Stockholm I / by Jennifer Leahy

'Hej' is the Swedish word for 'hi,' and it's pronounced in the same bright way you'd say, "Hey!" in English to greet a friend that you just bumped into unexpectedly. Sometimes it's doubled up - 'hej hej!' - giving the effect of someone arriving at a party in a chipper mood. As a result, wherever I go in Stockholm, I've had the feeling of being welcomed: the man checking tickets on the train, the woman biking up the hill next to me: everyone sounds, for just a second, like they're an old friend.

And that might be appropriate, because meeting contacts from The Swedish Number has felt a lot like meeting new old friends. I just got back from drinks with Anton and Elin; yesterday, he went out of his way to give me a guided tour of the not-typically-touristy (but fascinating and beautiful) neighborhoods around Stockholm. More to come...

 View from S ödermalm.

View from Södermalm.

 Guide extraordinaire.

Guide extraordinaire.

 Floating hotel.

Floating hotel.