I think I've typed far too much about this trip already so I'll wrap this up quickly! It's not surprising to note that going on the boat was not fueled by the desire to hit the destination, and I woke up confused when the boat docked, then went straight back to sleep! My friend (who finally returned) and I woke up about 12 and were like 'omg we're in Estonia!', and quickly got ready and onto land.
Considering it was Monday in a capital city, it was so quiet! Visiting Europe really makes you get a grip on your own country and town, I guess I'm spoiled coming from Birmingham. There were still people on the boat and milling around looking hungover, so we admired the pretty town, got something to eat, tested some makeup, and then it was time to go! I'm not too sure what you're meant to do in a few hours but we possibly didn't utilise them. I'll have to return one day!
This is the only picture of me in snowy Tallinn looking um, happy!
There was another love boat to Helsinki a few months ago and on the return journey, apparently it was so rocky that everyone was sea sick. Maybe the captain puts his/her feet up on the way home because you could definitely feel the boat moving this time! You'd be walking round and suddenly feel a huge lurch.
As we made our way back to the boat at about 4pm after meeting with the others, I realised they were checking tickets/key cards and I still had that French guy's! I was imagining him being stuck in Tallinn forever and they weren't in their cabin so we panicked a bit and then double checked before rushing back to the port but luckily they had got on the boat ok! I apologised many times for being a dopey idiot and locking myself out, and thanked them again for helping me, and also realised they were seriously hot! The boys in general weren't as pervy on the second night but everyone was still up to party. We had the best naps ever for a few hours and then got ready again! I wore a BikBok dress... hmmm well it's alllmost a dress! I wore leggings, it's ok! Not quite a Don't Show-cha Your Chocha moment!
We headed down to officially watch the cabaret at midnight but we weren't allowed in with our drinks! The first night meant you could drink anywhere and everywhere, but we weren't allowed into the main stage area, so my friend Emma and I went onto the deck with some other exchange girls. Because it was so dark, you could only really sea the water right alongside the boat. I'm sure if I would have only been able to see water for miles, I would have been way more scared! As we went back inside though the security guards ran to us and snatched our drinks out of our hands, really angrily! Apparently you could only drink in your cabin! So we watched the end of the cabaret and headed back before the club opened at 1am. A few funny things happened in that cabin. First we were flicking through the channels to find the one that filmed the club and stumbled across some Pied Piper porn where 'the problem wasn't the many rats, but many whores', and then some random Italian boy stripped for us! Well we were innocently having out own little party but the door was open and in comes a seriously drunk guy who shut the door, asked who wanted him, said we could all have him, and then got topless! We were laughing a LOT, but then he whipped his jeans off and started gyrating in his white pants!
Should I run a disclaimer against drinking? Drink sensibly guys!! The last night was pretty explanatory from then on, we danced for hours and some more boys asked us to take advantage of them and my friends passed out so I spoke to some Swiss guys who wanted to meet my famous friend. I think everybody in the corridor knew her name from my knocking the previous night! We were again some of the last to leave the boat, but as we were packing we saw all the cleaners knocking on doors to wake up sleepy people. We had a four hour wait and then a six hour coach back to Borås which wasn't fun. I apologise for these photos too, I was actually pointing to something and not just being a loon. Phew!
Finally here is the video! It's a shocking demonstration of camera filming but it shows things in real life and isn't very long!
It's been a week since the love boat and I'm still thinking 'was that a dream?!' Seriously! But the boat didn't leave from Stockholm until 4.45pm on the Sunday. We left the hostel by 10am and put our cases in the huge lockers at the central station, which is a good tip for travelers! The hostel had a cafe with this cool pig head light.
I went with my friends that day who wanted to find the 'old town' but we didn't really know where we were going. We tried to edge towards older looking buildings on the South island and were pointed in the direction of this church but who knows! I knew there were a few vintage shops around here but they were mostly shut on a Sunday and the day before I hadn't felt like finding any. I've been in so many vintage shops for years and years and at the moment I'm not looking to buy anything in that style. I would have gone to them but my shocking map did not aid my travels and I only stumbled upon those that were clothed. Next time!
We went for fika AGAIN in a cool cafe and admired the view, wondering what this boat would be like. I thought it would be more like a small ferry but I heard there were 2500 rumoured passengers. All day I kept thinking it would be insane and wasn't worried exactly, but was a bit apprehensive about getting ready as I needed to blow dry my hair and wondered whether everything would go smoothly. It's stressful and a little crazy to go somewhere that you have no idea what it will be like or even where it is! Plus we'd been in the hostel already for a major tiring weekend and only had the luggage we'd brought!
We gave up on the old town and I wasn't too excited about seeing some old houses anyway, and I took my friends to the south shops like Monki! First we popped into the cool looking Tshirt Store, where I very nearly got a calculator watch and now I kinda wish I had because the pink one is calling my name!!
Here's some better photos of Monki, the shop that you all must come and visit. If you need a guide I'd be happy to give some tips!
These little balls have small gifts like hair bobbles or knickers inside! Great stocking fillers.
I nearly got these tights but feared I'd never actually end up wearing them. I also love the merchandising here, the dots and stripes are so perfect together! I totally own this tshirt.
