IT WAS a chilly night for a walk, but it was the last night in Stockholm and I was making the most out of the visit, a very short one. The short days didn’t help as light was grabbed by the dark of night earlier during the cold season. Having locals for friends was a blessing.

Richard and Althea volunteered to take me around the city when night fell and even took another friend, Shakia, who can wear the badge of a professional tour guide.

The main attractions on the Stockholm list may have been checked, but the personalized walking tour by night lead showed me the sites Des and I missed out.

I wouldn’t have known that the Sturegallerian is an icon and the first mall in the city center. The same goes for the Ostermalms Saluhall, a historic market place and food hall over a century old.

Within the same area is the Stureplan, the high-end public square known as the “playground for the rich and famous,” the new generation of royalties included.

The three of major streets that square connects are the addresses of financial and corporate institutions, the most famous bars and expensive dining spots, as well as luxury fashion houses.

A few steps away, in the Nybroplan, is the 1788 founded Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern aka Royal Dramatic Theatre, the national stage for "spoken drama."

On the eight stages of the theater’s 1908 Art Nouveau house, around a thousand shows are put on annually. Dramatens elevskola is the theater also has an acting school, which became a separate institution in 1967.

Among its famous alumni are Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, and Max von Sydow, to name a few. We crossed to another island to check out the Katarinahissen aka the Katarina Elevator, a way to move people from the Slussen (the lock area) to the different heights of Sodermalm (district).

It used to be that the lift was a shortcut between the areas of Katarinavagen, Slussen and Mosebacke Square. It was in 1881 when the original elevator was constructed and in 1883 when it became operational. It transported about 1,500 passengers daily at a price of 5 ore (Scandinavian cent) to go up and 3 ore to go down. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to ride the lift. It was closed in 2010 due to lack of security in its reconstruction, which was done in 1936 when the Slussen transport (a cloverleaf interchange) was rebuilt.

To get to the top where the ramp is, we used the Moseback Square passage. The Katarina Elevator ramp is a good place to get a panoramic view of the city.

Heading back down to the Southern Isle (Sodermalam), our guides said they’ll be taking us to the “hippie” part of the city. I liked it already before I stepped on it. The well-lit path with stylish pedestrians walking it is one of the longest streets in central Stockholm -- the Gothegatan or Gothia Street. Although the street has been existence since the 12th century, it got its name in the 1640s after the main thoroughfare it was part of, the Gota highway.

Time flew and we were strolling Stockholm for more than a couple of hours without rest. I was famished and I wanted another shot of those Swedish meatballs. Richard and Althea knew where to take me for that craving.

Thank you Shakia, Althea and Richard for the best tour any tourist can ever have.

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