I’ve been curious to explore the Nordic countries for a while now. Between Oslo and Stockholm I decided to make a quick trip to the wonderful Stockholm. From London it’s quick flight away. Although it is currently winter and not exactly shorts and flip flop weather in Sweden right now I had a fantastic time.
On my first day I decided to start exploring Stockholm in the lovely Gamla Stan district which is one of the largest and best preserved medieval cities in Europe according to VisitStockholm. “Gamla Stan” literally translate to “old town.” Stockholm was founded there way back in 1252. While visiting Gamla Stan I observed the beautiful preserved buildings, walked past the Nobel museum and Stockholm cathedral. After enjoying the sights I decided to head to the the Royal Palace. By chance I happened to be there while the changing of the guards was taking place so that was a great experience to see while visiting Gamla Stan.
As I have a large interest in history on my 2nd day in Stockholm I decided to go to the island of Djurgården and go check out some of the well-known museums. I started off by going to the Vasamuseet which is a museum honoring the Swedish war ship vasa which was built between 1626 and 1628. The ship only made it out 1,300 meters before sinking. In the 50s the ship was located and years later turned into a museum. Afterwards I decided to check out the Nordiska Museum which was very enjoyable. Skansen is an outdoor museum and zoo nearby. I decided to go on my next trip in the summer when it would be nice to enjoy the weather.
Stockholm is a beautiful city. Even though I didn’t get to see that much, I know know that I will definitely be back! Make sure to experience a fika and eat a swedish kanelbullar (cinnamon roll) while in town!
A while back, I read a post on the internet about abandoned buildings and places that are close proximity to large urban centers. Now, I was not dumb enough to think that major urban areas could not have abandoned parts- after all, every big city has areas and buildings that only attract the homeless or people intent on graffiti. However, this post made me realize that there were a number of places in my own city, and near my city, that were waiting to be explored.
These were places that were once occupied. People lived in these places, they went to work in these places. Once upon a time, many lives revolved around this area that now lay derelict and abandoned. There was something rather fascinatingly existentialist about that. All civilizations crumble- no matter how big, or small they are.
Of course, these are areas where people can go to escape. Abandoned buildings and wastelands do not really get a lot of tourism, so for the urban adventurer, these places pose quite an attraction. They are also a quick getaway for those who want to go on an adventure but cannot take a couple of days off from work. According to me, as long as you’re not doing something harmful to other people, having a fascination with urban exploration is probably one of the best hobbies to have in this generation.
If you are new to the field of urban exploration, you have to make sure that you read up about the process, so that you are prepared to meet the worst. Of course, there are people who think that researching the area would take the fun out of things- and I do not disagree with that entirely. It’s good for you to leave some things out of your research, so you have fun discovering them on your own- but you have to make sure that you have researched the route, access to emergency services and such. Here are the top tips, from a beginner, to a beginner.
1. If you are driving up there, make sure there is enough petrol in your car. You do not want to get stuck in an abandoned area with nobody to tow your car out.
2. Take some food along. That way, you don’t have to take a break in the middle to go get lunch/dinner.
3. Always carry a flashlight- even if you are exploring in the day light. There are some parts in abandoned buildings that do not get any natural light, or you might end up staying in the area well past sunset.
4. Bring a friend along. It’s fun to share these adventures with a friend- at least right at the beginning.
5. Invest in a Tom-Tom. It will help you go far (quite literally, in this case).
6. Make sure your phone is fully charged.
7. Invest in a camera- do not waste your cell-phone battery on taking photos.
8. Don’t be afraid to do something totally whacky and out of the ordinary. After all, discovery is what urban exploration is all about!
9. Do not do anything illegal- it is not worth the pains you have to go through if you are caught doing something illegal while exploring.