Wedge ankle boots are my obsession right now, I see COS have a great pair. It's ever since the Weekday pair sold out just as I was going to buy them. You can buy these teddies too! I really want one before I leave Sweden but I don't know how I'll transport all my stuff home!
They have some great trousers! I love trousers right now. The checked pair underneath really grabbed my eye and my friend thought I was mental! The second picture is simply of the back of this girl. This is literally what the back of every Swede looks like, a huge scarf around the neck with the hair tucked in.
All the things are laid out like a boutique but it's really easy to touch and pick up stuff, so it's the best of all worlds!
I thought these were a funny take on the Weekday jumper and I like them much better! Still essentially a dead fox around your neck though.
Again here are the changing rooms, with blatant holes in the curtains! You can just peep inside!
Cool girl, cool scarf!
My Mom rang me randomly at this point and I was like 'hi, by the way I'm about to go to Estonia! Skype makes it hard to get hold of home that often! I found this GREAT magazine shop. Sweden have great newsagents but this had absolutely everything, even magazines I can't find in England like Let Them Eat Cake.
I so very nearly bought this!!! The £10+ price tag put me off though and I got a copy of Acne Paper instead. Ohhhh Ed!!!!
We popped into an average sized H&M because my friends were dying to go to the huge ones in the town centre but we didn't end up have time.
I've wanted this suede skirt with the suspenders since it was in the look book but here it's about £45. If I would have had time to try it on I might have bought it but I'm not tired of my wardrobe at the moment so don't need to be adding more expensive purchases! Wish I'd tried on these boots though, they are incredible.
This SA was dressed so cool, I think they are American Apparel socks?
Is it just me or is this skirt more of a belt?
My friend impulsed on a last minute outfit as the boat boarding time grew closer. We had no idea what the dress code was but my motto is always that it is best to be over dressed so I wasn't worried about the body-con dresses that I'd bought. I would literally wear a black body-con dress gladly for the rest of my life. I style spotted while we waited.
This man below actually spoke to me! I think he was French. He only asked me for directions, but he was swoooooon-worthy. I miss my Docs! Totally bringing them over here in January to wear like this girl with velvet leggings. I'm going home in about two weeks! How weird!
Now for the boat. There's not too many pictures as I don't take my camera to clubs because I loose it, and most are too Facebook-y. But boy do I have enough gossip to make up for that! We made our way back to the central station to get our suitcases from the locker with plenty of time as we didn't really know how to get to the boat and how we would know which one to get on? As we went to the tube, we saw a LOT of young people with suitcases on the platform. Exciting! The tube was packed and we just followed everyone else outside and towards the Stockholm ports. We saw some gigantic boats and realised that yes, we were going on something not dissimilar to the Titanic. Wow!
I've never been on a boat before so I was wondering if it would be super scary to be surrounded by water or if I would get sea sick. The port check-in was extremely crowded and we started surveying the people. The trip is for exchange students studying in Scandinavian countries, so there seemed to be many nationalities. We spotted the group of people we shared the hostel room with as one of the girls was in a room with my friend Emma and I, and she'd already got our tickets. Emma is one of the girls I met here from Warwick uni and they are leaving for good in a week, how sad!!! We got our room keys/tickets off her which were credit card sized cards and wiggled our way through the crowds to the walkway.
The boat inside was incredible. It was luxury! There were eight floors and everything was in stunning gold. I was so shocked they allowed it out for students to wreak! These photos were actually from the last day as we were shockingly some of the last people to leave the boat, but during the days these corridors were full of students. The rooms were a bit of a maze to find but finally we got to the eight floor with ours, which was small but super cute. It was so clean and fresh, what a relief from a claustrophbic weekend! There were the two beds and two pull down beds above and a small but big-enough bathroom. I was ecstatic I'd be able to dry my hair, and jumped in the shower super fast as I knew we'd be going to party later.
As I was in the shower my friend flicked through the TV and found there was a channel that was a camera at the back of the boat. At night it was pitch black but that's still pretty cool! There was also a map of Sweden to Estonia and a little moving picture of the boat so we knew where we were in the Baltic sea. Then she discovered the best channel of all, one that showed the club!!!! The club was actually a stage in a huge room, more like a concert hall. This boat was more of a cruise liner as you could definitely holiday on it. The third roommate Adele joined us and we watched the MTV awards (where Katie Perry wore that amazing Viktor and Rolf cut-out tulle dress-wow!) as we got ready. The captain came on the speaker and had a little chat and then revealed something amazing- there was a taco buffet with a FREE BAR!! "...As much beer and wine as you can drink!," the captain said. Yes!!! The other girlies visited our room and we made a plan to go to the buffet about 9, so we got ready with loads of time and it was really chilled. I HATE getting ready in a rush and not feeling 100% when you set off!! I wore a new Motel dress, which I took a chance and didn't even try on before-hand, but it fit fine and I was glad I had something new! I got it on ASOS, who have decent shipping to here. I wore it with polka dot tights and my platform TS heels with the bows. Fake lashes too of course! And a new MAC foundation applied with a MAC brush. I swear it makes ALL the difference!
