Sweden’s biggest secret is just how beautiful the place is at this time of the year.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking at the weather map and getting really worried.
The temperatures had been below zero since the beginning of December.
But since I’ve arrived, with one or two exceptions, the weather has been really wonderful. Although the temperatures remain low, there are blue skies, and the sun shining on your face can make you feel really fantastic.
And today was a good example of how great that can be.
I went to Millesgården, a sculpture garden in the northern part of Stockholm.
It’s a garden and museum based around the works of a Swedish sculptor who was heavily influenced by classic sculpture from Rome.
That some of these works reflect the Nazi aesthetic of the time, and the sculptor’s own personal political views, is a little uncomfortable to say the least.
But his works are interesting, and he was, apparently one of Rodin’s assistants in France, which you can clearly see in his style.
During summer, the garden is very popular, especially with all of the fountains. But today, the place was all but deserted, aside from myself and one other bloke.
Thus, I was lucky enough to have a couple of hours walking around the garden, and to look closely at the works, without the distraction of other people closeby.
“It’s so good to have all the works to yourself”, one of the guides said to me as we chatted. She added, quite correctly, seeing the sculptures in the snow, also gave them a “magical quality”.
Mostly though, the white background from the snow, really helps the works stand out more. And you can really look at them without the distraction of so many other colours you see in summer.
This is Sweden’s biggest secret: it’s a beautiful, uncrowded place at this time of the year, where the Swedes go about their business of being Swedes.
They don’t instantly assume you’ll speak English. In fact, the opposite.
It was a beautiful day sitting in the sun, relaxing, and enjoying life.
After last night’s extravaganza, and dancing to schlager, it’s a quiet night in for me, catching up on blogging, emails and so on.