A LOVELY MORNING IN STOCKHOLM
By Katie Palmer, student, writer and avid traveller from Seattle, USA
I just returned from my first visit to Stockholm, and I left kicking and screaming. I fell in love with the city (or more specifically, their people, coffee, art, design, architecture, and just about everything) and it was hard to leave. Though it can be called “too touristy,” I decided to stay in Gamla Stan, or “Old Town,” because it was centrally located and looked to be oozing with charm.
I stayed in Castanea Old Town Hostel which is a cozy hostel housed in century-old walls, yet has embraced modern Swedish design. Their cleanliness was immaculate, their kitchen and lobby inviting, and their beds extremely comfy.
The next morning (after the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had on a hostel bed) I meandered over to the main square of Gamla Stan and made my way toward the first place serving coffee I could find.
It ended up being Café Kaffekoppen, a coffeehouse and restaurant that serves up a fabulous cup of filter coffee, exquisite cinnamon rolls, fresh meals, and hot chocolate in a huge bowl. In a word, this place was extremely hip. I returned every morning for the rest of my trip.
A stone’s through away from Kaffekoppen is the Nobel Museum, which I had to explore since I was in Sweden (where so much history is associated with the prize). Though the museum is small, it is worth an hour if you are interested in these fascinating winners. They have some great footage screening in their mini-theaters.
Though there were mobs of tourists crowding the narrow streets of Old Town in the afternoons, I would wake up early and browse the trendy shops, grab a cup of coffee (always with a cinnamon roll of course), and enjoy the lovely, quiet mornings of historic Stockholm.
This is just a sneak peek into some of the cool spots Katie discovered in Stockholm. Check out her collection on Everplaces to browse and draw inspiration from all her Stockholm recommendations.
THE KINGDOM OF TONGA
Kava, yams, no Big Macs and awesome people
By Everplaces’ competition winner Nick Martin, UK
The small island of Tonga is a true gem!
The first thing that strikes you when you land in The Kingdom of Tonga is how big everyone is. 90% of people are considered overweight with 60% clinically obese. The highest in the world and as a result of too much yam I heard. When I took an internal flight up to a northern island I was weighed separate to my luggage at check-in and was designated a seat based on that measurement. The big guys were at the back, equal numbers on each side of the aisle.
The diving is out of this world with incredible vertical and horizontal visibility. I found this crazy German ‘divemaster’ who loved his kava who’d been operating for only a short time himself. We had an amazing amount of freedom to go where we wanted andthe marine life had clearly had very little contact with us humans as they would come to us. Loads of friendly ‘big fish’ on show.
International businesses were illegal at the time which meant a distinct lack of Starbucks, MacDonald’s and any other commercial chain that tend to blight our cityscapes. It’s amazing how tranquil that feature alone can make an environment feel as visiting Hawaii straight after was a shock.
The last thing are the people themselves. A beautifully warm bunch that would gladly welcome me into their homes as I ambled along the street. They love outsiders and there’s not a hint of wanting anything in return like so many other places in the world. They have a thirst for contact with the outside world so I just hope they’re a little bit careful with what they wish for :)
Checkout one of Nick’s fav places on Tonga from his Everplaces collection.
CEO, Planely (we make flying memorable)
SHARE TRAVEL INSPIRATION AND WIN TRAVEL BOOK
Share your most exotic location by Sunday Nov 20 to win an inspirational travel book from National Geographic: Journeys of a Lifetime.
The book unveils incredible destinations around the globe. Want it? Share your entry on our Facebook or Tweet us @everplaces. The top 3 entries will also be featured on the Everplaces blog.
HOW: Share places you’ve saved in your Everplaces account. (go to the place, click “share”, copy URL, paste URL onto our Facebook Page. Or Share to Twitter (will automatically include @everplaces so we can see it)
WHAT: The prize goes to the most exotic location. So make sure you’ve put your best travel experiences in there.
WHO: Everyone who users Everplaces and loves travel
Ani, Community Manager