As we were getting ready the corridors started getting busy. If you've ever lived in student halls you might know what it was like, just 100% studentville. Oh, apart from a random old couple opposite who kept walking into the corridor in their pants, ew!! Our room didn't have a window but a huge mirror instead (which is totally the better option!!) and it was getting quite hot from our hair drying, so we kept opening the heavy door to waft air in. Each time, the corridor was louder and busier. As girls walked past we saw some weren't really dressed up, which made my friends question if we were dressing up too much. I was happiest in my outfit whether other were dressed up or not, as I think Brits dress up way more than some other Europeans. We were finally ready and headed to our friends' room on the fifth floor, and wow were we surprised. We didn't quite see the extent then, but the corridor had many groups dotted along drinking outside their rooms, sitting on the floor or standing, and loads of people going up and down the stairs or taking the lifts. You could compare the two days to a festival, where there's a massive atmosphere of excitement and anticipation of what's to come, and there are loads of people around, all strangers but all with the same sense of fun and spirit. As we walked through groups of people in the slim corridors we noted the girls really weren't dressed up. A lot of the French and Spanish girls here don't really dress up like the English do either, and the boat was mainly French, with a lot of Spanish and Italian and a smattering of Irish, Swiss, German, and more- even some other English!! I only met European I think. The girls were definitely eyeing each other up, especially as we were dressed to the nines as they say! But I felt ready to party, and maybe I notice clothes too much! We also couldn't help but notice that there seemed to be a LOT of boys. I remembered thinking 'ah, all the girls must be still getting ready!' but I was WRONG. The boat was 80% male. Literally, that's not an exaggeration. I'd say it was more, but my friends agreed on 80. Wow! It was like being an endangered species. As we walked through the groups of guys that lined the corridors, they were whistling and saying hi and we were like ohlala! No wonder it was called the love boat! I still don't know why it was mostly boys? I hope it's the same next time haha!
We finally found our friend's cabin and us six girls had a quick drink before heading to the dining room. As we got to the entrance to pay around 20euros for the buffet and bar, we saw the room was grand, humongous, and busy. We felt very dressed up again as we stood in the wide entrance all in heels and dresses! We saw a table of exchange students from our uni and waved; we were wondering how many times we'd bump into people we knew as lots of the people we live with here went to the boat too.
We all paid and made our way to the line for the buffet when the first random thing happened. A boy with a mohawk who I think was maybe Spanish came right up to me and said 'excuse me, I just have to say I love redheads and you are so beautiful, I just have to tell you, what is your name?' I was like HUH?! because we'd just walked in and already boys were saying things like this?! I looked over to the table he was from as was like 'is this a joke?' and he was like no, I'm serious! I had a little chat with him but he was staring really intently and I told him I'd see him later and went back to my friends. When he went back to his table all his friends clapped!
I find it a bit funny to eat at parties or occasions like this but we hadn't had a proper meal all weekend due to being at the hostel, so I tried to load my plate as much as possible. The food was fabulous and delicious, a taco buffet is a great idea. We got a large table over the other side of the room round a corner and stocked up on cups of beer and glasses of wine from the tables all around the room. I'm not endorsing this, but our aim was to drink as much of the free booze as possible! After all, our bedroom was just downstairs so we could party as hard as we wanted! Ahh that sounds so bad but we were on technically holiday!
We ate and drank and ate some more and drank a lot more and it suddenly dawned on me that we was at sea! If you thought about it you could tell you were moving, but it wasn't swaying at all so you just had to distract yourself before you questioned if you were feeling ill. If you did, you inevitably felt a little queasy just because you were paranoid! As the time passed, there were many chants and songs among the dinners, mainly Spanish I think. Suddenly a song would come from a corner of the room and the whole dining room were joining in. Later people were standing on tables chanting! What is it with Spanish songs, seriously if you're at an international party the Spanish suddenly burst into song on many occasions!!
I was mixing beer and wine together and we grabbed the last of the booze to stock up before it ran out. We started playing 21s and I noticed a table of girls in front of us were Irish. A table of Italian boys next to us took a photo of our table for some reason, so we took a photo of their table! Then we saw Rik! You remember Rik, the guy from Holland who we met at the Ice Bar who launched himself onto my friend's face without any warning, numerous times?! Well we did wonder if we would see him on the boat, and yes we certainly couldn't miss him. He was wearing this HUGE furry hat and strutting around, and my friend went over and stole the hat and he was so drunk he didn't even notice! When he finally did his friends came all the way over and told us he'd been talking about my friend and the Ice Bar all day!
We were chucked out of the dining room at about 11.30 and I'm not so sure of the sequence of events but I'll try! I think we went to find our other friends and then went to our rooms to get some more drinks. We went to the floor with the entertainment, walked into the concert hall and saw there was a cabaret on?! There were hundreds of chairs and tables and a huge balcony with the same, and it was so surreal to be quite drunk and suddenly have a rendition of Cats on stage, complete with the costumes and makeup. Then there was a load of nuns for a song from The Sound of Music?! It was a proper, professional cabaret, possibly wasted on the drunk audience! We watched for a little bit but didn't have seats so I think we went back to our rooms again, and the room was noisy and crowded despite the show continuing! As we were going through the corridors boys were stopping us and chatting and we realised there were a LOT of hot guys on this boat. We were in the middle of the sea with a load of boys... !!
