Touring Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway, Denmark

 

In August 2016, I went on a mission: Touring the southern part of Sweden in only one week! By taking the bus and sleeping in various hotels, I managed not only to visit the most interesting cities in Sweden, but I also took a short trip to Norway’s capital Oslo and Denmark’s capital Copenhagen. The Scandinavian Tour started and ended in Stockholm:

Map © Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie and Google Maps (Tour added in Photoshop). In case it’s non-profit, you have the permission to edit and show parts of Google maps when making its source clear.

 

 

Stockholm – The Swedish Capital and its Colorful Buildings

On my arrival (Aug 2nd), I took a short peek out of the bus and walked around a bit in Gamlastan, the old town of Stockholm. But then the time was over and I had to leave. Most of the photos were taken during the last 1.5 days (Aug 8/9). Then, I had much more time to walk around and catch impressions of the city with my camera.

The red-brick building amidst the many green trees (“Swoon”) is the city hall of Stockholm called Stadhus. There are two more images of the city hall’s courtyard below. You can recognize them by the curvy stone pillars.

Stockholm is also known for its artistic metro stations. During my stay, I encountered this one in red, black and white (“Suburban Hell”).

 

 

Örebro – Emil and his Memories of the Past

Örebro has some kind of medieval flair. It’s a very idyllic place to take a walk. There is a castle and a pond, some small waterfalls, a park along a river and an open-air museum of historic houses. The old Swedish buildings reminded me of Lönneberga, the village where Emil lived. (Emil is the leading character of many books by Astrid Lindgren. There are five movie adaptions with very traditional Swedish homes.) The wooden cart, the laundry on the clothes line – a place far away of modern everyday stress…

 

 

Oslo – The Norwegian Capital and its Opera

On Aug 4th, I spent half of my day in Oslo, the capital of Norway. The sky was pretty cloudy. Only shortly before I had to go, the sun came out!

The impressive blue and modern monument is the Oslo Opera House (“A Small Bump” and “Lighthouse”). The angled exterior surfaces of the building are covered with marble from Carrara, Italy and white granite and make it appear to rise from the water. It is the largest cultural building constructed in Norway since Nidarosdomen was completed circa 1300. The perforated wall panel which covers roof supports in the lobby was designed by Olafur Eliasson (“Concerto”).

On the water in the fjord in front of the opera floats She Lies, a sculpture by Monica Bonvicini made of stainless steel and glass panels (“Sail” and “Refugee”). The sculpture is a three-dimensional interpretation of Caspar David Friedrich’s painting The Sea of Ice:

Caspar David Friedrich’s painting The Sea of Ice. Th image is public domain worldwide.

 

At the time of my visit, the city of Oslo was very busy building an international port around the opera. Apparently, the noise was quite annoying for the city dwellers. There were writings on some of the concrete tubes saying: “Can’t we just be?” (Kan vi ikke bare vaere?)

 

 

Göteborg – City in Green and Grey

On Aug 5th, I took a walk in Göteborg, also called Gothenburg. There is a lot of green in the city like parks and the botanical garden.

Not far from the central station is the Skanskaskrapan, or more commonly known as “The Lipstick”. It’s the skyscraper in red and white behind the huge loop in the harbor.

 

 

Copenhagen – The Danish Capital in all its Glory

The next day, I crossed Øresund Bridge and visited Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital. The statue of the Little Mermaid is very popular. That’s why there are usually a lot of tourists surrounding it. The red building and the windmill belong to Kastellet. This former citadel  is one of the best preserved star fortresses in Northern Europe. It is constructed in the form of a pentagram with bastions at its corners. The tower in black and white (“Blaze of Glory”) is called Rundetårn (means Round Tower in English). The 7.5-turn helical corridor leading to the top was very crowded. I had to be really quick for this image!

 

 

Malmö – Where Old meets Modern

Malmö is a very inspiring city. I liked its beautiful architecture and the relaxing atmosphere in its park. The blue thing isn’t an ufo – it’s the water tower Hyllie vattentorn. At night, it gets illuminated with all kinds of colors!

 

 

Conclusion

It’s nice to travel around in Sweden for a week and to get a first impression. But in order to really get to know a country, you have to stay longer. By switching locations every day, you start to lose your bearings at some point. Sometimes I didn’t even know where I was yesterday! It was really confusing…

Fortunately, I took notes everyday. I wrote down where I was and what I had seen. If I hadn’t done so, I probably wouldn’t have known where I took which photo!

I love Scandinavian architecture. I don’t know why they have so much more beautiful buildings than we have in Germany, but they definitely have. The animals most present in the cities were birds – they were everywhere! The weather changed a lot. It was like fall in Germany: Sun, then suddenly rain, then sun again…

I’d love to visit Scandinavia once again one day – Sweden, Norway, Denmark as well as Finland. But next time, I definitely want to see some of the Scandinavian nature. Out of the window of the plane, I saw many lakes with water lilies. I bet the Scandinavian landscapes are overwhelming!

 

 

Have you ever been to Sweden, Norway or Denmark?
Or do you even live there? Tell me about the best places to visit.
I’m always open for new ideas!

 

 

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