yesterday as the plane dipped below the clouds i got my first glimpe of sweden. i was unprepared for the green wetness. layers of deepening shades of green. coming from a drought in california to such lushness was divine. the land below was blanketed in thick forests of tall trees. there was blue sky even as storm clouds gathered. if anyone thinks i was disappointed by the rain you’d be wrong. wronger than wrong. i was the opposite of disappointed.
the armanda airport was orderly and easy to navigate. i got my passport stamped, picked up my bag, and headed outside to look for a taxi. just as i stepped out the door, the rain began to fall. i unzipped my bag, took out my rain jacket and hat which i’d left on top, and stepped out into the cool rain. soon i was speeding towards stockholm with ahmed at the wheel.
as we got into stockholm i craned my neck this way and that trying to see out of the rainy window. there were hints of blurry spires, and cupolas soaring into the skies. brick and stone buildings in a warm palette of golden colors against the gray clouds. beautiful.
but what caught my eye more than anything were the blooming trees, shrubs, vines, pots. EVERYWHERE you look something is blooming.
some of the flowers i recognized, but many were new to me.
once i had checked into the apartment and unpacked, i left again an hour later on a reconnaissance mission of the neighborhood.
trader joe’s bag in hand, i found a market 5 min. away. how fun it is to buy food in foreign places! i took photos of several things in the market and texted ingrid asking for advice. she was helpful as were the other shoppers. steer clear of me locals if you see me coming. you will get stopped and questioned. sometimes more than once. in the end i came home with a bag full of known and unknown treats.
the apartment has large screenless windows with wide sills. i flung them all opened, leaned out, and took in the courtyard & street below. my little home for the next 2 weeks is quiet and bright. the large windows and glass doors flood this 4th floor apartment! lamps, pendant lights, and chandeliers add a golden glow. poor lighting in a rental is an irritation i like to avoid. i set up my travel journal table in front of the balcony and organized my pens & watercolors. i can’t get properly situated until everything is unpacked.
today my main goal was to acquire a 7 day metro/bus access card. i walked to the nearest metro and bought my card more easily than i anticipated. it’s always easier of course when there’s no language barrier and a game of charades isn’t needed.
with my bus map in hand i set off to see how many of stockholm’s 14 islands i could land on and how many bridges i could cross. quite a few! i hopped on and off whenever something good caught my eye.
the weather is around 60 degrees and there is sun mixed with clouds. i brought an umbrella from the apartment but didn’t need it all day. some of the busses had heat which was surprising.
the enormous leafy trees ruffle and sway in the slightest breeze. so lovely.
stockholm is a green paradise of parks. everywhere there are velvety lawns of grass, comfortable benches, and people out enjoying their summer weather.
…but now it’s 2 am and i’m writing this blog post WIDE AWAKE. i’ll resist the urge to stay up all night listening to the wind and the patter of raindrops and instead do the sensible thing and head to bed.
the sun rises in another 90 minutes or so…
see you soon with another dispatch!