We met up with the friends we stayed in the hostel with I think and the new Italian guys. Remember them, they are friends with one of the Italian guys in our group of friends from here? I think they'd planned on visiting him and it happened to be the boat weekend. Or maybe they studied in Copenhagen? I'm not sure, but we all went towards the cabaret concert hall again, which had now turned into a massive club room. We could see from the TV channel in our room that is was a massive, dancing crowd. This is where we all seemed to loose each other and I was left with my one friend. We went to the balcony to look over the crowd but couldn't see our friends, so went back to our cabin and found two there, having a bit of a drunken upset. We had a chat and sorted our girl out, got another drink, and headed over to the other cabin where we found the rest of us six girls. Not sure what it would have been like if we couldn't have all found each other again! Again guys were swarming around us, complimenting us, generally on the pull big time. There were just no other girls!! Seriously!
I think we went back upstairs and by now it was 1am and the other club randomly called Aluminum had just opened. Time was no issue on this boat, by now the party was only just getting started!! We danced and danced and guys kept coming onto us and eventually my one friend went off with one of the new Italian guys we knew and my other friend found a German guy and my other friend found one of the other Italians (keeping up here?) and after a while my other two friends went to sit by the side. One has a boyfriend and one doesn't drink. I couldn't imagine what it was like to be totally sober around two thousand people who were totally, totally drunk. As I went to the side, my one friend walked off with an Italian and my other friends were having a rest so I went back and danced with another of the exchange girls I'd spotted for ages and then a guy came onto her too! So I pushed them together (let the love blossom I say!) and went over to my friends at the side. The guys were HOT but I was looking for the one person with that extra special something. The level of hotness was insane to start with but it was early days! I look to the future too much I think you know!
My two friends said they were going to look for our other two friends who had gone off with Italians and I was going to go with them but they said to stay and watch out for my friend getting it on with a German. Funnily enough on the very first exchange student party here in Sweden, we met an English guy who was leaving that day, and he was on the boat! I chatted to him for ages until he went off, and I decided my friends weren't coming back any time soon. My friend pushed the German away for a second and I said I was going to look for the others. I had no problem cruising round a boat full of extra friendly people; if I didn't find my friends I could find some more haha! But she didn't want me to go off so we went to the huge balcony room to have a look at the main dance floor to see if we could recognise anyone. It was like a Where's Wally? as I looked out over the huge crowd of maybe a thousand people dancing, and then I turned and spotted two of the Italian guys we knew. I said I'd hang with them and made my friend go back to her German fling, and the Italians said why don't we go back to their cabin to refill our drinks. Great! It was so fun to walk around the boat and soak up the crazy vibe. One of the Italians had been with my friend on the dance floor earlier so who knew what had happened to her, and the other was model hot. We sat on the beds in the small cabin and they poured me half a cup of vodka. I was like umm do you have a mixer?, and they were like no, just drink it as it is. Then I was like umm aren't you guys drinking?, and they were like no, we're drunk enough. So basically it was just me sitting there drinking straight vodka. I thought that was a little weird, until after a few minutes they basically proposed a Dan-Olivia-Vanessa type scenario, if you see what I mean!! I was like what?! are you serious...?!?! And I think they were!! I kind of laughed and was like haha, yeah right, and luckily the third Italian came into the room (the other one who had just left dance floor with my other friend! Lucky guys!). I must say now that the boat had a vibe very much like 'what happens on the boat, stays on the boat.' Everyone was out to meet the person of their dreams and have chance encounter with a beautiful stranger. I hope you're not reading this thinking everyday my friends and I set out to find the first men we can! The boat was just literally another world and we're not that erm promiscuous constantly!
So he came in and suddenly got topless to change his shirt and I was like woah, this situation is a bit strange. I'm in a tiny cabin with three Italian men, one half naked! The other two left though, presumably to find some other girls after I laughed off their weird offer! I chatted with the third Italian guy who chatted about girls and threw in that he had a girl himself and held up his hand with a ring on. I was like omg are you engaged?! And he said umm no, it's just a relationship ring and hastily took it off. It was funny the next day when my friends and I all gathered to tell of our totally different nights, as this guy had just gone off with my friend just before this! And my other friend left the same cabin possibly minutes before I came in! After a bit we went back out and even though I was linked with this guys arm, STILL other guys were calling out and trying to chat to me. They were very nice guys on this boat, it wasn't like leering men, they were just students! You kind of felt really gorgeous and fab but also quite amused and shocked at the same time that you were in a place like this!
We went to the balcony of the dance floor and I managed to spot some of the exchange students, along with one of my girlie friends, who told me she had pulled one of the guys who had proposed a wild night in the Italian room, and all the people we were in the hostel with were dancing there too. I was so happy to find people again and when we went down there I don't remember where the Italian guy went, I think he just went off! By now I think it was about 3/4am. I danced and danced with my exchange friends and pretended I was a lesbian on many occasions to aid friends who weren't interested in some of the guys coming onto them!! Time flew and it was an awesome, incredible party, and near the end I don't remember but I must have bumped into the French guys that we had met in the club we went to on the first night in Stockholm called Magenta. I was chatting to one who was a Thierry Henry twin and I got some water, which I had to pay for even though being on a boat! I think it was 6am then because the club was ending and my friend came over saying she was going back to the room. God knows where our third roommate had got to!! I stayed with the French guy for a bit and kept telling him to say things in French haha it was hot.
