The weather's been dismal and gloomy this week in Stockholm (please note: it's May and I'm still shivering in a jacket and scarf), but that hasn't stopped me from exploring the city’s many sites. Yesterday's agenda? The cobbled streets of Södermalm.
After a grueling 200 stairs up a steep precipice yesterday, not to mention the three flights out of the tunnelbana at Slussen, I made it to Södra Teatern, the oldest private theater in Stockholm. From there, I took in a panoramic view of the many islands of the city, looking past the spires of Gamla Stan into Norrmalm and east to Djurgarden.
Even in a dense fog, not unlike that of San Francisco, it was an enchanting view.
From there, I made a point of getting lost in the timeless beauty of the Medieval city, imagining the sounds of horses' hooves and rickety carts careening down the steep streets and the sounds of women's skirts swishing as they walked to the nearest torget.
As a sidenote: It was baffling to me when I first got here why seemingly 95% of Stockholm residents prefer white trainers to say, a heeled bootie, flatform or wedge. In New York, wearing impractical footwear is a point of pride. You hail your Uber, you go on with your day.
But now, seeing how much of Stockholm is comprised of A) stairs and B) cobblestone, I understand the trainers part. The white shoes/black pants combination? Not so much, but I'm willing to assimilate.
Down one cobbled street lined with colorful wooden buildings, I saw the dome of a church and decided to investigate.
A quick glance at a sign outside confirmed this was Katarina Kyrka, a 400-year-old cathedral.
And, as fate would have it, there was an organ recital happening right at that moment. I sneaked in the back door and listened to some seriously dope renditions of Bach before plopping down in a coffeeshop for my daily dose of writing.
It’s strange to think Mike and I have been living here a month already. In many ways, the quotidian feels, well, routine.
We shop at Hemköp instead of Whole Foods and now eat things like knäckebröd, smörg and jam for breakfast. We fika, we get dagens lunch specials. And some 4,000 miles away, life goes on in New York (where, I hear, the sun is shining much more warmly and brightly.)
Oh well, my Swedish pale skin loves these dreary days. More of them, I say!
PS - Be sure to follow my Instagram, @bstebner, and #bethonthego to see all of my travel adventures!