Being made up of 14 islands in total, and encompassing over 50 bridges, walking was the only exercise I needed in Stockholm to work off the delicious food eaten in this city. We arrived in Stockholm only 3 days after the attack, and laid flowers in respect for those lost. Understandably, there was an air of unease about the city, but the amount of support for those affected by the event was astonishing. The number of flowers, notes and messages grew visibly over the few days we were there, and simply put, restored my faith in humanity.
My love for the Swedes didn’t stop there, though. Every person we encountered was as upbeat and welcoming as the next, whether it was a passing encounter or a newly formed friendship. Some of the nicest people I talked to were those participating in traditional Easter celebrations in Skansen (Djurgården). From the men selling hot-from-the-skillet honey-roasted almonds, to the wonderful women producing freshly made doughnuts, anyone and everyone we talked to addressed us as though we had known each other for years. They made the bracing sub-zero winds worth enduring.
Anyway, back to the food side of things. In Stockholm, we’re talking burgers. And damn good burgers for that matter. Vigårda was our saviour. Their Vegan burger was everything you could hope for and more; complete with pickled onions, feta cheese, grilled vegetables, pimentos, olives and fresh herbs, this burger kept us going through our long walks around the city.
The protein which makes this burger so filling comes from “Oumph!”, a soy-based meat replacement. At the moment, it is only available in the Nordic region, but I cannot stress enough how fast I would fly back to Sweden just to have another bite of this deliciousness. And of course, the chips which come with the burgers were an added bonus to this already tasty meal, not to mention the tangy ketchup to dip them in. If there is any way of getting this wonderful restaurant to transport one of these masterpieces over to England, I will be the happiest person on the planet.
Amongst amazing burgers, slightly bleak weather, so many roadworks, blistered heels and aching thighs, Stockholm was an experience and a half. Now for the next part of our trip. Finally returning to familiar ground, Copenhagen here we come!