The party seemed to be never ending and still going strong, and I went back to my room where I saw my friend was fast asleep. I was outside the cabin for ages and eventually made the French guy leave and went into the room, then went outside again I think to say another goodbye and the door shut. Oooooops!
I was like ahhhh crap and knocked on the thick, metal door to wake up my friend. Then I carried on knocking. And literally I was knocking for half an hour. Maybe because it was 7am and we'd had little sleep in the hostel and some jam packed days, and because the doors were so thick, but I just couldn't wake her up! I was knocking, shouting, banging, and nothing! I started to get kind of bemused because time was ticking and the boat was docking in Estonia at 10! Loads of boys kept passing and were like heeey and helped me knock. Some were throwing themselves at the door! My friend's name was known all over the corridor because we were shouting it so much but she couldn't hear. Of course all these guys were like 'well you can stay in our room! We have a spare bed!' And I was like thanks but no thanks guys! My other friend is coming back soon! Even that French guy came back for some reason but I was so embarrassed and preoccupied for being such an idiot and leaving my key card in my room that I sent him off. A guy in another room came out and was a bit peeved that I was making so much noise, so I decided to just wait it out in the corridor for my friend to wake up or my other friend to return. I didn't really mind seems as loooads of people were still awake and I wasn't tired!!
Some other French boys kept trying to persuade me to stay in their room and I was like I'm fiiine and this Irish guy appeared with a toy machine gun and started 'shooting me'. I was so not impressed as just sat on the floor like ok seriously, who brings a toy gun on a boat?! Then the French guys suddenly appeared with a mattress from their room and bedding! They laid it in front of my cabin door and said 'here, sleep there!' I was like what?! because it was super embarrassing and there was no way I would sleep in the corridor with continuous people in it ever anyway!! I thanked them very much but said I'd be fine and I didn't need their mattress!! They were quite amused but their kindness was real and they took the bed back but one gave me his room key card and said if I still couldn't get in then I should go to theirs. I refused to take it but they insisted, and I sat for a second and waited. Then the mohawk guy from dinner suddenly appeared and it must have been his dream scenario, me all alone with nowhere to go! He was chatting to me but it was funny because I kind of wanted to hit myself for being so stupid but congratulate myself for continuing the good time! I just couldn't believe the night could have any more drama. The mohawk guy was a bit strange though and after about an hour outside my room I started to really consider finding some kind of boat reception and seeing if there were spare keys. Then some security suddenly came, possibly called because of my noise! The guy asked if it was my cabin and I was like 'yess!!!!!!! ummm i can prove it!! ummm there's a pink makeup bag on the bed!!!' He looked at me a little strangely and simply put a key card in the lock and the door was open!! Yesss!!! I was going to go back to the French boys' cabin to give them their key card but once I was in my room, I didn't want to chance it again and leave, so I took my makeup off, settled into my fresh sheets and went to sleep at last!
Gosh this post is SO LONG! Tell me if you really don't care about the boat because this is a fashion blog I suppose and maybe you don't actually want to hear! But if so, tomorrow I can tell about Estonia and the second party, which included a stripping Italian and some outfit photos. God I wish I could live on that boat!
First communal shower... hmmmm! So bright an early I arose from my mattress on the floor last Saturday in Stockholm. Ooooh the possibilities. My friends were going to a museum of a boat that sank hundreds of years ago that they recovered (or something) but of course I went shopping! It is a cultural and rewarding experience too ya know!
I'd stayed up all night making a google map and coding it with different symbols and signs all over the place but couldn't print it anywhere! So I had a map from the central station and I doodled all over it from the hostel's free computers. For some strange reason the map was a little different to the google map so my map was ridiculously wrong and confusing. I set off though, black lipstick applied, camera in hand. The main town is incredibly easy to hit for high street shops as it's a long, wide road. I would NEVER shop in England on a Saturday for fear of major crowds and messy, empty rails but Stockholm is totally bearable and a pleasure. Sure it's busy but not too busy, and it's not noisy or chaotic. Apologies that most photos have some innocent public in them, it was hard to get clean shots!
I first went to BikBok, which is a really great store. It's very similar to Topshop but everything is glamourously wearable, whereas Topshop like to throw in a few crazy items that are a bit more questionable and off the wall.
There was sequins, studs and fur, but I loved all the nude colours. They had lots of little tshirts and jumpers with shoulder embellishments, but they weren't too brash. I think they have a BikBok on Oxford Street but I'm not sure if it's the same! I had a few things in mind but really I wasn't shopping to buy. I tried on a few things but walked away with one top.
I nearly screamed when I saw this fantastic Weekday. Shamefully the first time I saw the shop in Gothenburg it took me way too long to figure out why MTWTFSS was also in the same. Shocking!
The shop is too cool. Too cool! It's laid out a bit like Urban Outfitters, with everything eye level and very separated and spacious. There's only a few sizes out in each item but it's not the place to try on loads of things at once and raid the shelves. Each item is careful! Here's a snap of the changing rooms, where you can just look over the door! Also some cool Swedish sandals. There was lots of great style around, I didn't see anything unbelievable but I have high standards for Stockholm style anyway so everything was as amazing as expected!
They also have a vintage section where I saw this sweet jumper. I'm definitely not as interested in vintage anymore though. Well I'm interested, but not keen. It's the smells! I find you don't want to wear anything that's imperfect and it will just languish in a dry cleaning pile. I did love these colours though.
