It has been one of the busiest weeks of my life in Sweden. My family came to visit, and it happened to coincide with most of my final projects, so I have been scrambling trying to fit everything into my schedule. First off, it was epic having my dad and siblings see the place I’ve been living for the past four months. They loved Sweden, and I loved having them! It got a bit stressful at times trying to decide how to best entertain them, but it ended up all working out and we saw some stuff I hadn’t seen before, like Sweden’s oldest town, Sigtuna. Read on to get a glimpse into my short trip!
My three siblings, my dad, and I all hopped into the Volvo my family painstakingly rented for the duration of our trip. Word of advice, if you have someone visit you and they are considering getting a rental car, STOP THEM. I promise public transportation will suffice. This is not to rat on my dad’s driving skills, but I will say the Swedish roads are NOT the same as the ones in the States. My dad did the best he could given the circumstances, but boy was driving in Sweden STRESSFUL. The road signs made no sense to us and it was sometimes impossible to tell whether or not you should yield. Anyways, we made the 45 minute drive to Sigtuna safely, and it was well worth the hectic journey. Sigtuna is Sweden’s oldest surviving town, and it’s full of historical wooden houses, churches, and other notable structures. The population is right under 9,000 people, so it felt really quiet and peaceful during our visit.
Pictured: The ruins of St. Olof’s church. The ruins are situated within a small graveyard, and you can actually walk inside the building, as shown by the photo of my dad above. There were only a couple of other people in the area, and it was almost eerily quiet. I think my family was the loudest part of this entire town. The ruins themselves were super cool to see, but maybe a bit underwhelming, considering the kinds of ancient buildings I’d seen in Athens.
We also stumbled upon a cute candy store and bought a few goodies. I got a dark chocolate rum ball to share with my siblings (our grandma used to make the same thing). My sister got a small bag of caramels, and my older brother got some chocolate mints. We were all very pleased with our choices, and the shop itself had a very nice environment. As we kept wandering around the quiet town, we made our way to the water. This was probably my favorite part about the trip to Sigtuna; it was so peaceful. There were small ducks and geese everywhere, but still it was very calm and quiet outside. The water rippled ever so slightly and it was really beautiful. We also stumbled upon a playground, which my older brother and I immediately ran to. I climbed a tree and honestly had a grand time pretending to be a kid again.
Here’s a photo of my brother trying to pet the ducks. He was unsuccessful. And to the right, my father in a boat made for children. Hahaha. After we were done fidgeting around this playground and by the water, we found our way to a small cafe, that I can’t remember the name of. There aren’t too many restaurant/cafe options in the town, because it’s so small, but I really liked the one we went to. We were also the only customers in the entire place. I got a soda (wish I had gotten a coffee) and a cardamom roll. By now, my siblings were all losing stamina (they’re not used to all this walking). We ate our treats in the cozy cafe and quietly reflected on the tiring day of travel.
After a short but sweet trip to the oldest town in Sweden, we all piled back into our cramped rental car and made our way back to the family airbnb. The car ride was silent, as everyone drifted off to sleep, except for me. My siblings forced me into the middle seat each time we got in the car, so I had little room to breathe and relax. Definitely did not get much sleep in that car, but it was a hilarious journey overall. If you are looking to get away from the busier way of life in Stockholm, I would definitely recommend you check out Sigtuna. It was a nice departure from everyday life for me, and I don’t think I would have gotten the chance to explore it if not for my family’s visit. You can use public transportation to get there, and it’s also situated along the route to the bigger city of Uppsala, which is worth visiting.
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