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10 Off-the-Beaten-Path Things to Do & See in Stockholm During Midsummer, Plus a Trip Photo Gallery

Vibrant. Industrious. Eye-catching. At once cosmopolitan and down-to-earth. At least that is how I’d describe Stockholm after spending 14 days there last June, during Midsummer, while visiting a friend. The Venice of the North, Stockholm comprises 14 islands in the Stockholm Archipelago, and Midsummer, the two weeks leading up to and after Midsummer’s Eve (the summer solstice) is an optimum time to visit. As a guest of a native-born Stockholmer living in the city’s trendy “SoFo” district on Sodermalm island, my visit was a fully immersive experience that is atypical for a regular tourist. Yet, there is much that is easy to discover “on your own” too. Admittedly, but for my friend, Stockholm was not on my List of Places to Visit. Surprisingly, it’s now on my List of Places to See Again — and a destination I’d strongly recommend to those who love to travel.

Read on for a list of 10 things to see and do (numbered for list sake not by order of importance), from firsthand experience, that a typical tourist might not discover on their own. Read More

Fellow travelers, if you’re flying a European airline during any part of your travels this summer (or any time of year, for that matter) and end up with flight delays, play close attention: Airline passenger rights matter over the pond. While an airline won’t likely volunteer this information to the disappointed crowd of travelers it has just told its flight has been delayed, cancelled or overbooked, there’s a high flying chance you’re eligible to receive a refund for such occurrences. According to AirHelp, an online legal service that helps airline passengers receive compensation for flight delays, passengers could be entitled to up to $650. So hang on to your e-ticket itinerary! When AirHelp contacted me by email after my return from an amazing vacation last summer to Stockholm (Stockholm During Midsummer) and Prague to inform me that they could possibly negotiate a refund for my five-hour flight delay, the itinerary was all they required from me to begin the process. Read More

As I turned to the last page of Beautiful Ruins, I found myself wishing desperately that I could go back in time to start it over. And it’s no wonder. It’s a substantive read that is at once fun and light, romantic and poignant, thanks in all parts to author Jess Walter’s artful story telling. Using the backdrop of disparate times and places, Walter weaves the lives of the novel’s characters — romantic souls that include classic movie stars (Richard Burton and Liz Taylor) and (fictional) modern day screenwriters — together skillfully in a testament to their few degrees of separation.

At once, you’ll find yourself transported back in time (the 1960s) to Porto Vergogna (Port of Shame), a tiny fishing village nestled into Italy’s Levanto Coast, where the young and ever-optimistic Pasquele Tursi awaits his newest guest at his in-decline hostel, Hotel Adequate View. But before long, the story (temporarily) fast forwards to present-day Hollywood. Here the also young, but-almost-jaded, Claire struggles with the possibility that her dream to become a screenwriter will not come true. “Where do the twain (and many others) meet?” you’ll likely wonder. Keep turning the pages, and you’ll find out. But do it as slowly as you can. Read More

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