They have quite a few designer collaborations or mini collections too, like these umbrellas although I didn't note the designer. The in-store merchandising is quirky but very subtle, it's quite a casual experience to shop there and not intimidating.
Check out the Cheap Monday!! If you can believe it, there was even more piles of jeans on tables and more shelves!! Sweden has DEFINITELY changed my style, and you find yourself not even thinking of certain styles anymore. Like I don't even consider looking at bright accessories or dressing cheerfully. It's like you have tunnel vision to your new surroundings in your bubble and I'm buying things I would never do in England! Don't worry I will show you!
Good God the H&Ms are incredible. I don't understand why people don't like H&M, I think it's because they haven't seen the best sections. In local H&Ms sure they have the office wear and too many basics but when you see the uncomprimised Divided and Trend collections there are so many amazing things. The photo is a little dark but I love these velvet shoes with the multiple straps, right up to the ankle. In fact if I see them again I might just get them and paint the wedge black!
I love fur!!! How amazingly comfortable and luscious would this fuzzy dress be during Winter. It should be prescribed as a flu remedy. Here's a better look at those shoes in the red version. Why don't they have a gold wedges?! The zip at the back tops them off; they are hotness!!!
See this photo was taken from the second ginormous H&M, looking across the street at the first gigantic H&M! They are that close together! And there's ANOTHER one just a few shops down!!
If I had blonde or black hair I would totally buy the furry pink jacket. I LOVE it! If I was a millionaire I would buy it just to look at it.
Nearly bought one of these, wow!
I've seen this fur coat so many times and I love it too much. It's just under £100 though and I can't justify that on another coat, especially when it's white. Plus I have a vintage faux fur at home, even if it is very big. Now for the shoes. Omg these shoes!! They had a Din Sko in the H&M and they have some SERIOUS platforms. These were beasts! I tried them all on and they felt amazing. Total ankle breakers though, it was very hard to walk with just one shoe on!
More platforms. I would never trust myself in a club in these babies and I don't go to enough bars or restaurants for glamourous but more sober times, so I would definitely be down A&E if I danced in these! They are glorious though. Again, I would just love to own them. Check the video for them in action.
There's a lot of punk styles in Sweden too. There's a huge teen emo culture and a lot of chav guys who wear expensive sportswear and huge over-sized coats, but I secretly think they're quite stylish!
H&M sell homewear! And when I said H&M sell cosmetics and toiletries, I meant they actually have L'Oreal and Maybeline lines and all shampoo and shower gel, etc. It has had to be my new Superdrug!
Relying on my map was a bit tricky as I'd marked loads of shops in totally different areas. I headed East towards a load of my scribbled markings and couldn't find anything I'd planned! I did however find possibly better things! I stumbled across this marvelous Urban Outfitters, all decked out like a retro theatre. No wonder it's only a few years old, it's a photographer's dream! Each designer's rail has a book as a sign and the changing rooms are in a stage set house on the 'stage'! I just researched that it did used to be a cinema! So cool.
Another accident was finding Oasis! An SA had these hot embellished leggings.
Then as I went past the Marimekko shop I realised I was in the designer district.
I found a boutique Mrs H, which I'd remembered reading about but didn't plan to visit. It was well worth the mooch though as I saw that Alexander wang Breton top worth £1000+(?). Wow! It was even in a cover in the shop! I took the sneakiest photo ever and scarpered sharpish!
I walked into Acne and was a liiitle confused. The clothes are so plain and simple and just there. It's hard to shop! I walked round looking for the Atacoma wedges to try on but I'm guessing they sold out ages ago!
Now without scrolling down, can you guess this shop? It was a total FLUKE that I found it...
Haha yes I found Topshop! Well I knew Stockholm had a Topshop and the photo I posted in the last post shows the signs above another shop. I spent about ten minutes trying to find the entrance to this shop, but I don't think it exists! I think it's just posters! So I was overjoyed when I found non other than a Topshop OUTLET!!!
I didn't buy anything, like I said buying things wasn't the reward from the trip, it was just about the experiencing! The prices weren't exactly cheap anyway due to the exchange rate and I'd seen most of the things in store before but it was a nice flavour of home.
Stockholm has a few different parts separated by water so I hopped on the tube to a different island. Check out the video to see how incredibly quiet and clean they are. I guess it's actually a metro? For future reference you must buy a ticket from the newsagents and one will mean unlimited travel for an hour. I went from the Topshop after trying to find all the designer boutiques I'd mapped out and totally failing. My main destination in the old town was Monki!
You can see the black lipstick better in the video. It's a Creamesheen so only gives a darker shading rather than an opaque finish, so it wasn't too dramatic! The Monki appears small to start with but extends at the back and has lots of corners and mirrors so it's actually really big!
It's a pleasure to shop there, very calm and cool with a spacious layout and clear products. Funny how Monki belongs to the same label as Weekday!!
Everything in Monki is a little quirky, with a funny embellishment, pattern or cartoon. There's still the classic Swedish simplicity and nothing is loud but just cool.
Even the changing rooms have a holey wall and random pegs, and like Weekday the curtains have holes in! What's with these crazy changing rooms?!
