Author: Yellow Duckie
Despite having heard so much about Copenhagen and the positive review of this city (even from the Swedes), I was a little disappointed with my visit to Copenhagen. I believe I did this city injustice by giving such a remark. You can blame it on the fact that I had to crawl out of bed at 5 am to catch a flight and the uncertainties of being hosted while in Copenhagen. Not to forget that I had to drag my 17 kg luggage all across (a little exaggerated) Copenhagen when my host informed me that he could only meet me at 8 pm.

On a lighter note, I did get to the city free of charge (because the ticketing machine refuse to accept foreign credit cards and only accept small notes) with the metro which I count it a double blessing when I found out how much does it ticket cost. It’s “bleedingly” expensive: it’s about RM 13 per ticket with the duration of 1 hour. Contributed by the exchange rate, Copenhagen is indeed slightly more expensive than Stockholm. To give you a rough idea, to enjoy a can of coke is about RM 17 and a simple lunch in a café is about RM 56.

On the overall, I think Copenhagen is beautiful. Although the architecture of the building is pretty similar to that in Sweden but the details of the buildings differentiate its charm from Sweden. Bricks are widely used and they make no effort in covering it up with another layer of plaster, which I believe there is no need of it as the Danes really know how to make these old bricks building beautiful. If you take a closer look at the top end of these brick buildings, it is crafted with patterns. Take a visit to Carlsberg and you’ll know what I mean.

If you think signboards in Malaysia is bad, I think Malaysia has found its match. I can never forget the journey of getting my 17-kg from the island where the airport is to the Main Central station in the city. First of all, not many local can really tell you that in order to get to the Main Central Station (from the Island where the airport is), you will need to change train and the station to change to the line that leads you to the Central is not in the same building but within walking vicinity. You can hardly find any signboards that could direct you and be prepare to climb flights (many flights) of stairs.

Sad to say, the condition of the train station is appalling. Trash everywhere and most part of the station is scented with the foul smell of urine. If you ever use the elevator, the condition is unbearably dirty that you don’t even feel like touching the buttons.

Apart from my tiny unpleasant encounters with Copenhagen, I must admit that this city has got a lot to offer and the people here are a lot more friendlier than the Swedes ( you will most likely get approached if you looked lost or seen fumbling with the map). Here are a few notable ones (based on my personal preference):

1. Sausages or hotdogs or frankfurters or whatever you call it
Unmistakably one of the yummy experiences you can have on a small budget (although not so budget for an Asian pocket). Hotdogs stands are EVERYWHERE… yes practically everywhere. Although searching for proper food in Copenhagen was tough (except when you are in Nyhavn), you can never go hungry as you will bound to bum into a hotdog stand at any corner. According to our host, the red sausages are the true Danish sausage.

2. The little mermaid
Yes, it’s actually quite small compared to its fame but this tiny sculpture of a mermaid sitting gracefully on the rock is indeed a beauty. I supposed the finest touch of the artist and also contribution from the environment which this beauty is situated made this place quite worth a visit.

3. Carlsberg
Even though you are not a beer fan, this is quite worth a visit. The architecture of the buildings itself is quite an art to be admired. It’s amazing how one could think of decorating brick buildings that totally brings out a different image of a brick building. This place is simply magical. Admission is not free but it comes with two drinks of your choice (this includes their fine beers).

4. St Alban Church
I would call this my dream church. I can’t exactly pin point what is the attraction of this church but the first time I lay my eyes on it, it caught my breathless. I’ll let the picture do the explanation.

5. Canal Tour
No matter how touristy this may sound, I would strongly recommend you to take the canal tour. It reveals scenery from a different angle (view of the mermaid from the sea, I must admit, very sensual) and it brings you through the tiny canals of the city.

6. Visiting the National Museum
To get a good history of Denmark and to indulge in the culture of the Danes, I strongly recommend you to make your way to the National Museum. Head straight to Second floor and you can skip the rest unless you are generally interested with the history of the world. The best part of this is that Admission is FREE!

