Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sun Sun Sun

Never before have I seen so much continuous sun.
Sunrise: 3:44 AM, Sunset 9:48 PM (twilight in between), Days of consecutive sunshine: 14. In the winter the sunrise was after 8am and the sunset was before 3pm, so it may explain why I am a little excited about it all. On the weekend it may top 30 degrees.
Just like many many other Swedish residents, a fine Saturday evening means a BBQ in the park - it is about 9pm in this photo.
I have been doing plenty of cycling around Stockholm after work and on the weekends, watch some video of me riding through the forest, close to the centre of the city.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Drottningholm Slott

Just to make my Australian friends and family jealous - today it was sunny and 24 in Stockholm, the sunset is after 9pm. This whole week there has been nothing but blue skies and lots and lots of sun. So nice is the weather, I've partly adopted the Swedish way of arriving at work at 7-30, in an attempt to leave at 4. It gives me at least an hour to jump on a bike and go for ride around the parks in the city before getting something to eat.

Today a group of us headed out by ferry to Drottningholm where this magnificent palace and gardens are located. This is the private home of the Swedish royal family, but unlike places like the UK, almost all of the gardens are public space and we spent a fair amount of the day walking around them and just sitting on the grass in the sun like lizards along with hundreds of other sun deprived Swedes.

Compared to just a month ago (photos) with a visit to another much smaller palace and gardens, all the trees in the city have now sprouted leaves, changing the landscape within a couple of weeks.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cruise to Helsinki

One of the well known activities to do whilst in Stockholm is to take one of the many ferry boats across the Baltic to some more eastern country. The long weekend in Sweden provided a good opportunity for some of us to take this infamous cruise to Helsinki.
This is not the first time I have visited Helsinki, I was there for a night in January 2006 when it was much, much colder.

Here is a similar looking boat, taken as we headed out of Stockholm through the spectacular archipelago.

A very sunny day outside Helsinki cathedral, probably the most recognisable building in the city. This time, I did not have to watch out for ice when climbing the steps.
Another visit to the Fortress of Suomenlinna (Finnish), Sveaborg (Swedish) off the coast of Helsinki. This time it was green rather than white. A place with a very interesting history - originally a fort to defend the eastern border of the then much enlarged Kingdom of Sweden, before it was surrendered to the Russians exactly 200 years to the day we visited (3rd May 1808), before becoming part of Finland in 1917.
The view of Helsinki as we left on the ship back to Stockholm
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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Springtime in Stockholm

The weather here has started to become very pleasant as Stockholmers come out from hibernation. April meant the return of the Stockholm city bikes after they also went into hibernation during the winter period (post from last October). This time I bought a season pass for the whole summer.
Here is a photo of myself and some colleagues from work enjoying the area around foreshore of Djurgården.

and again, at the opening weekend for the season of the well known amusement park in Stockholm, Gröna Lund.
On the evening of the last day of April (before Sweden's national day on 1st May), it is Walpurgis Night, celebrated by having large bonfires in parks around the place. This one that we went to was on the island of Kungsholmen, not far from where I am staying.