After spending some time in Copenhagen, I took a train to my next destination: Stockholm. I planned it such that i'd have a whole afternoon/evening to walk around the city on the day of my arrival, unfortunately, my train got delayed - which was super annoying because I was running on a tight schedule, and have a severe FOMO - I arrived at Stockholm almost 3 hours later than expected, and the sun was going down. That night, I couldn't sleep properly and was awake by 6 in hte morning. Since I had already lost half a day of exploring time, I embraced it, went for breakfast and headed out of the hostel to explore before 9 am.
The first place I headed for was Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town. It was just across a main canal/river from my hostel, and I got to see a nice view of the main city from there! I've always wondered why old towns are almost ALWAYS on the list of places to visit for every city. I think in general, people have a fascination for the past and the old. It could be the intriguing and mysterious nature of what cities looked like decades ago, or the idea that you still have something from a long time ago alive today. Maybe that is why tourists always enjoy going to the old town of a city; to imagine what life for the locals was like in the past, before all the modern buildings and the massive capitalism hit. At least that's rather true for me.
Going to Gamla Stan early in the morning is probably one of the best times to appreciate the area. First good thing: the sun is SO BRIGHT. When the temperature is 2°C you really appreciate any sun you get. The second good thing? There is NO ONE. I know i've mentioned in my first scandinavia post that in general, the whole of scandi seems lest populated, but at 9am, the streets are quieter, and for a touristy place like an old town, it was definitely unexpected.
I walked through the streets of the old town, and I might be biased (because most old towns are typically crowded and this was just... perfect) but its probably one of the best old towns ever.
Truth be told, the streets of the Old Town are not anything extremely different from other old towns. Sure they are wider, the houses a little more minimalistic (like the general vibe of scandinavia compared to the parts of Western Europe i've been to), it has the same quirky shops, and colourful buildings you'd expect of an old town.
But what made it special in my opinion was that every alley you turn to face, you get a different view at its background. It could be of the city, or of the harbour, it was like a guessing game.
OK. I just realised that for a normal person with a sense of direction, it WOULD NOT be a guessing game because they would know which direction the harbour would be with respect to their position. I guess now you know how dreadful I am with directions...
But you get what I mean. On top of the different quirky stalls that were fighting for my attention, the thing that won was their YELLOW AND BLUE letter boxes. I've only seen boring metal or red post boxes, but wow, pastel yellow and blue, that was something different.
WHAT I WOREPrinted Button Down Dress (as top): ASOSWhite Jeans: Morgan (Paris)
Half way while walking along the streets of the old town, I turned out and walk towards the harbour and just enjoy the warm sun in my face for a few minutes before heading back into the shaded old town, and then to a nearby island with an amazing church plus a nice view of the harbour.
The cobbled stones of the areas near the old town are rather... COBBLED. The place where I headed towards to get a view of the harbour was most definitely not one suitable for walking in heels (not that I was in heels). It was so uneven and rocky, you could bust your ankles even in boots!
Eventually, I headed off for a nice lunch in the late afternoon and said goodbye to this fine old town. It was a nice morning with an interesting sight everywhere I turned. Despite visiting my fair share of Old Towns, Gamla Stan and 9am did not disappoint!
I know Old Towns can be overrated, or too touristy, but I think it's somehow not something to be missed when you're visiting a city, isn't it?