Stockholm Winter Break

As we both had a few days holiday to use up, J and I decided to take the opportunity to visit J’s cousin Hetal and her partner, Viktor, in Stockholm, Sweden. Neither of us had ever been to that part of Europe before, so we were really looking forward to seeing the guys and sampling a little Swedish hospitality. It’s always great visiting cities where friends are living and are well established as they already know all the best places away from the usual tourist areas. Although really only a short hop from Heathrow, I still didn’t fancy lugging my Nikons on the plane, so opted for my ‘go to’ travel kit – a Fujifilm X-E2 with a XF 35mm f/1.4 prime. (I also had my XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom for when I need some more architectural shots, but it never made it out of the bag on this trip).

After a good chat and glass or two of fizz, we headed out into Stockholm for dinner. It was a little chilly (well, it IS Sweden), but the sun was shining and casting a golden light over the harbour and old town as it gradually sunk lower in the sky…

As we walked into town, Hetal & Viktor pointed out a couple of locations used in the “The Girl With/Who…” films, based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.

Don’t think we made it very far before we found our first wine bar… :)

The following morning in the flat, the girls did each other’s makeup before we headed out…

By partially closing the curtains, I managed to create a thin strip of light. Sometimes it’s the quality of light that counts, not the quantity…

Another day, another coffee shop…

After a bight to eat, we took the ferry to Djurgården (Animal Garden) for a walk in the park. Hetal & Viktor recently announced their engagement and always keen to practice a bit of wedding photography, I suggested that I try for a half decent ‘couple’ shot of them while we were out walking around the lake. They thought it was all too cheesy for them and mostly cracked up laughing every time I tried to get them to look loving into each other’s eyes. I’m quite pleased I managed to get a few though.

After all that, we decided we needed another cocktail! [Cocktails seemed to be quite a feature of our trip. The previous evening, H&V took us to an amazing pop-up bar where a couple of friends and expert mixologists created eight of the best I’ve ever tasted.] We walked along to the banks of the harbour in the late afternoon to a bar that seemed to be selling designer knickers as well as drinks…

Jayshri’s Winter Cup cocktail…

Once the cocktails were finished and the expensive lingerie admired, we set off for home via the Stockholm metro.

The Stockholm subway system is said to be the world’s longest art exhibit – 110 kilometers long. Traveling by subway is like traveling through an exciting story that extends from the artistic pioneers of the 1950s to the art experiments of today. Over 90 of the 100 subway stations in Stockholm have been decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by over 150 artists. The Kungsträdgården subway station looks like an archaeological excavation, with the remains of the old Stockholm Makalös palace. At Östermalmstorg the artist Siri Derkert highlights women’s rights and peace and environmental issues.

As we were eating out for a couple of nights, we decided to stop off at a supermarket and get some ingredients to cook dinner back at the flat.

At home preparing dinner…

Our final day was spend lazing around the flat before heading out for a cinnamon bun and a coffee (there’s something of a pattern developing here). H&V had to work during the day, but once Hetal got home, we caught a taxi to meet Viktor at Stockholm’s photography museum for a quick look at the exhibitions and dinner.

Within a former Swedish customs house is Stockholm’s rather excellent photography museum. They are regularly changing their exhibitions, but when we were there, the featured artists included Ewa Stackelberg’s fotograms and Andres Serrano (I seem to recall that his “Piss Christ” was removed from show when it was exhibited in London). The other really great thing about Fotografiskas, is their restaurant on the top floor. Overlooking an inlet into the old town harbour, this restaurant specialises in all that is green or seasonal. It’s not strictly vegetarian, but many dishes are and they’re some of the best I’ve ever tasted!

This image is shows the lights of Stockholm harbour through a window which also reflects the restaurant and an exhibition print on the wall.

Hope you enjoyed looking at these images. Please leave a comment or share.

Steve

Posted bySteve Butler

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

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