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Amsterdam’s Crooked Canal Houses

The canal houses in Amsterdam are an iconic feature of the city.  These tall (and often very crooked) buildings lean precariously over the narrow streets and canals, bestowing a magical and elementary fun-house quality into the cozy neighborhoods.  At first glance it seems like the entire city is a bit tipsy!

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

The houses are often very narrow, as property was assigned value based on width during the early days of the city.  Also, the roofs of the houses are often adorned with a hook for lifing furniture into the top floors, as staircases in the city are infamously steep.

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

Having a house that leans forward a little bit would be beneficial if you are using the hook to hoist up furniture from the ground, but why do some of the buildings lean so dramatically?

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

The city is built below sea-level and the ground is very soft.  Most houses will shift a bit after being built (our Dutch host refered to this process as settling), and once a house has settled it will stay put for centuries… but perhaps look a little wonky.

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Boat-houses also line the many canals throughout the city.  Check out the gardens on top!

Amsterdam Crooked Canal Houses | The Alternative Atlas

We really could not get enough of these magical streets!

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less

This charming port city is truly a hidden gem in Europe.  When visiting Belgium, many people choose Bruges (a medieval tourist destination) or Brussels (the capital and headquarters of the European Union).  Off the beaten track is Antwerp; it possesses the perfect combination of fairy-tale beauty and gritty urban charm, and offers visitors a rare glimpse into the golden age of Belgium.  All this, plus the corner stores sell world-class beer at a fraction of the price you would pay in the states at a specialty shop.  Boon Oude Gueze Mariage Parfait for €2?  I’m sold!

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

The Grote Markt, or main square, is a beautiful example of the city’s rich cultual heritage.

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

^^^The Flemish baroque master painter Peter Paul Rubens called Antwerp home during the golden age in Belgium, and his influence is everywhere.

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Now a museum, the Rubenshuis is the former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens.

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

^^^It’s like a 16th century version of MTV Cribs!

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Little known fact: Antwerp is also home to the sassiest statue in Europe!

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

^^^A few geuzes that we bought from a small grocery store in our neighborhood… each of these bottles are rare if not impossible to find in the US, and we bought all five for less than €10.  Whoa, is that the Duchesse?  And Mariage Parfait?!

Antwerp in 100 Words or Less | The Alternative Atlas

Thank you Antwerp!  I can’t wait to visit again… long live love!

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp

Belgium at last!  We have been traveling without a chance for updates during the last few weeks and we are a few countries behind, but it’s time to take a short break to share these three stunning displays of Belgian heritage and pride.  We were only in Belgium for four days, but during that short time we got the priveledge of seeing the city through the eyes of a lifelong Antwerp resident, philanthopist, and friend: Kamiel.  He took us on a tour of each of these iconic buildings which dominate the city skyline and explained their part within the history of the city and their various restorations.

1) St. Paul’s Church 

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

Located in the old city-center of Antwerp, the interior of this church epitomizes Baroque design and sensibility.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Of the countless works of art displayed inside the church (including works by famous Antwerp residents Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck), the wooden Baroque confessionals are the most unique.  These sculptures line the enitre building and include meticulously detailed life-size wooden figures carved by generations of Belgian sculptors.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

This installation was started by Pieter Verbrugghen I in 1700, and the surface of the wood has a beautfiul ebony sheen from over 300 years of careful preservation.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Outside of the church is the Cavalry; a garden containing several large rough sculptures and surrounded by residential homes.  Who wouldn’t want to look out their back window and see this?

2) Cathedral of Our Lady

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

As well as being one of Antwerps most iconic monuments, this Roman Catholic cathedral is also listed as a World Heritage Site.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

The cathedral contains several major works by the most famous artist from Antwerp: Peter Paul Rubens.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

^^^I studied The Raising of the Cross altarpiece in college, it was a major work in my art history textbooks.  I could never have imagined that I would get to see it in person.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

This incredible contemporary installation accompanies the famous relics.  A darkened room is lined with shaped mirrors reflecting projections of singers performing Gregorian chants.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3) Saint Carolus Borromeus Church

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

This church was restored during the 1980s and wins the hidden gem award.  Tucked away in a small square in the Old Town, we visited three times during our four-day stay in Antwerp (church opening hours are sporatic) before managing to sneak in for a look.

