When he read yesterday's blog post, someone not too far away from me said "but you didn't say that you're in Stockholm". Well, I'm sure I did somewhere, and anyway, I told him, those who read my blog are clever enough to know these things!
Anyway, here we are. The weather forecast had been promising, but waking up to a white sky this morning, we feared that it wasn’t going to turn out quite as we’d hoped. How wrong we were.
Whilst my hero went off to his meeting, I decided to take a stroll around the city, taking photographs and generally enjoying being here.
By the time I’d reached the square where I knew I could find Marimekko, the sky was almost as brightly coloured as the things in the store there.
I browsed around the department stores, made a couple of purchases and looked at my watch – gone half past twelve and definitely time for lunch.
On such a beautiful day, I couldn’t think of sitting indoors, so my plan to visit the little bistro at the back of the Opera House was shelved. I walked back past the NK sign and headed for the Kungstradgarden, a little urban park where I knew there were cafes with outdoor seating overlooking the gardens.
I passed this couple of letterboxes, which reminded me of when some of our postboxes were similarly divided into two sections.
By now, it was so warm and whilst some were wearing T shirts and sandals, others were still in boots and heavy coats. There seemed to be a lot of folks around here and I began to wonder if coming to such a popular lunchtime venue was a good idea after all.
But then I realised why everyone was here. When we walked across the end of the park last evening, we commented that the trees were still in bud and there was not much sign of Spring. In the short time since then, the cherry trees have exploded into a riot of pink blossom and the whole of Stockholm has come to see them!
It was a remarkable sight. To think, at the end of February we saw the first few blossoms open in Okinawa, Japan and here I am, some two and a half months later watching the same thing in Sweden. Am I lucky or what?
The last time we were here, for Bo’s party in November 2011, they were just creating an ice rink here for the Winter season.
Those who aren’t sitting under the blossom are relaxing on the perfectly manicured lawn astroturf, enjoying their lunchtime break in the sunshine.
I simply stood and watched, marvelling at the abundant blossom and the clear blue sky above.
Oh, and watched how almost everyone took out a camera or phone and took a photograph. I wonder how many pictures were taken in this spot today?
The professionals were there too.
I was able to find a table at the small cafe across from the blossom and sat for an hour in the sunshine, taking it all in. I could have sat there all day, for sure, but every so often, I’d see someone looking for a table and eventually, I had to say “I’m just leaving”.
I took one last look at the blossom
took one last photograph of one of the photographers and went on my way. As I did, I accidentally bumped into a young woman pushing a baby buggy and apologised to her. “Don’t worry”, she said, “everyone has their eyes on the blossom right now. It’s such a special time because it will last only one or two days. Please, enjoy it with us”.
I took her advice and went back for another five minutes!
Now, how shall we spend the afternoon? Out in the sunshine, for sure. Stick with me and we'll find something amazing to do!