I tried on this dress because I really want something with mesh in; how cool are the points! I got these leggings which I saw aaaages ago, in fact I think they were in my first Gothenburg post! They look like the sky at night! They were reduced by 75%, but were originally 300kr and I got them for 50kr! That's less than a fiver! They are actually thin trousers but I was in between sizes so they are secretly huge at the waist. I took many more Monki photos when I brought my friends the next day so I'll show them in the next post.
There was a second Weekday which I popped into and saw the Carin Wester fox jumper that I've been emailed about but it was over £100 so I thought best to leave it! I think it's great but I'm not too comfortable with the fox. I mainly like the cut, colours and style of the illustration.
Check out the DJ in the shop!
I was also on the hunt for American Apparel as their heart tights look great quality. Sadly they were over 300kr which is about £25?! For tights?! Sorry AA, I'll just wait until I hit England in a few weeks!
Haha I'm so sneaky, check out this guy on the metro with super cool hair and glasses. So many boys here have side parted, waxed hair, very '20s or '40s.
I met up with my girlies and we had more fika and it was back to the hostel to abuse the free pasta. Totally knackered by this point but we couldn't miss the Absolut Ice Bar!
You can't go to Scandinavian and not go to some kind of ice related place! Some of these photos I stole from friends so I cannot claim to be the photographer, my camera was icing over!
We went at about 111.30 on a Saturday night and there was only a little queue. You pay just under £20 for entrance and a drink, and you get a big blue poncho and gloves before going into a chamber that's a bit like a lift (elevator). It reminds me of a ride at Drayton Manor because there's lights and a bit of music, and then the next door slides open and you're in an ice cube! Everything is ice, even the chairs and glasses.
We were like woooooah for ages and then ordered out super strong drinks from a long menu, which included non-alcoholic drinks fyi! And I saw a kids poncho so I assume they can go too. There's UV lights so we chose glow in the dark drinks that made our lips neon. Before you ask, yes if was cold in there! I hate being hot though so I can loving the cool air. You're all snuggly in your poncho though so it's totally fine, and I had leggings on and my feet weren't cold.
We stayed until closing so this picture was taken as everyone left. To delve back into a weekend full of gossip, my one friend and I were at the bar and suddenly looked over to the other girls and my friend was kissing some random guy! Two people in huge ponchos with furry hoods together is pretty funny, but it was crazy because the guy was insane! Well, insanely drunk! It was some Dutch guy called Rik who asked for a picture kissing his friend on the cheek, then for one with my friend and they just started making out! She was laughing so much and he kept saying is the picture ok?! and my friend taking it was like nope it's really bad!! so he'd suddenly kiss my friend again! This weekend just got weirder and weirder!! Turns out Rik and his hideously drunken mates were in Stockholm for the love boat too!! Arrrgh! We started to realised this boat would be seriously insane, and we weren't wrong at all! God this post is miles long and has taken hours! I'll write about the boat of lurve tomorrow!
Here's a few video clips strung together including Weekday, the platform shoes, the H&Ms, the metro and the ice bar.
Video still processing.... takes bloody ages! Watch this space xx
The love boat to Tallinn turned out to be the titanic with 2500 students and a free bar?! And it was 80% male. Literally it was insane. INSANE. I came back on Tuesday and I still can't believe how ridiculous it was. But the weekend in Stockholm was amazing too. Stockholm is INCREDIBLE!! Book a Ryan Air flight now!!!! The shopping is orgasmic.
Sooo the love boat (which I'll explain later!) set off on Sunday night and I was included in that weekend group hostel booking. The other 12 people got the 5 hour coat at 9am but my friend Emma and I rolled up on the 2pm coach; we aren't morning people! Funny how the extra time didn't help at all because I still left myself minus 10 minutes to pack!! I took a large suitcase in the end though, so I was faffing around trying to find more things to fill it with!
Our coach journey was just the start. We claimed the five seater back row with Emma at the window and a seat in between us for our bags. A guy in stonewashed denim sat at the other window, swigging many beers and munching pringles. We gossiped to a random town where the coach totally filled up and a boy sat on the seat in front of me, and could probably count as a Swedish chav? When he heard us speaking English he turned around and then kept turning round every five minutes. Considering he was about a metre away from my face, he'd turn, I'd stop talking and look at him, then he'd stare, smirk a little, and turn back?! Every time he did it we laughed, and then laughed some more when his Nokia3310 played a monotone Simpsons ring tone haha! A pretty girl who looked about twenty five couldn't find a seat and took the beer man's window seat, and he came back from a fag break and sat on the seat between her and me. Then his leather jacket kept touching my leg as he groaned and moaned his way through a nap, and Emma and I were eeewing and laughing.
About three hours passed and our Iranian friend woke up and randomly offered the girl some beer. Then he offered her some chocolate. We were like okkk why is she taking his beer, bit odd. Then we were making our way through agony aunt pages and Emma starts to die of laugher behind Cosmo as the man and girl have started kissing! It was terrible!!! He was so old and she was well, so not! They'd have an extremely gorey kiss for a few minutes and then sit in silence, then he'd stroke her leg and lean in again. We were like 'omg did he spike the drink!?! eeew!!!' trying to contain our laughter, and then the Simpsons boy in front spots it and raises his eyebrows at us suggesting we replicate the action. Is this normal Swedish coach behaviour?! Meet an older, greased up stranger and get it on?! Maybe the back seat is a code! And lets just say there was a lot of action under that leather jacket after a few minutes, if you get my drift... ew! Some Swedish girls in front even noticed and it was so funny but so gross! Finally after five hours we were off in Stockholm and we stalked the new couple for a minute until they disappeared, probably onto another coach!