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

3 Must-See Churches in Antwerp | The Alternative Atlas

Best Art Museum in Paris: Centre Pompidou

The Centre Georges Pompidou contemporary art museum is a must-see while visiting Paris.  The stunning views from the museum alone are worth every cent of the €11 admission fee (we can thank Jaime’s old student ID for the discounted rate, usually €14).  This museum is a world-class contemporary art venue and holds revolving exhibitions of the highest caliber.  Who’s down to check out the Mona Hatoum show and soak up some sun on the decks of this postmodern steel superstructure in the center of Paris?  I am!  Let’s go!

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

^^^The Mona Hatoum exhibition on the top floor of the museum.

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Centre Pompidou has an amazing permanent collection as well, as evidenced by this mind-blowing piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

^^^The museum lobby.  The entire building has an interestingly inside-out quality.

Best Paris Art Museum: Centre Pompidou | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Thank you Centre Pompidou!  Long live love!!!

Paris: It’s All About the Crêpes and Macarons

Paris is a well-known foodie destination… and there is definitely a lot more than just bread and cheese going on here.  Of course bread and cheese is a staple of the budget-travel diet to which the Parisian boulangeries (bread bakeries) cater very well, but we are going to take a second to talk about the desserts.  Some of the desserts aren’t even desserts but entire meals in themselves, like the savory crêpes that can be found in their full glory among bustling Montparnasse crêperies.  But we will get to that soon, right now it’s time to check my blood sugar.  Hmmm it’s a little low… obviously it’s macaron time.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Pierre Hermé and Cafe Pouchkine serve delicious macarons that are easy to obsess over.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^We visited multiple Pierre Hermé locations multiple times during our week in Paris.  The consumption of one of these delicate treats could be compared to a religious experience. These are priceier than macarons sold at other pâtisseries, but the taste and quality of these are well worth the splurge!

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Still a little low?  Tarte aux framboises is a popular raspberry treat sold at almost every pâtisserie in the city.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Are we getting ice cream involved?  Yup, it’s happening.  Berthillon dominates the ice cream scene here, and it’s easy to see why.  They are available in many locations throughout the city and make for a perfect treat on a hot afternoon in Paris. We enjoyed a scoop while strolling around Île Saint-Louis, a charming island in located in the Seine river.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

Okay all these images of treats is making me hungry!  It’s time for crêpes!

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Ti Jos has been serving tasty crêpes since 1937… obviously they’re doing something right!  30 Rue Delambre, 75014 Paris.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^The Alternative Atlas special recommendation: La Crêperie de Josselin.  This is hands-down the finest spot for traditional savory crêpes.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^The Josselin menu is full of vegetarian options, the restaurant is adorable, and the staff consists of all these old Parisian ladies who treat you like family as soon as you walk through the door.  67 Rue du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

^^^Crêperie Oroyona is a funky little place in the Latin Quarter for a delicious and cheap stop.  The vegetarian ratatouille crêpe is amazing, the table settings consist of paper plates and plastic cups, and the walls are plastered with vintage magazine cutouts.  Truly this is a labor of love.  36 Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris.

Paris Crepes and Macarons | The Alternative Atlas

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free: Best Art Destination

Statens Museum for Kunst (the National Gallery of Denmark) wins the award for number-one best, must-see, don’t-miss-it, gotta-go-there, how-is-this-even-legal-it’s-so-good art destination.  This museum is located in the center of Copenhagen and is known to locals as the SMK.  And the best part: it’s free.  But like LeVar Burton says on Reading Rainbow, don’t take my word for it!  Check out these pictures and you will get to know why this gem is worth so much more in this often-pricey Scandinavian capital.

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

^^^The interior gazes out into the Østre Anlæg park through massive floor-to-ceiling glass panes.  This is the section of the museum that contains contemporary art, so obviously this is where we spent most of our time at the museum!  Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon here?  That being said, where are all the tourists?  Where are all the selfie sticks?  Usually art museums of this caliber are full of them!

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

^^^The views from the museum are worth the trip alone.  When you get around to admiring the artwork, you will notice that the museum collection places an emphasis on prominent Danish artists.

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

^^^After touring the multiple floors it’s time for a break!  Rest your feet and check out this amazing scenery.

Copenhagen for Free | Best Art Destination

^^^The large fountain in the front of the museum has chairs placed haphazardly in the water, and of course visitors are encouraged to get their feet wet and lounge in the fountain.  We felt just like locals, soaking up all the Danish artwork and hanging out in the fountain with a bunch of Danish art enthusiasts.  Jaime even looks Danish, just check out those cold-knees!

