Last Saturday, I upped and went to Stockholm. My overall impression: amongst the fresh air, fine architecture, lovely cafés, and stunningly beautiful women, the "Venice of the North" is a captivating locale to lose yourself in. I only wish I could have stayed longer.
Tomorrow, I start a new job which I'm grossly unqualified for. Send me your luck - I'm going to need it. But I suppose if things don't work out, I can always go back to Sweden. Maybe next time, I'll find myself a nice Swedish girl, settle down, and never come back to North America. On a day like today, that's something to look forward to.
Anyway, here are a few photos from my trip.
Sunset over Stockholm, Sweden. (2005). On the left is Kungliga Slottet, the official royal palace of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia. To the right is the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament).
Stockholm Harbour at sunrise. (2005). I took this photo with my new Olympus SP-310 digital camera. Photo specs: exposure of 1/15 seconds, aperture of f/2.8, focal length of 8mm, ISO speed at 200, no flash. If I were a real photographer, those stats would mean something but I'm not, so I'm only listing them here because I don't really have anything else intelligent to say about the picture above other than it was beautiful that morning.
Olive oils and fruit at a stand inside Östermalms Saluhall. (2005). This colourful and delightul market has been in existence since 1888. I bought some chocolate here. The girl who sold it to me shyly declined to be photographed, which is too bad - she was absolutely goregous. Think goddess and multiply by two.
The narrow, cobblestoned streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town) with the clocktower of Storkyrkan, Stockholm's 700-year old cathedral, in the background. (2005). Having the priviledge of soaking in the atmosphere and wandering the maze of streets in Gamla Stan was alone almost worth the cost of flying across the Atlantic on short notice. Storkyrkan is a brilliant historical cathedral with some priceless artistic treasures including Bernt Notke's sculpture, St. George and the Dragon (circa 1489), which is considered one of the finest late Gothic works of art in Northern Europe.
Stadion Tunnelbana Station, Stockholm. (2005). I stumbled across this vibrant mural deep within the Stadion T-bana (metro) station several stories below the city. Few people remember that Stockholm was an Olympic city, host of the Fifth Olympiad of the Modern Games in 1912.
The neon lights of the Söderhallarna, Medborgarplatsen (Citizen's Square), Södermalm. (2005). Instead of hostelling it like I usually do, on this trip I shelled out the extra kronor to stay at a hotel in the Södermalm area south of central Stockholm. One of my favourite streets in Söder was Götgatan, an endless strip of trendy bars, restaurants, cafés, and boutiques. Medborgarplatsen sits in the geopraphic centre of both Södermalm and Götgatan.
Some funky sculpture outside of the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art), Skeppsholmen. (2005). This group of sculptures was created by Jean Tinguelys and Niki de Saint Phalles for the 1967 World Exposition in Montréal, and has stood on its current site since 1972.
Kastellholmen. (2005). A charming little medieval castle sits atop a hill on this tiny granite island southeast of central Stockholm. Every morning since 1640, a sailor has hoisted a three-tailed Swedish flag above the castle.
View of central Stockholm from Skeppsholmsbron at dusk. (2005). It was bitterly cold that evening but enduring it was worth it for the view.