If there’s something that never fails to bring a moment of wonderfulness to any day, it’s someone doing something bizarre but acting like it’s normal. In Sweden, I’ve enjoyed a cyclist riding the pavements with a 3 metre pole balanced on his shoulders and a nonchalant expression on his face. I’ve seen a wild child zooming the footpaths on a full size quad bike, terrorising buggy pushing mothers … but I’m sure that what I’m seeing now only happens in Denmark. Continue reading “Only in Denmark”
The instant you step off the train, you know that there’s something about Copenhagen. From the clock that sings in the same key as Greensleeves (E minor—apparently), to the buildings that look borrowed from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, it’s no surprise that Copenhagen is an international cultural capital where creativity seems to just dance out of the pavement. Continue reading “Creative City: Copenhagen”
Maybe it’s because I haven’t left my apartment all day, but I have a sudden urge to be like Bear Grylls and immerse myself in the wild. It’s 9:20pm, but it’s still light.
I walk to the woods I like to run in on my occasional fit-freak days, and after some flower ogling and birdsong listening I’m in such a daze of nature filled dreams that I come over all Pocahontas and leave the main path. Continue reading “If you go down to the woods today …”
The streets are empty. There are no cars on the roads. Apartment windows are dark. Have aliens abducted the people of Linköping? No. Eurovision is on.
I venture out to find a public viewing. Swedish love for Eurovision is legendary, so as I trot along the overcast streets you can understand why, firstly, I’m intrigued to see how Swedes celebrate, and secondly, why I expect to see pubs overflowing with people wearing nothing but flags and Viking horns. Continue reading “A Swedish Eurovision”
The six Swedes stare at me. My cheeks burn. These eloquent Vikings wait for my response to their stream of questions, but for all I know they could be asking about my views on the endangered Chinese salamander.
Snow clings to the pines beneath a blue sky as dusted field after dusted field flashes past the coach window. It’s beautiful, Sweden. Last time I was on this coach, in October, this enchanting landscape and the promise of free Wi-Fi led me and Joe to squeal with delight about our discovery (thanks Google) that wolves, lynx and bears could be lurking beyond these trees.
“This says brown bears don’t attack people!”
“Wow! A wolverine’s a real animal!”
But this time, I’m on my own. And the excitement I felt by seeing a new storybook land for the first time is now replaced by the sober realisation that this storybook land is now my home. This is my own reverse Brexit—to Europe. Continue reading “My Own Reverse Brexit”
In February 2016, I rock up in Sweden. Shivering, but with over-booted, sweating feet, I wait in the tiny passport control queue at Skavsta Airport. Continue reading “Cold Landing: Our Millennial Flight”