It’s hard to believe that a week has flown by so quickly.
I left off in my last piece right before I reached Sweden. It seems like an eternity ago that I was kayaking through the lily pads and reeds at Karlstad. It was an idyllic picture, floating underneath the blue skies in perfect weather.We sat on the rocks right after, experimenting with watercolour while munching on some goodies out team lead had brought.
Our days in Stockholm were packed with site visits! We visited the Artipelag, Gamla Stan, Sergels Torg, Stadsbiblioteket, Strömkajen ferry terminals, and the chapels at Woodland cemetery. It was like turning back the pages through time, jumping back and forth in between such contrasting buildings. We had some free time in the evening to walk around and do a bit of exploring on our own. It was interesting to note how different the Swedes were from Danes while walking beside the harbour near Zinkensdamm. I do not know which words I could use to explain the differences but I could tell right off the bat that the Swedes wear brighter colors!
We had been given some time for lunch one afternoon, and I found myself strolling along the snaking corridors in Gamla Stan. The old city has colorful houses with old wooden doors and windows. There are street buskers and quiet parks tucked away beside the many cathedrals and museums. The area reminds me very much of Southern Europe. I sit near a statue with my sandwich and soda, quite content to watch the tableau around me. Everything seems more intimate-The closeness of the buildings, the nooks and crannies which become the ‘out of the way’ cafes, the local people on their ice cream runs.
Imagine my surprise when I found a striking resemblance in this regard at the Woodland cemetery we visited later on in the day. It may sound morbid to describe a cemetery as an intimate space, but the Woodland cemetery didn’t really conform to a standard, run of the mill cemetery. It was almost surreal walking through the tall pine trees, while daisies and buttercups adorned the grassy knolls around the tombstones. As large as the cemetery was, there seemed to be a private conversation between the chapels and the graves. We didn’t wait around for sunset to find out whether this tranquility would remain, but the Woodland cemetery remained a highlight for most of the students on the tour.
So the tour ends while we all muse and reflect on the past week. It’s our noses back to the grinding stone at Copenhagen where studio work awaits us. The trip may be over
but my Scandinavian sojourn certainly isn’t. I look back at all the moments I’d freeze frame and I’m glad I have that to take with me. I have photos that make me laugh, drawings that make me smile, and conversations I’ll remember for a long time!