Saturday, October 29, 2011

Looking for Metro/Subway Art during a rainy Sunday in Stockholm

Stockholm is a captivating and elegant city when its graced with beautiful sunny weather, but like Amsterdam, it sucks big time when it’s raining.

My original plan for the day was quite simple, just three things that I wanted to do before I fly out early evening back to Amsterdam:

1) Climb up the Kaknästornet (Kaknas tower) to catch magnificent views of Stockholm, which will be facing the medieval island city of Gamla Stan.
2) Check out all the different types of art in the city’s metro (Tunnelbana) and train station.
3) Later in the afternoon I am meeting an old colleague in Gamla Stan, so another opportunity to try Swedish food for late lunch.

Advertisement in the subway of a leading Swedish telecommunications company. Switching heads =)

The first two things on my agenda didn’t really materialise, or well, just partly, all because of the weather. It poured. Very hard. Damn the rain.

Secondly, Stockholm didn’t really have a guide book about the art they have in their subways. The biggest showcase they have in the centre is Kungsträdgården metro station that is supposed to look like an archealogical excavation but it was closed for renovation. There was a long queue at the T-Centralen tickets and information and that instantly sent me off to the doors.

Not wanting to wait to get info, I decided to just wing it. I jumped on a line that brought me out of the busy city to the suburbs. We came out of the subway, the scenery changed, the pace became slower and it is quieter. You can say that I spent a few hours searching for subway art as well as joyriding. This is definitely NOT the Sunday in Stockholm that I expected it to be. However, it is pouring cats and dogs and cows outside so I guess for the moment the subway is then the best place to be?

This is what I am looking for: Stockholm Metro Art. My fotos below does not even come close! I will have to visit them on my next Stockholm trip.

The upside of joyriding is that I was able to see the suburbs, a bit of life outside Stockholm, a glimpse of daily normal life in Sweden. And while sitting in the metro, I was overcome by a déjà vu encounter, it was a compelling and strange familiarity that brought me back to my first few years in the Netherlands which I largely spent on buses, trams and trains. It felt really weird but nice.

Also, another mistake I made was I assumed big time that the locals, and in this case, the metro drivers would know about the subway art. Helaas, nope. I had a long chat with a metro driver who advised me to go back to T-Centralen.

Armed with that advise, I went back to town and decided to just continue shopping until it’s time to see my old colleague in Stortorget, Gamla Stan.

Me in the bathroom and my morning breakfast. I piled some bacon. I only eat pork when its (1) dried cured sausage and must be hard (2) bacon and must be crispy. Other than that pass off please.

Hotorget station that graced in Madonna’s music video Ray of Light.

Stockholm Central Station.

Orange and Green Lines.

Mosaic tile art.

Travel Period: August 2011
Destination: Stockholm, Sweden

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