Trekanten is a small lake, in Liljeholmen. I will be tell that not far from here Alfred Nobel did the tests of his recently invented dynamite. But now it’s in silence. Liljeholmen is a quiet suburb. And Trekanten is frozen. So much, that you can walk over the water without any risk. It’s only 16:30, but the Sun is already falling in the sunset. It’s getting dark in Stockholm and everything is orange, grey and blue. Above all, blue.
Windows have tiple glazing. Usually it’s double, but there’s a nearby highway, so they put an extra glass in this buildings, because of the noise. It must be around seven in the evening, maybe eight, but it’s already dark night. What was white before, it’s black now. Dinner was delicious: moose meat with vegetables. And a hot tea in good company, knowing that it’s freezing out there, must be one of the biggest pleasures in life.
Walking on Stockholm’s streets is not as easy as it seems. Where the Sun doesn’t reach, there’s ice; where there’s ice, they put sand. Virtually everywhere. That explains why you have to take off your shoes when comming in home: in every latitude, even here, water plus sand equals mud. It takes a while to get used to look where you step, moving your feet carefully until you check it’s sure ground, and even then you can’t avoid an attempt of slip from time to time, although without consequences. But it’s even more annoying the constant nasal dripping…
Here it dawns very early, but museums, and everything in general, don’t open until 10:00, when the morning Sun is already quite high in the sky and it even dares to heat a little, very little. The Vasamuseet for instance, in Djurgården island, is quite popular. In the same island is Skansen, a park where you can visit a reconstruction of a traditional farm from the North of the country. For the atmosphere to be perfect it doesn’t lack the polar cold. Thanks god for the cap.
You can get to Djurgården walking. First along the Riddarfjärden shore, which will be sailed by boats during Spring, but that’s now a frozen plain between Södermalm and Kungsholmen; then you must cross Gamla Stan, the old city, a small island of palaces and colourful houses; finally, through Östermalm, the neighbourhood of the old new riches.
‘Beautiful’ is not a word I would use to describe Stockholm. At least, not in February. Beyond Gamla Stan buildings are grey stone on a white background; trees are brown skeletons on a white background, and if it starts snowing, it’s white on a white background. But, no matter how much I walk against the wind, among flakes or over ice, I walk happy, knowing that, at sunset, I’ll be back in Liljeholmen warmth.
Blackeberg is at the outskirts of the outskirts. Thirty minutes in metro, T-Bana they call it here, heading to Hässelby Strand. It seems a quiet neighbourhood, surrounded by forests, with wide squares and an unmistakable T-Bana station. It must be lovely in other season. But it was like this, snowed, how Eli and Oskar knew it.
The snow is a mattres for the sounds to rest. I’m not surprised that the best ambient music is done here. In fact, I’m sure this land is better described with music than with words.
It wasn’t planned to be still here on February 26th, but I had always wanted to come to Sweden, and it seemed that Sweden didn’t want me to leave.
It’s Saturday, and finally the Swedes appear. They were always here, of course, but today they seem more numerous. Happy walkyrias among mortals in their way to conquer the malls and shops of Drottninggatan. It might be the Sun and the nice temperature, that invites to take off the cap at least, to skate on ice in Kungsträdgården and to eat semla: a delicious bun made of flour and cardamom, filled with cream and almond pastry with sugar.
Even at twelve degrees below zero, Stockholm has the sweetest smile.