Immortalizing summer

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Today, I saw a sign in a gallery for tasteless photo art that said, “Immortalizing summer”. I couldn’t really understand how it related to the photos but it occured to me that my attempt to immortalize my lovely Swedish summer was kind of washed-up the moment I landed and started, almost compulsively, working off my to do lists again.

Actually, my trip back already began, let’s say, interestingly. I was planning to check in online and add a bag only to find that I was no longer booked on the 12-am-flight with airberlin but on the 9-am-flight with Eurowings. After 52 minutes in their waiting loop, they told me I should have gotten an email about that. Well, I didn’t.

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On my last night, Stockholm saw a lovely rainbow. The end of the rainbow is in Farsta. I am not surprised because that’s where my dear Marita lives.

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This last weekend I also attended my friends’ wedding in Örebro. So much love!

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They had lots of beautiful decorations around the theme music but this one was my favorite. We all had different parts of the song “Vilar glad i din famn” (I rest happily in your embrace) around our cutlery. Internet tells me it was written for Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding. No wonder I like it so much. “I stand holding hands with you / Darkness falls and you shine so […] Where you wander / my yearning wants to live […] Close to you I want to be / calm with your warm soul […] I look for you / I call out your name everywhere/ until I rest happily in your embrace”.

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Malin, Axel, Kristina and I were the Uppsala-choir-friends attending. Malin took a photo of Axel of me that looks as if I had just inaugurated something at Axel’s extremely successful company/super important state authority/very historic family castle.

And now that’s all behind me, the remote lakes, the best friends, the shopping sprees. Work made its demands on me the second I walked in, and it’s a lot these days, but it’s also the place where I was greeted so enthusiastically this morning that it almost makes up for not being Stockhome anymore.

Back in town

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The second last day pÄ landet I woke up to this breakfast Joraine had prepared for me, tasted am-az-ing!

And we’re back in town! Or actually two different ones, Joraine continued to Gothenburg and I stayed where I belong, in the capital. It is quite a difference to be in the city after a week of no make up, same clothes every day and biking as the only means of transportation. Now the city’s pulse is capturing me again and we’ll see how long I can make the countryside calm last.

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Of course we browsed the shops upon return. Designtorget sells nice stickers these days!

The new attraction

When I moved to Germany, I said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back when the new commuter station is done”. Two weeks ago the new pendeltĂ„gsstation opened in the central station and at Odenplan – and I still live in Germany. Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans and all that.

But that did not keep me from inspecting the new station, of course. Well, first I got lost twice when just using the trains. I felt like such a tourist, it was awful. The third time I went down there, I came to show my mother the art that is part of the stations. All metro stations in Stockholm have art, making it the longest art gallery in the world, and even the commuters now get to experience new creations. The info material about Citybanan explicitly states that the stations are built with regard to “security, space, light and beauty”.

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All signage has been updated too and is now continously bilingual, a trend that I am observing in the whole of Stockholm.

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This video screen shows something special every half hour, like e.g. the pictogram people having a party.

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Hard to capture, but these combs have mirrors from all sides, creating a special picture

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Rather random sausage.

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“Vi kan vĂ€l bara gĂ„ till Gamla stan och titta in pĂ„ olika restauranger och bestĂ€mma var vi vill Ă€ta.” “- Som turister?!” “Helen, helping or hurting?”

“Man kan inte stĂ„ ut med Grinda nĂ€r ingen gifter sig dĂ€r, det Ă€r sĂ„ trĂ„kigt”.

“UrsĂ€kta att jag Ă€r sen, jag var i krig”. [aka spelade Battlegrounds]

The sound of summer

 

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When my mother said she would want to visit me this year in Sweden to experience what she had only seen on the blog so far, one of the things that immediately went up on the list of items of “real Stockholm summer experience” was AllsĂ„ng pĂ„ Skansen. It was my fourth or fifth time but I felt like a true AllsĂ„ng Ambassador because I brought six people there that had never been before: my mother, my friend Linus, Lil’ Pesto and Amalia, his girlfriend, his mother and Amalia’s parents. Everyone had great fun, and my mom’s summary was very to the point: It’s a intergenerational fun evening with a broad variety of artists, but the hostess “sounds so strange” (i.e. Southern Swedish).

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Strolling around beautiful Skansen

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My paradise

My mother wanted to see the Stockholm archipelago. “I only ever get to go to Sweden in February and November”, she complained. So I took her to what is paradise for me, and the weather gods gave us their (somewhat unexpected) blessing.

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As you guessed, this is still the vibrant town of NorrtÀlje where we stopped before going to the uttermost parts of the sea.

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I particularily liked this street name, “uphill”.

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In the Swedish country side, mail boxes aren’t at the houses but at the central spot to make things easier for the postman.

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The best window views I know are the ones from the archipelago boats

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Does a teacher live here?

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Someone got married at Norröra that weekend. We found their traces everywhere, like here where the signs say “Ceremony” and “Party”.

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The rose petals were still in the tiny chapel from the wedding

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To the Lord give glory and let his praise be known on the islands, it says above the altar

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Coming back into Stockholm in the unique Nordic evening light

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Let the pictures speak

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Already after day two in Sweden without a blog entry, I got a reminder to attend to my duties. I didn’t listen, rebel that I am. It’s just too much happening to keep up but I at least took some photos. As another reader told me those are best with captions, I am thinking how about only captions then!

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Stroller parking spots. Because Sweden.

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Went with my friend Elena who had to get stuff done at Swedbank. I was so amazed by their interior design at their office.

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Exccessive shopping was done, too. At the real tantbutik. Don’t even dare to say where.

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Met Andrea who showed me around at the Foreign Ministry. So cool!

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Among the best parts of the day is definitely coming home to Bianca and Francesco.

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Casually hanging out in the Foreign Ministry’s representation rooms.

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ABBA museum is advertising with lyric lines and I love it.

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This is a very Swedish thing that you use for cleaning your sink. It has a smiling cat face.

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Buy a pizza scented candle!

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Kulturhuset knows how to do color blocking. Watch and learn.

Always

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For years, it has been the same routine now. Online when checking in, I pick a seat on the right side of the plane, by the window, because that is where you can see the city when you fly in. I pack and leave the house and think that I detest traveling and that maybe this isn’t worth it. I get annoyed in the queues at the airport. I get on the plane, I put the Melissa Horn playlist into my ears, I fall asleep. I wake up when the plane shakes, going through the Scandinavian skies. Then, only moments later, we break through the clouds and the fourteen islands reveal themselves. Blue and green lies below us and my eyes quickly find the Ericsson Globe to navigate from there. Of course, I have to focus a little to orientate myself: KaknĂ€s Tower, Skansen, I look upon miniature Stockholm, and it all feels so familiar. I even see the yellow and white tiny train that is Arlanda Express. The sail boats, so small now, seem to sit still on the shining sea and lake. The plane continues north, suburban areas, a grey stone church becomes apparent. Trees and trees, more trees than DĂŒsseldorf has in total meet me just on this part of the route. That glorious view takes away the hassle of traveling, the second thoughts. Always has. Always will.

The sun greets me as we touch down. Not the hot, western German sun, no. But this one shines long into the night.