It’s Not Goodbye, It’s Vi Ses!

A few weeks ago, I received a letter in the mail addressed to me from my past self–Zoë from 4 months ago, to be exact. The letter contained questions I asked myself at the beginning of the semester: Did I make friends? Did I travel to Iceland? Did I step outside of my comfort zone? Did I learn some Swedish? The answer to all of these questions would be yes.

This semester has genuinely been one of the most exhilarating, liberating, taxing, and life-changing learning processes I’ve ever experienced. I met so many of my goals such as making life-long friends and traveling to new places in Europe; but I also didn’t meet some of my expectations. I didn’t travel to Greece or meet often with my visiting host family or travel north to see the Northern Lights. I don’t see these as failures, but rather as opportunities for the future!

These past few hours, I’ve been scrolling through my camera roll at the photographs and videos I’ve taken this semester. I’m in the strangest mood as I write this blog post; I want to cry but I cannot bring myself to. Maybe once I’m on my plane in a couple days, I’ll let the floodgates open and sob for the entirety of my 9 hour flight. But for now, let’s recap my last couple weeks in Stockholm!

A couple of my courses wrapped up with dinners, fikas, or movies. My World of the Vikings Core Course spent an evening at Aifur Krog & Bar, a Viking-themed restaurant in Gamla Stan and then went to a movie theatre to watch The Northman. The restaurant was delicious and had live music, and the movie was really action-packed and fairly historically accurate. I would recommend both of these things if you enjoy learning about the Vikings!

My Scandinavian Crime Fiction Course wrapped up our semester with a fika at Oktav, the café downstairs at DIS, and with the film The Death on the Nile. I really love crime fiction films, as I’m a film minor, so I really enjoyed this one! The film is a continuation of Murder on the Orient Express and has a lot of twists and turns (horrible CGI though).

My friends and I have been spending every waking moment with each other in between classes and finals these last two weeks. We’ve been to Greasy Spoon and Stockholm Brunch Club for midday brunch, grabbed sushi at Saya Sushi, slurped ramen at our favorite spot AI Ramen, befriended a duckling in a park, and performed some karaoke.

This past weekend, we traveled to Vaxholm in the Swedish archipelago. We traveled by boat, which took about an hour and a half each way, and explored the town for a bit in between. We grabbed lunch and then wandered around until we stumbled upon a little beach by the water. Even though we didn’t have too much time to explore, we still had a blast and took some fun photos. I would definitely go back to the archipelago if I had more time!

Gröna Lund is Stockholm’s amusement park that just recently opened for the coming spring and summer months! DIS was nice enough to host our final blogger event at Gröna Lund, where we played carnival games, ate some delicious food, and tackled some roller coasters! This event was so much fun that I went back with my friends! On Kayla’s last night in Stockholm, we went to Gröna Lund and stayed from opening until closing, riding every roller coaster and ride possible and chowing down on some poké bowls. This amusement park is probably my favorite thing to do in Stockholm in the spring. It’s so much fun and there are endless things to do–carnival games, food, drinks, roller coasters, concerts, a haunted house, and a fun house!

I also tried princess cake, which is a Swedish staple! It’s a traditional layer cake with marzipan wrapping sponge cake, cream, and raspberry jam. You can buy it frozen at ICA or fresh in bakeries around Stockholm!

Princess cake

The cherry blossom petals have begun to wilt and cascade towards the grass. Spring is soon to become summer in Stockholm, and I’ll be boarding a plane home in a couple days. These last moments taste bittersweet as goodbyes roll off of my tongue and I eat my last slices of Oktav bread and portions of Swedish meatballs. Leaving is painful, but having something worth missing is what makes life worthwhile.

flowers in the garden at Högalidsgatan

Things I’ll Miss About Stockholm: my friends; blossoming flowers of spring; Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries; the view from my apartment; sunsets over central Stockholm; wandering through Gamla Stan; the Slussen ferry; Gröna Lund; pear cider; the ease of public transportation; sitting at Oktav between classes with friends; late night trips to Max Burgers; rune stones; the archipelago; museums; and living completely independently.

This isn’t goodbye, friends. This is see you later. Or as the Swedes like to say: Vi ses!

With endless love and excitement for the next part of my journey,

–Zoë & Kermit

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