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After 10 days in Eastern Europe, I took a small detour and headed to Stockholm to meet up with my INSEAD friends. Malte was a great host, knew a lot about the city and took us to places only a local could. I also met up with Emily, Marguerite and Tom during the 4 days spent there. It was superb to catch up with them, chat about what seemed like old times at INSEAD.

Like most European cities, Stockholm has a river running through it and it makes for spectacular sights. Malte took us to a really non-touristy place, a huge rock by the river. We took breakfast with us and had it there, enjoying the view.

View of Stockholm

Stockholm from a rock


We visited Stockholm’s most popular attraction – the Vasa Museum, which houses a ship that was built in the 1600’s. There is an interesting story behind this. The king at the time Gustavus, wanted to build a ship that was the largest and something he could be proud of. Known to have a bit of hubris, Gustavus ordered the ship to be top-heavy. None of the engineers had the courage to say no, and when the ship set sail, it sank within 2 kms.  In the 1950’s the ship was discovered and over the next two decades it was restored. The guys have done a superb job – 95% of the wood is still original. Where the wood gave away, they replaced it with wood of a different color, so that one can appreciate how much of original wood is still present. Apparently, a major reason for the wood to have survived, is the absence of a particular tapeworm, since it prefers salty waters. (baltic sea is less salty). You can more about the ship here. When viewed life size, the ship is daunting(note how small the people are in the picture below) and its amazing that they were able to build something like that without the tools of today.

Vasa Ship

Note the “small” people on the bottom left

The weather wasn’t too kind to us. It rained almost incessantly. But when it didn’t, we toured Stockholm on bikes. Malte took us to this one green island with bikeways along the water. It was good to bike – it was my first exercise in ages.

Bike Ride

On another day, we went boating in Stockholm Archipelago. A lot of people in Sweden have boats and its very common for them to take their boats out in the summer and head out for a “drive”. We had a great half day, before the rains came down on us. It was a lot of fun. We docked the boat and had lunch by the water in a dockside restaurant. I also had my first sighting of a gas station on water !

Day on the boat

All smiles before the rain

Pit Stop

Fuel on water

The post cannot be complete without a mention of Malte’s apartment. It was very well furnished and decorated. The kitchen was right out of a 5-star restaurant and invited us to cook. So we did !


Emily and Malte cooking

Ready for Dinner

Ready to eat in Malte’s super living room

More Stockholm photos are on Flickr. Click on this picture View of Stockholm



I didn’t stay in a hostel, so did not run into strangers. But one of Malte’s friends has an interesting background.

Tobias Ericsson

Working in a mobile operator company by day, Tobias is the co-founder of Tritoni. Their company makes watches from plastic that look like they are metal watches. I am quite tempted to get one. Check out their website, it has some really interesting ads. Their mantra is to sell watches as accessories, not as time keepers. For being only a year old, they have had tremendous sales and have big plans for the future.

That’s it for now. Next post on Lithuania. I made my way from there to Warsaw, where I’ll be for a couple more days. 

Thanks for reading !



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