For my (now) fiancé's birthday, I surprised him with plane tickets to Sweden. It's a country we've never been to before, but with its environmentally-friendly, feminist ethics and its beautiful scenery, it was one I'd always wanted to visit. So I booked us some (very) cheap tickets to Stockholm, the capital city, and off we went.
We weren't really sure what to expect. We'd been told it would be freezing cold (it wasn't), that it was super expensive (again, it wasn't), and that it'd be difficult to find vegetarian food (that was true, apart from one amazing veggie fast food place called Södermanna). But what we found when we got there was a beautiful, friendly, safe city that was just beginning its Christmas celebrations - and boy, do they love Christmas!
We stayed at a really lovely hostel/hotel called Generator, which is part of a chain that spans the globe. It was the cheapest room I could find that actually had a window and a private bathroom! Downstairs there was a sweet little cafe, and on our first night they held a "geek night" where they'd projected Mario Kart onto a wall and were selling beers and snacks. We met a lovely American guy called Ron, played Mario Kart, and got quite drunk. The hotel also had a restaurant and bar attached to it which wasn't open on Mondays but which also had a great atmosphere.
So, what did we do in Stockholm? Well, we walked. A LOT. Like, as in we walked the entire city, over every separate island. We saw all the tourist sights, a few tucked-away secrets, and just walked and walked and walked. We didn't bother with any public transport as we thought we'd get more confused by that than by following maps, and I'm glad we made that decision because we got to see so much of the city that we would have otherwise missed!
Luke's favourite place was the Vasa Museum, which houses the 17th Century Vasa Warship. Yes - the actual ship itself. The Vasa ship capsized and sank in Stockholm 1628. After 333 years on the sea bed it was salvaged, remade, and preserved. Basically, it's huge. We were there for at least 2 hours.
Sadly we were only there for 2 and a half days so didn't get to experience some of the other places I'd planned to visit. However it is such a beautiful, welcoming city that we've already said we're 100% returning at some point!