I ran up and down on hills and slopes, with the water beside me, birds chirping and warm sunlight peeking through the trees. It was a Saturday morning and the park was full of people, mostly locals who I assumed came to the park very frequently, unlike me who only recently got to know about it with a quick google search. I had read online that Stockholm has a lot of free-to-use outdoor gyms which is what brought me to Eriksdal that morning.
After navigating Stockholm’s public transit system for the first time, I arrived at a spot 10 minutes away from the park. My journey consisted of taking the tram from Sickla Kaj station for a total of two stops. The tram ran through the city, giving me views that seemed surreal, modern buildings surrounded with nature.
After getting off the tram, I saw a large wide bridge and a few smaller bridges running above a lake. I went down towards the lake and came across the Eriksdal Utegym (outdoor gym). People actively worked out with the help of equipment made out of light brown wooden blocks. Beside every piece of equipment, was a little board that displayed instructions in Swedish on how to use it. There were also broken logs to jump up and down on. It felt like such a luxury to me to get a good work-out in the middle of nature. But that wasn’t it. The park was huge and surrounded the lake. A trail ran around the lake on which walkers, runners, and even bikers moved quietly with a faint sound of their steps on the ground. I had read online earlier that Stockholm was a runners’ paradise and I was beginning to believe it. I ran with my earphones on half the time listening to music while the other half I just listened to the water beside me and the birds chirping in the trees. It was like listening to a live performance of a Spotify nature sounds playlist.
I felt refreshed as I made my way back before stopping at a nearby grocery store to get lunch. It was only my first morning in Stockholm, but I knew it was going to become one of my favorite places on earth.
The following days, I saw more of the city and met my new classmates. My course in Travel Writing gives me direct access to the tremendous knowledge of an actual travel writer who has contributed to major publications, i.e. my professor. She has been to over 70 countries and written inspiring articles based on her experiences. Things I’m learning in class have a direct impact on my writing and intercultural skills.
I feel rejuvenated by the city and my class inspires me about my future. I look forward to seeing how different Stockholm is from Copenhagen and how the cultures interact with each other.
Until next time!