Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Morjens! Some time has passed without any new word from me. There was some work, some exams, a bit of sleepiness, slight depression - and there was also one trip. It seems Cinnamon Book is opening a whole serious on Nordic capitals; there is at least one city that will follow the previous booklet about Helsinki. Last weekend, thus meaning from Thursday 17th of April to Monday 20th of April, I traveled to Sweden. My one and only Swedish destination was the capital Stockholm.

First of all, how it started. On Thursday evening our group of students arrived to Turku. As I have some memories connected with that city, I have neither planned nor expected to appear in the place again. At least the castle was still there, still lurking above the harbour, so gloomy and solemn as the whole Turku can sometimes feel like. Anyway, the city had turned into my gateway to Sweden. There was big ferry waiting for us, or better, we had to wait for the ferry about an hour - and finally, off we sailed!

The experience on the ferry was amusing, there and back again. On the way to Sweden we were lucky enough to get some good and fancy cabins. Again, as with my Estonian experience, people invaded Tax Free Shop, providing themselves with cheaper amount of alcohol. For me, it was more interesting to sleep on the sailing ferry. At one point the ship also stopped in Ahvenanmaa (Åland); I cannot say when as I was sleeping and none of us did not even realise the fact. Finally, at about six in the morning, we were kindly woken by the ferry staff - and there was Sweden, waiting to greet us.

Friday started with sunny weather and a long walk from the harbour to our hostel, which was conveniently located in Gamla Stan, The Old Town. Such a shiny spring. The day continued with walking around the city.The weather was so nice, sunny and warm that I decided to walk around, take pictures and try to enjoy the big capital feeling for the rest of the trip as well. Nevertheless, slightly cloudy Saturday was dedicated to walking already before my decision. There was a guided tour around the centre, which became handy as I would not be able to discover some spots by myself. Magnificent buildings, parks turning green, blooming cheery trees.

Later on, I took my time to check out the main shopping district more carefully. The experience of Swedish commercialism was the most strongest impression of the trip. So many things. So much choice - even too much. Hard to explain, but those big shopping malls, in generally called Gallerian, confused me slightly. I like shopping, sometimes, but not if I am confronted with such a mass of products. From the cheapest brands, of course underlined with an infinite number of local H&M's, all the way to fancy high-class items. Well-fare society by all means, or at least so it seemed. Too much goods to choose just everywhere. Highly developed commercialism that creates instant happiness - and I guess also emptiness, and boredom. Hard to explain again. I am not sure if I am done for such a world; I hate myself turning commercial, but it happens.

Last day of our staying in Stockholm occurred. Sunday, clear sky, sunny and warm. I decided to check out at least one museum. My way did not lead to those the most famous ones Stockholm can offer to an eager tourist: I had chosen Strindbergsmuseet, Strindberg's Museum. August Strindberg is perhaps the most famous Swedish playwright; being a dramaturg, I have liked his works a lot. The museum shows his apartment with the atmosphere as Strindberg would still live there, just being out for a while to get some sunlight. Interesting and something to remember.

After this cultural event, some more walking and taking pictures followed... until the time when we had to reach the harbour and, after some confusion, also our ferry. Next morning, Turku was gloomily grinning again... but nevertheless, we were safely back to Finland.

What can I finally say after this short visit of Stockholm? Only this - yes, it was far too short, too busy and a bit too anxious. I cannot just run from one museum to another, with no time to enjoy my life properly. Some impressions about the capital of Scandinavia, about Swedish history, and also about joys of highly developed commercialism have emerged. I do not feel I would belong to big cities, I have never liked them. So many people rushing everywhere, so many tourists, crazy and crowded. However, as Finland, Sweden also seems to be proud on the moose. Fluffy moose-souvenirs were actually the same as here, just the flag on them was different. Vikings are everywhere as well; we don't have them in Finland, since we have Kalevala, but they were similar to those I saw in Iceland. And it was really worth trying some of Swedish sweets.

All in all, I would like to visit Stockholm and, even more, Sweden again. I did not even experience that proper Sweden, with its countryside landscapes. But finally and after this short experience, I still feel I am culturally closer to Finland.


storyteller said...

So me kar zasrbele pete ob tem tvojem pripovedovanju. Že dolgo me mika "sever", vendar menim, da bo še kar nekaj vode preteklo preden se odpravim tja. Jaz čutim/vem, da spadam v velika mesta. Privlačijo/fascinirajo me velika mesta, vendar se strinjam s tabo v nečem. Na "sever" bi šla iskat nekaj povsem drugega. Pokrajino. Neskončen gozd. Jezera. Sončne zahode (ob nam tu nenavadnih urah). Ahhh, some day! :)

kaneli said...

Bil je kar lušten študentski izlet, čeprav je bilo vsekakor premalo časa. Jezer in gozdov imamo na Finskem nešteto - država je velika, prebivalcev malo, ostalo so volkovi, losi in ptiči. :D Kakorkoli, narava je tu res lepa, obisk kakega naravnega parka je za turiste več kot obvezen. Poleg tega Finci tudi zelo skrbijo za okolje. In ja, sedaj, ko se je po dolgi in temni zimi vrnila svetloba, je res fajn.

chobi said...

It would be nice to visit country side of Sweden sometime. Since I don't have so much experience with the capital of Finland, it may not be fair to compare Finland and Sweden just after visiting Stockholm. After all, I agree with you and I also feel much more comfortable being in Finland.

kaneli said...

I lived in Helsinki for about 4 weeks while attending summer university in 2006 - thus I got quite good impression about the city. However, perhaps I should spend almost a month in Stockholm, too, and get more feeling about it... :)