The Catacombs of Paris

A lot of people live in Paris, and have been living here for a long time (since 9800 B.C. to be precise).  A practical question arises with this: what happens to all the the dead people?  The Catacombes de Paris is a sprawling underground network of tunnels which stores the remains of over six million corpses.  It’s hard to belive that the beautiful and vibrant city of Paris lies on top of a massive underground grave which contains centuries of  deceased Parisians.

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

Wow this is sounding pretty creepy… can’t the bones just be buried under the ground and then we can leave it at that?  Nope, this is Paris and everything is beautiful, so the bones are displayed in an overtly ornamental manner and tickets are sold to visitors wanting to explore this “curiosity” of Parisian culture, and this is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the city.

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

Woah hold on a second, isn’t The Alternative Atlas  based on avoiding tourist traps?  What about this is cool and alternative?  While waiting for entry to the catacombs we got to say hello to the guitarist of Deafheaven (who was also standing in line) so I guess that’s kinda alternative…

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

^^^Is Bay Area black metal still considered alternative?

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

^^^The bones are carefully arranged and form different designs, like this love heart of human skulls… I haven’t used the word morbid yet, have I?

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

^^^The Crypt of the Sepulchral Lamp… suddenly it is 1995 again and I am seeing a Goosebumps book written about this room at the Scholastic book fair!

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

Something important needs to be said about this cavern: it is cold.  And wet.  It poured rain the previous day, and water slowly dripped through the ceiling of Lucian limestone onto the heads of both the living and the dead in this otherworldly cave.  The surrounding walls and floor were wet to the touch… very surreal.

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

^^^A scale replica castle was carved into the limestone by a short-lived prisoner/excavation artist who worked in the caves… the dates of his life and death are etched into the adjoining walls.

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

^^^We found moss growing amongst the bones; this could be considered a prominent metaphor in a very serious dutch still-life painting.

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

A trip to the catacombs gives visitors a poignant reminder of the fragility and brevity of human existence, but in a bizarre context that borders on science fiction.  Once we emerged from the cavernous depths we simply walked through the surrounding sunlight-filled streets in a daze.  It’s difficult to process your surroundings after seeing so many bodies taken apart and reassembled into such an anonymous and otherworldly momument to death.  Each of these skulls was once a living, breathing person who had hopes and dreams, and this is a great reminder that our every-day worries and struggles really don’t deserve as much power as we give them.  In the end, we too will look like this.  We went into the catacombs expecting a tourist attraction, and we left somberly questoning the philosophy of life.  The words “what did we just see?” were spoken several times…

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

^^^…at which point we entered another graveyard, this time with a little more light and a lot more space.

The Alternative Atlas | Paris Catacombs

Doors of Paris

Step one for visiting Paris: find a place to stay.  We rented a chambre de bonne, which is a fancy french word for a former maid’s quarters.  Our tiny room was situated at the end of a six storey climb up a narrow staircase; on the top floor of an old iconic apartment building in the center of the Pigalle district.  So what is so cool about that?  The doors to this building are beautiful.  Not just beautiful, but stunningly ornate.  And so are all the other doors in this neighborhood, and all the surrounding neighborhoods, and pretty much everywhere in the city now that I’m paying attention!

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

Are we really doing a post about how beauriful the doors are in Paris?  Of course we are!  Just look at these amazing entranceways!  They are everywhere you look; every color, every style you could imagine.

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris  The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

We should take a second to discuss the most famous doors in the city…

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

^^^Considered a masterpiece of French-Gothic architecture, the doors of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral are also a source of some controversy.  The architect is said to have sold his soul in a pact with the devil to fulfill the commission of these iconic doors.

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

^^^Even the doors that aren’t supposed to be cool are still so cool!

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris  The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

P1040615.JPG

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris  The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

The Alternative Atlas | Door of Paris

How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

Formerly a royal palace, the Louvre is an iconic monument in the center of Paris labelled as the universal museum among museums and is the #1 most visited museum in the world.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

What does this mean for us?  It will have a ridiculous line, as any #1 universal iconic monument should… and it will be full of tourists.  Maybe you are a really good person and you just smile and wait patiently as hordes of people push by you to stand in front of the artworks and take selfies; or maybe you’re like me and think that there should be a law against selfie sticks and annoying museum tourists in general.  Ok that’s a stretch, but we shouldn’t let them ruin our experience here, since the Louvre is all about heritage and excellence.  But I clearly won’t do any justice writing about the cultural heritage and overall excellence that this institution represents, so I will simply write about what I’m good at, which is seeing awesome artwork and saving money and having diabetes!  Sorry – that last part didn’t sound so great and wasn’t in very good taste so I should try again: seeing awesome artwork and saving money and avoiding the lines!  That’s better!  Let’s go!