7. Breakfast at Bang & Jensen (
Having a good breakfast at a cozy place is just the perfect thing to do on a Saturday morning. The set up of this place is totally RETRO. It used to be a Pharmacy and it is now converted to a restaurant with a cozy set up. No wonder, our host could spend the half a day here enjoying his weekend breakfast while surfing the web. Although it’s expensive, but the breakfast set is quite worth the try. Ordering the breakfast itself is quite intriguing, you’ll get a list to tick of your choices.

8. Drop by the local bakery

9. Enjoy sunset at one of the 3 man-made lakes in the City
Skt. Jorgens So, Peblinge So and Sortedams So is really a perfect place to enjoy a stroll or a jog (doesn’t matter what time of the day or even season). Surrounded by the urban structures, this place offers you an escape from reality to a quiet peaceful sanctuary.

Word of Advise while in Denmark: Do bother searching for the Danish butter cookies, it’s a myth. Unless someone corrects me, those Danish cookies which could be found in our local Giant store, is quite a tourist thing. Thus far, I’ve only found it in a candy store with a tacky label on it.
Author: Yellow Duckie
Situated 71 KM away from Stockholm, this University town is quite worth a visit. Catching the Autumn colour here may be a good idea as I was totally struck in awe by the sight of it. Please take note that the Weekly Pass or Monthly pass you have is not applicable for train rides from Stockholm to Uppsala. To get to Uppsala from Stockholm, you will need to purchase a seperate ticket (abt 130 Sek) departing from T-Centralen. Get assistance from the Ticketing officer as the guide book often give you a more complicated route.

Uppsala is quite a small town and most of the major attractions are reachable by foot. However, if you intend to visit Gamla Uppsala, which you should, you will need to take a bus ride from the city center (At Kungsgatan Street, take bus No 2 Northwest Direction). The bus ticket cost 30Sek ( Approximately RM 15) with the duration of 90 mins. I was totally thrown off guard when the driver told me how much I had to pay. For me, bus ride should be ranging from RM 1 - 3. Having the travel card ( weekly pass) all the time whenever I am in Sweden, i didn't reallise how costly bus tickets are, until now. With that in mind, I have decided to return to the City from Gamla Uppsala within the transit duration to avoid having to pay another 30 Sek.

Uppsala Dormkrykan
Although I must admit that there is not much difference between Stockholm and Uppsala, somehow this small town offers you the serenity city folks crave for. Don't get me wrong, this small town is far being dead quiet. In the city center itself, it's flooded with the locals running about doing their daily errands and tourists roaming around searching for the place of interest marked in their map.

I didn't really get to spend a lot of time in Uppsala but I did quite a fair bit of walking to absorb all the beauty this town has to offer. Being a little bit tight on my budget and time, I have decided to just enjoy this town as it is without getting into any of the museum, although I did have a long list of museums which I intend to visit.

With my tummy rumbling violently to be fed, I have decided to stop by the market for lunch. Although smaller in size, the market is pretty much similar to the Saluhall, my favourite market for lunch in Stockholm. For 75 Sek, I got a really nice lunch that serves with free flow of salad, bread an hot beverages like tea and coffee. The only thing about getting your salad and bread is that it would be better if you are more than 5 feet 5 inches. Reason being, you would be able to see what you are scoping as the bread basket and salad bowl is place at my chest level and the rim of the bowl/basket is at my chin level. What a discrimation to the "not-so-tall" people!

In my short visit to Uppsala, I was glad that I did make it to Gamla Uppsala which is about 4 KM north of the city center. The first place i visited was the Grave Mounds. Although there is nothing there except for the vast green field with tiny hills, I was totally mesmerized by it. It was said that the grave mounds is the grave of the great legendary pre Viking Kings but somehow I fail to see any tomb stone to proof that.

