When I was little I went on ‚Vacations on Saltkrokan’ with Pelle and the dog Bootsman, ran in the shed with Emil and sailed to Takatukaland with Pippi. My mum was always worried I would jump of the roof with nothing but an umbrella following Madita´s example and I could watch ‚The Brothers Lionheart’ only until evil Tengil appeared on the screen. Astrid Lindgren gave me some of my most precious childhood memories and I am glad I had the possibility to finally visit her home.
I am traveling to Stockholm for iGNANTravel. In this new category we'll show you places beyond standardized tourist traps and locations from a different, more attractive point of view.
Stockholm, framed by woods, water, nature, nature and more nature ist the capital of Sweden and my travel destination. Up in the far North the light seems more intense, the air more clean and the sky more blue. Maybe the pressure on the aircabin is still working on my brain but this impression will last the coming days. As I get closer to the inner-city I notice that most people passing my way look pretty damn good. Regarding this phenomenon it came to my ears that in former times the Vikings enjoyed to go on a short trip to Ireland to take the most beautiful women back with them to Scandinavia and that is why Scandinaviens are so good looking and the Irish people... yea well, anyway.
I must say that I also never saw that many designer shades, elegant suits, high-heels, big watches, fancy bags and bottles of champagne on the tables. The mood is Cote D´Ázur like and even Seven Eleven looks somewhat exclusive. I will find out that this is because I am in ‚Östermalm’, the more exclusive area in town. On the opposite side of the water, in 'Södermalm' are the old homes of worker families and today there are living mainly students and young people who attracted also some nice little cafés and shops selling edgy second hand clothes. Right in the middle you can find 'Gamla Stan', the historic district offering small streets full of nooks and crannies, plenty of souvenir shops, old buildings and the royal palace. Swedes are happy, that is regularly proved by various surveys. In fact people are always really friendly, giving me their best smile and to communicate in English is no problem at all. Furthermore it feels like everyone I meet is kind of passionate for what he/she are doing, maybe that is a reason why there is still some traditional craftmanship and small shops existing besides the mainstream chains. This, as well as the beautiful townscape is what I enjoyed the most. The city is modern though still in touch with its traditions, it seems to be apart from the rest of the world and is still a pioneer in so many fields. People feel related to their country but are at the same time open for new things. I would like to come back to the country of little red houses, the home of my childhood heroes, to the town on the water, to Stockholm.
Text & pictures by Caroline Kurze