Today was the last day of our Easter holidays here in Sweden and we thought that we should take advantage of the sunshine. Little did we know that some snowfall would surprise us as well… Oh, well. That’s life. Our plan was to go and see the cherry blossoms in Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm. It would turn out to be a walk among flowers, both in Kungsträdgården and at Drottninggatan.
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A Walk Among Flowers: Kungsträdgården
Our first stop of the day was Kungsträdgården to view the cherry blossoms that are currently painting the trees in pink color. Kungsträdgården, or Kungsan, is a park in central Stockholm. Each year, the cherry blossom attracts both locals and tourists with their cameras. If the sun was shining when we left home, then it was cloudy once we arrived in Kungsträdgården. Luckily the cherry blossoms helped with lightening our day and it really is something special with the flowers as well as all the people enjoying their arrival. It is one of the best signs of the arrival of spring here in Stockholm. The 63 Japanese trees were planted in Stockholm in 1998 and at this time of the year, they are usually blooming.
A Walk Among Flowers: Drottninggatan
From Kungsträdgården we continued our journey to the very heart of the city. It was our first visit to central Stockholm since the terror attack on Friday the 7th. The attack took place on Drottninggatan and once the smoke had cleared four people were dead and several more injured. The street where it happened, Drottninggatan, is a major pedestrian street in Stockholm. Fortunately, we were not affected directly by the attack.
For me, it only meant insecurity about how to get back home from work. Eventually, I got a ride with a colleague and was home not much later than normal. For Susann who is working in downtown Stockholm, it was more complicated. They were stuck at the office as the news about what was actually happening changed from minute to minute. First, there was the main attack. Soon afterward there were reports of shootings, as close as on the street outside their office. All the public transport in the center was canceled as well, which further complicated any attempt to get home. Luckily at 7 p.m. she and a colleague was finally picked up from the office by her colleague’s boyfriend and at around 8 in the evening, she was back home. That was only about two hours later than normal.
Today we decided to visit the spot where the attack took place. We haven’t felt the need to see it before now. We consider it a way to show respect for everyone in bigger need to see the site. Ten days after that horrible day, we finally stood there admiring the beds of flowers that have been left at the site. The feeling really is that the inhabitants of Stockholm and Sweden will not let this event affect our way of life.
After Sun There Is Snowfall
We did have the possibility to enjoy a bit more sunshine during the afternoon. The sun was still shining when we entered the gates of the Swedish History Museum. We had never before visited the museum and thought that it would be a good time to take advantage of the museums that have free admission. Learning a bit more about the history of Sweden is also beneficial from time to time. The museum is quite big and it has a lot of interesting information and artifacts relating to the history of this small country. An hour or two later, when exiting the museum, we were greeted by snowfall. April weather really cannot be trusted here in Sweden. A walk among flowers turned into a walk in snowfall.
As this is the end of Easter, we hope that you all have had a great holiday.