Memories of Stockholm
A short story by Jacalyn Beales reminiscing about her memories of living in Stockholm.
Words: Jacalyn Beales
Photography: Jon Flobrant & Jason Briscoe
Setting foot onto the cobblestone streets of Stockholm, one needs only to look up at the tall, towering buildings and unique facades of the city’s architecture to imagine the rich and diverse tales of its history. Walking along the water in Djurgården, it’s impossible not to be taken with the charm and refined, elegant beauty of it.
My memories of Stockholm are steeped in flashes of clear blue skies, lapping water, laughter drifting out from cafes around each corner; delicate snow falling gently from grey skies, the full-bodied, enticing scent of freshly brewed coffee, steam rising up from the cup. Gazing up at its Royal Palace, sipping espresso by the water, listening faintly to the chatter of tourist and natives of the city around me, it felt almost like a fairy tale; another place, another time, dropped into the 21st century.
What is it about this city? Its ethereal grace, its pull, the wonderment one feels when walking along the winding roads between tall buildings, the deep blues, bold reds, and bright oranges playing along ornate decor and classical architecture. It’s impossible to describe, to put down in words what it feels like to touch the stones, hear the language, watch the history of the city stand out among a backdrop of modernity and contemporary life. Everything is carefree, simple, uncomplicated.
From my time living in Stockholm, only two moments stand out to me as being significant, distinct, poignant; the moments I remember so clearly, yet as though they happened to someone else. An evening spent with friends, laughing around an antique wooden table, glasses filled with cava; a day spent getting lost in Gamla Stan, a warm cup of coffee sipped outside a small cafe tucked away among the ancient, German-inspired architecture of the old medieval roads.
Living there always felt and remains to me a distant memory. Like a fairytale one reads about in books or a grand adventure you spy in novels. You’re touched by a feeling of freedom and calm, a sense that there’s nowhere else in the world quite like this place.