Outdoor LLC trips: Monteliusvägen and Alfred Nobel’s dynamite factory (!).

Monteliusvägen: 

A beautiful hilltop and picnic area overlooking the Riddarfjärden (technically a bay) and the Gamla Stan and Kungsholmen neighborhoods. We walked 30 minutes through Gamla Stan, stopping along the water to catch the 5:30pm sunset.

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Crazy to think these pictures are only 15 minutes apart! The nice part of early sunsets is getting to see them as classes let out (for now). Up on the picnic hill we had stunning views as the sky darkened before our eyes.

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We wrapped up our evening with a group dinner at a local vegetarian buffet near our trip leader’s old house. Though I’m transitioning to eating lower on the food chain, this was a new experience as I’ve never been to a wholly vegetarian restaurant. Our 11 person group filled the cozy restaurant, and the delicious food filled us to contentment. We were never more than 5 minutes from a road, a testament to how easy it is to find natural beauty in this city.

 

Alfred Nobel’s Dynamite Factory:

I bet you didn’t know Nobel invented the detonator and was a dynamite tycoon (neither did I). The Swedish inventor’s factory ruins lie in Vinterviken, a park just a few subway stops and a quick hike from the central rail-station. We crossed a beautiful lake to enter the park, and were met with another gorgeous water-view outside the factory.

Though it looks pristine, the runoff from Nobel’s dynamite factory makes the lake un-swimmable (good thing our leader told us!). But for views, the lake is another sterling example of how beautiful Stockholm is, no matter the weather. Winter may be coming (no, I don’t watch Game of Thrones), but then so is a whole new set of beauty, and hopefully snow!

The Outdoor LLC is a huge reason why I’m enjoying this semester, as it connects me to a great group of people who also enjoy exploring our city’s natural spaces. These were shorter trips, just subways away from DIS, but they reveal just how much there is to see within the city limits. We don’t need to go far for adventures and green spaces, and while Stockholm is an exemplary city, I don’t think anyone needs to go very far to see natural beauty in some form.

-Keep exploring,

Michael

Next Week: I’ll be away for my travel week, after spending the weekend with my cousin when she visits Stockholm. My itinerary is Prague and Budapest, so stay tuned for another travel post!

 

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Beaver snacks

Food Pic: Since I didn’t get a picture of our vegetarian buffet after our picnic, I’ll substitute some beaver food- trees! In the Vinterviken woods outside Nobel’s dynamite factory, a beaver really chowed down on this tree. I’ve seen beaver handiwork before, and it amazes me every time.

 

(Human) Food Pic:

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Endless Gruyere!

If you know me you know I love cheese, so imagine how I felt in Gruyere, Switzerland last weekend! The home of one of my favorite cheeses, (plus a chocolate factory, serene lake, and the Alps) Gruyere’s cheese factory was a real wonderland. Gruyere’s cows produce 48 wheels per day, fueled by their shocking diet of 100kg of grass and local flowers. The entire countryside beyond the town was full of small farms and beautiful cows. Our train ride from Geneva to Gruyere along Lake Geneva was mesmerizing, as we saw the sunrise over the Alps (hit me up for pictures!). We saw the cheese-making process in action during our visit, and saw firsthand just how much goes into each wheel. Needless to say the free samples were incredible!

 

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