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

To get there, take the metro line 1.  Get off at the Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station and use the Carrousel entrance below the museum.  Very few people use this underground entrance.  You can buy a ticket for normal price at a small shop (you can’t miss it) in the underground mall at the Carrousel entrance.  We got tickets from here twice and there was never a line, we literally walked right up to the counter and bought tickets and walked directly into the museum without waiting.  You can also buy advance tickets through the Louvre website, but they cannot be picked up at the museum so it requires some running around.  Also worth noting is that admission is free during the winter on the first Sunday of each month.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^This is the traffic in the Carrousel entrance during peak hours.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^Now that you’re in the museum, it’s time to explore!

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^The Winged Victory of Samothrace

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^The Venus de Milo, one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture and a personal favorite!

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre  The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^The Richelieu wing on the 1st floor is where you can see the famous Napoleon III Apartments in all their splendor!

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^Louis XVI by Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1701.  Not only did the Sun King rule France for almost 73 years (the longest of any monarch in a major country in European history) he was really proud of his legs – he’d probably look good in jeans!  And that hair… oh that hair.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

Ok now we must to talk about the Mona Lisa, because any writing about the Louvre must include its most famous piece.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^The space which houses the Mona Lisa is INSANE.  Nobody seems to care about any of the other paintings in the room.  It’s all about the Mona Lisa.

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^^^It’s quite surreal to see this crowd celebritizing this little painting which had so little importance during the life of its creator… there must be an anthropological study about this.  Ropes and security guards keep everyone at a distance.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^If you feel up to it (and are very patient) it is possible to get a decent image of the painting, once those really big Americans who talk way too loud about the Da Vinci Code get out of the way, of course.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^This painting, hung just outside, is a fitting image that undoubtedly resonates with everyone who just fought the crowds to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre  The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^Ok lets get back to the good stuff!  The museum often shows contemporary work along with the ancient treasures, like this room dedicated to Anselm Kiefer.  The Napoleon Apartments also occasionally offer modern exhibits.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^A highlight of the museum collection is the Marie de’ Medici cycle room.  Each of these works are masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens which depict struggles and triumphs in Marie’s life.  The room is usually pretty sparse of those irritating museum tourists…

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^…because they are all too busy posing in front of other pieces like this.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

^^^Make sure to wander through the Tuileries and Carrousel Gardens as you leave; there are a ton of really nice statues here against a lovely backdrop of the city.

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

The Alternative Atlas | How-to Avoid Lines at the Louvre

Now that you have navigated the Louvre like a pro it’s time to head onward and outward into the city!  Long live love!

Stockholm Photo Tour

This city has some serious cuteness going on.  During our six days in Stockholm we split our time between two different apartments and explored the city (with the exception of one magical Archipelago day trip, which you can read about here) with the help of some locals.

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The slender cobblestone streets lined with minimalist design spaces in Gamla Stan (Old Town) and trendy bars and restaurants in nearby Södermalm work so well together.  Seriously how can a city be this cute?  I thought Sweden was known for death metal and corpse paint… isn’t Watain and Ghost and Meshuggah from here?

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

We visited the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum Moderna Museet on a Friday evening, when admission is free.

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

^^^Doris Salcedo at Moderna Museet.

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

^^^We rode the tunnelbana (Stockholm’s metro rail system) everyday and were so impressed by its cleanliness, timeliness, and ease of use.

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

^^^Each of the stations is themed like an art exhibition.

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

^^^We stopped by one of the last metal record stores in Stockholm: Sound Pollution.  Check out the zombie hanging down from the ceiling!  And oh wow is that a Watain poster?!  Swedish black metal lives!

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

^^^The famous Mikkeller bar serves some delicious beer from its funky Vasastan arthouse location.  People in Stockholm have a reputation for being cold, reserved, and even standoffish… we didn’t get this at all.  Everyone we encountered was warm and friendly…

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

^^^…as these guys sitting on top of a lowrider singing and drinking beer and cruising around town will proudly testify.

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

The Alternative Atlas | Stockholm Photo Tour

Thank you Stockholm for the wonderful experiences… we can’t wait to visit again!