Gay Europe Ambassadors: More Stockholm, More ABBA
By Kevin Forsyth and Kenny Loeliger-Myers
Collaborating with LGBT-friendly destinations that include Stockholm, Copenhagen, Antwerp, and Germany, Out Traveler helped send two lucky Americans to Europe to explore the continent and report back. The winners, who made a compelling Instagram video to win their European getaway, sent their first travelogue back from Sweden's capital. Here's what Brooklyn couple Kevin and Kenny did during their second day in Stockholm:
STOCKHOLM DAY 2
On our second, and final, day in Stockholm, we took advantage of our jet lag and headed to the scenic Djurgarden, a gallery, museum-filled island near the city-center. Thanks to our Stockholm Card, we were able to hop from museum to museum, starting with the Vasa Museum. In 1628 the warship Vasa took its maiden voyage, but then sank in the harbor. Over 300 years later, the ship was unearthed and reconstructed using 98 percent of the original materials, creating a museum in honor of one Sweden’s most historic Epic Fails. Aside from the warship itself, replicas of the ship's Technicolor glory days and other side exhibits provided plenty to explore.
Since we were there, we walked through Skansen, an outdoor folk museum built to be a “miniature Sweden,” making it part zoo, part food fair, and part historical reenactment village.
After having our fill of elk and wolverines, we headed back to Södermalm for a delicious brunch on the balcony of the Rival Hotel overlooking Maria Square. Converted from a 1930s movie theater by Benny Anderssen of ABBA, the energetic restaurant, hotel and café are bursting with old Hollywood glamor and local Söder charm, making for a perfect place to people watch.
By the late afternoon, we wanted to explore outside of the city a bit, so we headed to Skogskyrkogården, a cemetery that boasts status as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The sprawling grounds allow forests to mix with memorial sites and minimalist architecture, creating an effortless tranquility that’s easy to lose yourself in.
Ready to wind down, our evening led us to Mälarpaviljongen, a floating bar and restaurant comprised of several modernist docks that’s home to a fashionable yet casual crowd. The breathtaking river views afforded here are a stark contrast to the dark, enclosed spaces that define so many other gay establishments. Like all of Stockholm, it is open and relaxed, refined yet welcoming, and the perfect place for us to bid farewell to a picturesque weekend.