Stop! Wintertime.

Going from straight Summer to the heart of Winter is just as shocking as hammering your way through the dance floor of a slow dance party for seniors. This is exactly what I did. (Noooo, I meant the first duh…) I just came back from fieldwork in South-Africa, where I conducted interviews with change makers in the food system of the Western Cape. Going from Cape Town to Stockholm is basically a straight line from South to North, and therefore also a 180° flip in seasons. From high up in the clouds, I was imagening the winter landscape underneath and preparing myself for the cold.

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And yet, somehow I had forgotten what Sweden’s classy black and white winter ensemble looks and (more importantly) feels like.  My heart skipped a little beat when I first saw the white carpet of snow!

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In the toilet of the airport I take off my shelter of cotton summer clothes. Burried deeply in a ‘sheepy’ wintercoat, my arms are still peeling off the last sunburn. (And for once in my life I got a shade of a tan too 🙁 …) To my surprise my mouth hasn’t unlearned to blow puffy clouds to the sky, and my feet wobble carefully over the slippery ice.
But while my body functions on automatic pilot, saying the transition is confusing for my mind is an understatement.

It is dark, so super dark. Now, I know it seems I am stating mere facts here, but I actually mean a lot more than that. The general mood is different as well, people are hibernating. I feel my hyperactivity and vitamin D reserves depleting as fast as the battery in my phone that clearly wasn’t designed to last up North.

If there is one scary thing about living in Sweden, it is exactly this. But after the initial shock (btw, I strongly recommend a gradual transition from Swedish summer), you can see so much beauty in the dark! I’ve been here for three days only, and I’ve already seen so many pretty portraits, and these are exactly what I have planned to show you here:

Swedes go in style, and Winter times make lovers get a little more cosy.

Processed with VSCO with acg preset(Fridhemsplan subway station – 17.12.2016)

This isn’t too surprising as the sun rushes back to bed almost straight after she came up, but the little sunlight that is there during the day is almost all golden hours and sets Sweden on fire.
It makes any photography addict drool. (Explains all the ice too..)

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Processed with VSCO with a5 preset(Kungsholmen – 18.12.2016)

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Sunset or sunrise? Checking your watch is no guarantee for an answer either.
But they are both so so pretty (in pink)!

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(Kungsträdgarden – 18.12.2016)

And if you think walking outside in the cold is the worst idea ever, it is peanuts in the eyes of these swimming troopers.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset(Gamla Stan – 18.12.2016)

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset(Kungsholmen – 18.12.2016)

What I’m trying to say is that while winter is indeed very cold and dark, next to lots of bragging rights back home you’ll also get a unique experience that will shine a different light on the sun! Lol. 

Come see for yourself!




A Belgian student at Stockholm University, studying a Msc in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development. Contact me at elke.studyinsweden(at)
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