It was awfully quiet when I was there but the presence of some joggers and a small amount of tourists did assure me that it's alright to venture this place by myself. I was a little disappointed when the open air museum, Disagarden ( live-sized farm house or building structures) was closed. The walk from Disagarden to the Gamla Uppsala Krykan was really scenic.

Overall, in my short visit to Uppsala, what I find most interesting is the Gamla Uppsala Museum area. Perhaps, a nice serene stroll on the trail of colourful fallen leaves was all I need...
Author: Yellow Duckie
Stockholm is a city where love at first sight do happens. It captured my heart the first time I saw it, I could almost quote Tom Cruise in Jerry Macguire, “You had me at hello”. Having visited Stockholm for the second time, the romance I found rekindled and I am still drawn to the beauty of this city. I could never understand how the monotonous repetition of the rectangular, black roof buildings that lines the waterfront of the city can complement the landscape of this city so well that it redefines the meaning of beauty.

Being in Stockholm during autumn, I need to prepare myself for the uncertainties of seeing this city in its full glory under the sun light. I am glad that in my last visit, I managed to savor the beauty of summer in autumn; however, this time round, I was welcomed with a good sunny day when I touched down but was mostly embraced by the grayness of the sky for the rest of my stay here.

Here is a list of things to do while you are in Stockholm during autumn:

1. Cycling at Djurgarden
For 50 SEK per hour, I seriously recommend you to take the offer. Be prepared to embrace the beauty of this island and what it has to offer. From the serenity of the lake, colorful flower beds (yes, even in autumn, perhaps the early part of autumn), green fields to the various museums, this place is a superb place to venture. Taking a coffee break by one of the small coffee shack in front of the river would be one of the best relaxing experiences, especially after a long ride on the bicycle.

2. Enjoy lunch at Saluhall (Tunnelbana: Ostermalmstorg, rainy days friendly)
Situated in one of Sweden’s posh residential area (so I was told), this market is worth the visit. Constructed of bricks with turrets, pinnacles and vaulted windows, I believe this is one of the most unique architecture I’ve come across for a market. Inside this market, you will be able to find various types of cheese, ham, fresh seafood, vegetables and other dry goods in a 5-star setup (if I may rate this market). This place is also an excellent place if you are in for a delicious typical Swedish cuisine. You can find the Swedish meatballs, Gravad Lax, sandwiches, roast meat and many more. One of my favourite is the Fish soup (90 SEK per bowl), also the most expensive bowl of soup I’ve ever paid for in my entire life!

3. Enjoy a stroll along Norr Malastrand
Stretching from the City Hall (along Norr Malastrand) to Ralambshovsleden(you will find a huge park at Ralambshovsleden). Along Norr Malastrand, there are a lot of café and restaurants for a cup of warm beverage to rest your tired feet while enjoying the beautiful scenery across the Riddarfjarden. As you walk further from the city hall, the path goes back closer to nature as you will be able to get close to the bank of the river. As you walk under the shadow of trees that shield this place from the sun, you will find ducks and swans roaming freely around the area.

4. Take the Tunnelbana blue line from Kungstradgarden to the Hallonbergen (rainy days friendly)
It may sound silly but if definitely a perfect thing to do if you are caught in one of those rainy days with nothing to do and of course if you have a weekly pass, this would be a plus point. Every station along this line is set up with different themes by different artist. Apparently this is known to be the longest art work exhibition in the world! Be ready to be swept off your feet by the creativity of the Swedish!

Actually, there are 90 out of the 100 metro station has already been adorned by the masterpiece of the local artist. As a fact note, Stockholm’s metro is said to be the longest art exhibition in the world: 100 km.

5. Get lost in Gamla Stan
There is no denial that there’s certain charm about Gamla Stan because no matter how many times I bring myself to walk along the cobbled-stone pavement in this area I never get bored of it. It’s always an adventure as you will bound to find something intriguing, be it the church round the bend that was hidden the first time you were there or “The Old Curiousity “ type of shops, a discovery of a nice cozy restaurant or café to enjoy a meal or a view that simply caught you breathless. I find myself falling more in love with this place.

