I was sitting in my hotel room talking to my boyfriend about cities. Or rather, whether or not a city could be understood via its architecture.
About how I thought I knew Stockholm, but I came to the realisation that maybe I actually don’t. You see before I set off for Stockholm, I had this plan: visit Stockholm, reacquaint myself with the city and come out with a story. After all, I’m a writer and stories are my trade. It shouldn’t be that hard? Wrong.
The more I explored Stockholm, the more the story I thought I had changed shape.
I started out with this story of minimalism, of implacably dressed Swedes in clean, sharp gray, white, black or blue tones. Of Advent candles in the windows. Of quiet, reserved Swedes. Of a cultural history shaped by a monarchy, military and powerful elite.
But then I started to get to know them. I started to look at the architecture of high ceilings filled with laughter, chatter and Christmas cheer. I started to explore the Swedish nature and fell in love with the views, openness, and freedom that it offered. I started to explore the different suburbs and discovered the different cultural, historical and economic heartbeats that all blended and colour the story I was building in my head.
When I started my visit, I thought my previous visit and the stories I heard from friends and family have a good grasp on Stockholm. But at the end of my stay, I’ve realized that I’m still learning.
That’s the story I found in Stockholm.