Getting off the plane in Stockholm Friday morning, I surely felt that way -- arriving in a city where I did not speak one word of the language and had only ever flown through the airport. What was Stockholm going to offer? Well definitely the experience of my first international marathon, but what else?
How about one of the world's top 10 food halls - Ostermalm Saluhall? Housed in an open and airy building, this food hall boasted the best looking cured salmons, lobsters, homebaked breads, cheeses, chocolates, teas, meats, fruits, vegetables and much much more. Curious as to know what cheeses are popular here? Mostly traditional French cheeses -- Loire valley goat's milk delights, decadent triple creams, stinky blues, and plenty of Alpine style cheeses. Although existing firmly in the 21st century, this food hall harkens back to a simpler time in the most fabulous of ways.
After a delectable and simple lunch from one of the stands in the food hall, it was off to explore the waterfront and the Old Town. Set on a series of islands, much of Stockholm is on the water so one could walk for hours exploring different inlets, quiet expanses of islands, nooks for fishing and sailing and much much more. Traversing a footbridge, one arrives in the Old Town, a maze of cobblestone streets and petite alley ways, full of bars and restaurants. My mind wandered to simpler times when this was the center of life and commerce in Stockholm, gosh how it has changed!
For dinner, we dined at Rakultur, meaning 'raw culture,' in Swedish, a popular Japanese restaurant. Housed in a discreet 19th century building, this elegant yet not fussy sushi restaurant boasted some of the freshest and reasonably priced sushi around town. I had their straw cured char roll served with avocado, asparagus and pickled cucumber. Crisp, fresh and absolutely delish. Perfection with a nice glass of green tea.
What a wonderful first day in Stockholm!
Stay tuned for a full recap of my first international marathon next up.