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Diane Silvaroli

Beverly Hills, California Travel Agent

Three Weeks in Sweden and Denmark

One of my favorite trips was a three week trip with my husband to Sweden, topped off with a stay in Copenhagen. One thing that made it special was visiting a friend who lived in Stockholm. She had a wonderful flat looking right out at the Royal Palace. It was a wonderful location, and we enjoyed doing all the touristy things and visiting the museums, including Skansen, an open-air cultural museum.  

But most of all, she made our trip a very local experience. It was about going to the markets, understanding that they recycle everything and walk everywhere. It was fun to pick up on cultural differences. For example, Scandinavians don’t meet you in the eye. Once they meet you they are warm and friendly, but you wouldn’t know that from coolness you feel when walking around. And when it is your birthday in Sweden, you take your friends out or host a party, not vice versa.   

After Stockholm, we took a boat up the archipelago and rented a cabin on the water, and then went south to Uppsala, a university town that dates back to the 15th century. We were fortunate to be there for May Day when people turn out to parade through the streets. Most amazing to us was that there was snow on the ground but everyone except us had their tops off, soaking up the rays like little sunflowers.   

Another memorable part of the trip was staying in a guest house on a farm outside a small village in southern Sweden. My husband is 6 foot 7 and is from Trinidad so he looks really different. People in the village were fascinated by him; they wanted to touch his hair and skin, and they loved his West Indian accent.   

Whenever we travel, my husband and I think about how we would fit in if we there. On that farm, we got a taste of rural life in Sweden and realized how different it would be. It was lovely and we could imagine that we had stepped back 100 years to a simpler time, but traditional farming is really hard work. 

Our last stop was Copenhagen, a wonderful walking city, and especially beautiful around 17th-century waterfront, lined with the pastel-colored buildings. We visited places we’d always heard of such as Tivoli Gardens; it was groundbreaking in its day, but its roller coasters seemed puny compared to today's. We also were surprised at how small the statue of the Little Mermaid is. Like the Mona Lisa, you think it will be huge because of its larger than life reputation. In reality, the statue is lovely, but just over four feet tall.  

I’ve been back to Sweden and Denmark and other parts of Scandinavia and planned trips there for many of my clients, and I always discover something new to love. If Scandinavia is on your wish list, I’d love to tailor a trip to your interests.