There’s no need to apologise for being a tourist in the handsome city of Stockholm. Well that’s what I did, along with my Swedish friend and city dweller. A British visitor gave her a rare excuse to stroll at snail’s pace through Gamla Stan – the old quarter of the Swedish capital – and look around the imposing City Hall and clamber its tower for those delectable views across the water.
Also, don’t be sorry for using your camera here. There is a lot to capture, especially if the Scandinavian summer skies are flecked with fast-moving fluffy white clouds. The City Hall crowds, the mustard palette of Stockholm’s old buildings, snippets of architecture – and an obligatory pilgrimage to the Abba Museum – are all there for the taking.
If being a tourist is good enough for a Swede in their own town, then it’s good enough for me. Here’s some of our best bits…
A mere detail on a recent visit to the Swedish capital, Stockholm. On a warm, sunny Scandinavian summer’s day, we visited a wonderful garden centre on the island of Djurgarden in this achingly handsome city. It’s a little table fashioned from some very slim branches for weary visitors to place their lingonberry tea, and comes with two equally organic woodland chairs. Maybe it should be a new range to hit Ikea…
A little section of the Kent coast in south-east England has a magical little secret. At low tide off a beach in the charming resort of Whitstable, a shelf of pebbles slowly reveals itself, creating a pathway that leads out to sea. The urge to take a walk along ‘the street’ is irresistible, and visitors to this part of the seaside enjoy it in their droves.
It is a photographic gift to capture as it slowly grows and alters its shape. I was lucky enough to see it from a nearby beach house where friends exchanged their marriage vows, adding to a memorable occasion.
It is 10 years today since a series of bombings on London’s transport network killed 52 people.
I visited the 7 July memorial in Hyde Park. It is a stark, beautiful and very poignant arrangement of 52 stainless steel columns, each one representing the individuals who lost their lives during the city’s morning rush hour. Every slender pillar is inscribed with the time and location of the attacks and link together their four locations. There is also a stone which bears the names of the 52 people.
The permanent memorial was visited by others while I was there, while three bouquets of flowers were placed by the stone ahead of the landmark anniversary. It possesses an architectural purity while has a complexity of form, casting shadows with the sunlight and almost piercing the sky. It is a fitting marker of remembrance for an entire city and beyond.