That really set the tone for a whole weekend of random happenings. We rang our friends and got directions to the City Backpackers Hostel, which I'd definitely recommend as it was right in the centre, and has a big communal area with computers and a kitchen, and free pasta! We considered filling our suitcases and pockets with as much as possible haha. Sadly the room situation was a bit sour because there were twelve beds and now thirteen people. Apparently one person was going to go in a room with random people but the person who booked it said an extra bed squished in the big room would be better, Fair enough, but the early bird gets the worm and guess who was faced with the extra bed! So having zero personal space, space to put luggage, or space in general was a nightmare but I'm not so much of a diva as I always thought I was and if someone had to have the bed, I didn't mind offering. I even embraced the communal showers!
We went off to meet some of the girls and bumped into the rest of the group, which was a mix of English, Italian, French and Spanish, and a few new Italians here for the trip. Hello Italians! Stockholm is nothing like Gothenburg, it's incredible!!! What an amazing feeling to be in a real city after so long! As it get dark so early now, it was like a whirlwind romance. I love Stockholm! The streets are so wide, clean and straight, but have all the charm of a stylish town. It was bustling full of people and the shops looked unbelievable. The H&M was humongous!!! Oh wait, there are three H&Ms, all about two metres from each other! And they are the biggest stores I've seen, just about every item I've noticed in store or in magazines in the past months was there, without a doubt. There was just so much stock!! We found the girls in a cafe having fika (hot drink and a cake) and told them of the coach drama, then went in search for some tights. Only Ahlens was still open and they had a MAC concession!! Love! Sadly they, along with every UK concession, Stansted included, were sold out of the Style Black mineralize shadows but they did have the black lipstick, which I impulsed on. I don't really know why! Well I do, because I hadn't packed very much and knew the next shopping day wouldn't be my ideal visionary Stockholm outfit, so I felt like some distracting makeup.
We knew were were going out that night and when you go on trips, you never really seem to eat much. Unsurprisingly we hit McDonald's, where I stalked well dressed boys. They are everywhere in Stockholm. Swedish boys in general are beautiful, but in Stockholm they have that extra. I was determined to spot a famous Swedish fashion blogger that weekend too but sadly no luck there. But this anonymous diner has a bow tie! They were all wearing shirts and jumpers.
Back at the hostel, the group has some drama with the other girls so was mostly divided for the weekend. The others were in full swing with the drinking games and we slowly got ready, which isn't the best in front of a load of Italian and Spanish guys. I decided on a long sleeved AA dress and heart print tights. If you love the U-neck dresses, you MUST try the long sleeved version. It's incredible how flattering a tight long sleeve is! It makes so much difference! And it's different material to the short sleeved black dress, a bit more supportive. We all set off as a group though at about 11.30, which was quite early compared to the rest of the weekend. My sleeping patterns are so messed up! Sadly it started raining, and the forever-warm me only brought a cardigan. Then it started to pour. Walking around with a cardigan umbrella is not fun! One of the Italian boys said my skirt was too short, the cheeky whatsit! Not that I called him a cheeky whatsit, or anyone ever for that matter, but I implied he was too short hehe! Also from Swedish fashion blogs and general Sweden itself, even in my tiny town, it's clear that legs are an essential part of the Swedish wardrobe. If any of you are Manchester uni folk, check out the student paper for my 'Fashion from Afar' article about Sweden!
We traipsed around for ages trying to find a club that was decent and let in under 23s. This is nearly impossible! We eventually ended up at what I now know was a club called Magenta, which I would recommend if you are a student and don't want to go to a stuffy, electro wine bar. There was a bit of a problem on the door because they are actually an over 23 club and some people didn't even have ID with them and a few like me were 20. We spent ages standing in the rain until I went and tried to get in saying I didn't have ID, and the bouncer said 'If you have ID, you can get in.' Then she checked my driving license (provisional haha) and let me in! Not sure what kind of door minding that is but I'm not complaining! The club was about £10 to enter and drinks were just as much. The weekend started blurring into one because we met loads of people who were in Stockholm especially for the love boat too! We met some French guys and got lots of Swedish 'looks'. This is the only thing that was true in my guidebook, but I think it's a European thing too. Guys will give you the 'eye' rather than come straight onto you. And Swedish girls are quite reserved so the boys in clubs do a lot of leg work.
We left hot and all danced out at about three, and shamefully went back to McDonalds, where we saw some Spanish exchange students from our uni, also for the love boat. Unfortunately they got into some fight because they said some bad things in spanish and a Swedish boy turned and said he'd been with a Mexican girl for two years so knew he'd called his mom a whore and it went outside. Argh! Us girls stayed well away!
Right I'll leave it at that and say goodnight because I have to be up for the 3.07am bus to Gothenburg for Jimmy Choo x H&M! I am going with the Taiwanese girls who have a huge shopping list, but I'm there mainly for the experience!! I hope there is a crowd!! Will fill you in about the shopping in Stockholm and the ice bar and the boat of craziness and 80% men tomorrow!