Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Strolling in the sunshine (finally)

Grand Hotel Strömkajen Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
After weeks and weeks of gray, gloomy, boo-hoo weather, we finally had a few days of sunshine last week (meaning, two days) (and now the gray is back with a vengeance—10C / 50F at the beginning of June? Really?!).

Knowing I shouldn't let a good-weather day pass without making the most of it, I took advantage of R having an appointment downtown before a family lunch at Bockholmen to hop on the back of the motorcycle with him and spend the hour and a half before our lunch and during his appointment to take my first walk ever past The Grand Hotel on Södra Blasieholmskajen along Strömkajen and across Skeppsholmsbron to the island of Skeppsholmen, one of Stockholm's 14, and one that I hadn't ever been to before.

Strömkajen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
The Royal Palace, Strömkajen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com

It was the most perfect day to be out—the waterway was lined with people outside for a coffee or an ice cream, sails were being hoisted and boats polished along the docks, and there was just an incredible energy in the air—probably every one else felt the same as me. Carpe diem, and whatnot.

The bridge across from downtown to Skeppsholmen is teeny tiny (with one-way motor traffic), but the pedestrian walkways bordering the road are roomy and there's a spot in the middle where two shiny gold crowns, one for each side of the bridge, stand waiting for you to take a picture of them (like Chicago's bean). So, I finally joined the ranks and took a few of my own before continuing over to Skeppsholmen.

Skeppsholmsbron, Strömkajen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
Skeppsholmsbron, Strömkajen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
Gamla Stan, Strömkajen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com

Not that Stockholm is a hustle-y, bustle-y city, but stepping onto Skeppsholmen I noticed an immediate difference. It was a bit quieter (the loudest sound being the clanging from the above ship's rigging), and I felt the strength of the sun much more, and since the island is more fauna than water and buildings, the intensity of the green everywhere and the scent of jasmine and lilac in the air were more powerful than elsewhere in the city.

As I walked along the coast of Skeppsholmen without any particular destination in mind and the vague idea that perhaps a fika would be nice, I realized that the island reminded me of NYC's Governor Island, except a little less creepy, seeing as how it's inhabited and populated every day of the week, not just weekends.

But it had that same bucolic feeling, with charming low-rise buildings and hills and random art sculptures (okay not so random since there's a major museum there). As I passed this yellow building I thought it was an apartment building, but it turned out to be Hotel Skeppsholmen, a place I had saved on Google Maps, but as I was on the way to lunch and they only served proper meals, I kept on walking, keeping an eye out for a suitable place to fika.

Hotel Skeppsholmen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
View from Moderna Museet, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
Cafe Blom, Arkitektur och designcentrum, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm  |  Strolling in the sunshine, finally on afeathery*nest  |  http://afeatherynest.com
I finally found it as I steered myself up a slight hill towards Moderna Museet, where a gorgeous view of the city awaited from its terrace and where I could pass through to the Architecture & Design Center's adorable outdoor café, Café Blom where I indulged in my newest Swedish treat: the vast array of lovely waters, teas and tonics, in this case an Elderflower sparkling soda water and a nöttopp (my alternative to my usual chokladboll, this one being a hazelnut, gooey ball of amazingness sans chocolate).

I perched myself outside and pulled out the book I had stashed in my bag that morning—one of the Anne of Green Gables books, a series I re-read every year or so. Just me, Anne, a little birdie who didn't sit still long enough to be photographed and the sun.

(And then R, who zoomed up after a bit to take me away to lunch).

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One year ago: Cleo, my new Stålhästen & Socializing in Stockholm
Two years ago: Sublime Saturdays & Sundays & All the small things

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XOXO,
J.