6. Be a museum freak (Rainy days friendly)
Extremely perfect for rainy days and being confined in your tiny space in the hotel is the last place you want to be. Check out the list of museums available as they do have quite a good range of museum that will keep you occupied.

7. Go window shopping at T- Centralen (Rainy days friendly)
Earning an Asian wage while traveling in the Stockholm, I can’t really enjoy the kind of shopping experience as I could with Bangkok, thus window shopping would be the politically correct way to phrase this activity. So if it’s pouring outside and you are not a museum freak (and don’t want to be one) then this could be something you can pass your time with. Get to T-Centralen station of the Tunnelbana and get lost in the underground maze connecting all shops along the Hamngatan (NK, Gallerian, etc)

8. Stroll along Gotgatan (Tunnelbana: Slussen)
This is another recommended area for window shopping, however, this is not to be done during rainy days. It’s like walking in Gamla Stan except that the building surrounding this place is lower (thus giving this place more exposure to sun light) and it is elevated above the sea. Allow yourself to be led astray by the tiny lanes along the way, you may be in for a nice view or more shops.

9. Be stunned by the Panaromic view of Stockholm at Mariaberget (Tunnelbana: Slussen)
Situated at the west side of Sodermalm, you can enjoy a perfect panaromic view of Stockholm across the Riddarfjarden at the top of cliff Mariaberget. Do I need to write more…I doubt so, go check it out your self.

10. Check out the “Alcatraz” of Stockholm, Langholmen.
Langholmen is where the Stockholm Prison used to be. Now it is just a place they have restored and refurbished to be a hotel, where you get to spend a night in the prison cell and a museum where you can learn about the history of this place. The restaurant here serves excellent food! If you are in time to catch the autumn colors, this island sets a picturesque painting that will mesmerize you. Try walking from either Kungsholmen or from Sodermalm.

11. Indulge your senses in the world of Stockholm design (Rainy days friendly)
There are a quite a few designer shops which is quite worth a visit even if you don’t have the money to buy. It’s worth to see how furniture, lightings, etc can come in many patterns, shape and sizes! Again, this will fall under the “window shopping” category for two simple reasons: these stuffs are expensive even for a Swedish and you can’t carry home with you without paying a fortune.

To be quite honest, there’s no such thing as nothing to do while you are in Stockholm even if you happen to be trapped in one of those rainy days.

If I may comment about the people, I generally think that Swedish are very reserved. They are not the type that would open up to you the first time you meet them but once you get to know them, it’s a different story altogether: they will either open up and embrace you dearly or no matter how many times you have had dealings with them, they retain the mode as if you’ve met for the first time. To sum it up from a tourist point of view, this is not the place where you’ll get a swede walking up to ask if you need direction when you look lost while fumbling with your map. They hold on to “Mine your own business” motto very closely to their hearts. So if you happen to need assistance, all you need to do is just ask, they will be more than happy to assist.

My first visit to Stockholm, I didn’t really have a good impression of the food. However, this time round, I was being exposed to one of the best restaurant in Stockholm which serves excellent Swedish food. Café Tranan is where I would recommend you to if you intend to try out the Swedish cuisine. They do have good food apart from the well known Gavad Lax and meat balls.

Some of the cute eating ettiques of the Swedes I've noticed are:

- They are really proper when it comes to eating for they enjoy their burger with fork and knife. I must admit, that's quite a handful to deal with for someone (like me) who is so used to utilising my hands when it comes to eating a burger.

- When it comes to toasting, unlike the Asian way of holding up your glass and gently knock your glass with the glass of the person you wish to toast, you simply raise your glass (not too high) in front of you, look at the person's eyes, give a gentle nod and consume your drink.