After finally arriving back at my hotel, I got into my hotel room and switched into sweat pants and crawled under the covers of my bed. It had been a very cold and windy day in Stockholm and I needed to warm up. As I lay there, eating some snacks, it started to rain outside and with the rain, my motivation to leave my hotel room disappeared quickly. As I lay in my hotel room, alone, on New Year’s Eve, I had an internal dilemma. Do I go looking for fireworks, and actually start the year off with a bang? Or, do I start off the new year in my hotel room watching the fireworks from the comfort of my hotel room? A place that was warm, had food, and didn’t require me to put regular clothes back on.
One thing to know about me in my every day life is that the first I do when I get home is switch into sweat pants. I love sitting in my apartment and I’ve developed this habit where if I get home, have changed into my sweatpants and have burrito’ed (you know, wrap your entire body including your feet in a blanket) then I know that I’m not leaving. I love my couch and being completely lazy.
So, as I lay in my hotel bed, burrito’ed in my blankets and the warmth of the room, I had this dilemma. This internal struggle quickly turned from just trying to decide if I wanted to leave to something much bigger than that. I needed to decide if I would be okay with missing out on this opportunity. I mean, realistically, how often will I be in Stockholm and how often would I be able to see the fireworks to celebrate a new year. I will never have another chance to start of 2017 because that opportunity only happens once. But…. I was warm and comfortable.
After a lot of back and forth in my head, I decided that I needed to go and find the fireworks. This was only going to happen once and I couldn’t miss out on this. I would never get another chance to bring in 2017 and I may never get a chance to bring in the new year in Stockholm. There was never going to be another NYE like this one for me, regardless of whether I’m in Stockholm or not. So, I bundled back up and left my hotel room around 1145PM and started walking. I wasn’t entirely sure where I needed to go but I knew that I needed to head toward the water. During my wandering, I hadn’t noticed any major barges which is usually a sign of fireworks locations but of course I wasn’t actively searching for them. So I just started walking and eventually found large groups of people heading off in the same general direction. I followed the large crowds and eventually ended up on a street that overlooked the giant Christmas tree that Stockholm had put up in between a few of the islands. I knew that this must have been the right place to see fireworks because there were people everywhere. So, I found a place to stand and I waited.
Fun fact about Stockholm, apparently you can light off personal fireworks in large crowds. I don’t know if it’s actually legal but people were doing that all around me. I was caught off guard by the first one that went off and then may have yelped in fear when one went off about 10 feet to my right but it was a nice little distraction from the cold as we waited for the fireworks to start.
After a few minutes of waiting, standing in a crowd that now expanded the entire length of the street plus the alley ways and the building stairs all around, the fireworks started and they were absolutely lovely. It was so amazing to see the fireworks happening over the giant Christmas tree but even more amazing because where we were standing, you could watch multiple fireworks shows going off all along the water. From where I was, I saw 4 different shows occurring all along the water and into the distance and then I could hear the fireworks behind me that were hidden by the buildings I was standing next to.
If you ever get a chance to watch the fireworks in Stockholm on NYE, just go toward the water and you’re guaranteed to find at least one show. I’m sure that if you went up to one of the hills, you could find a great view point that would allow you to actually see the entire city and all the shows that it has to offer but just where we were was enough for me.