Lotta Jansdotter regularly gives workshops, and this time at a very special location; Åland. This archipelago is situated between Sweden and Finland and was the home of Lotta in her youth.
In November 2014 Lotta Jansdotter’s newsletter announced this workshop and immediately I knew that I wanted to go! A workshop from Lotta, a designer I admire, in Sweden during summertime at a small island … what more can anyone wish for …
So finally it was July and I was on my way. My trip started with a visit to Stockholm. Three days I strolled around in this beautiful city (more about this in my previous blogpost). Wednesday very early in the morning the ferry to Mariehamn left from the center of Stockholm. Leaving a city at a huge ferry offers you a special view over the streets, quays and parks. In the soft morning light Stockholm slowly faded. For hours we sailed through small afforested islands, with typical Swedish houses. Dreamy spots within reach of the city, in the forest at the waterside.
Six, or actually five hours later we arrived in Mariehamn, which turned out to be Finnish. Another timezone, a Euro zone and another language, although most people speak Swedish. The archipelago is an interesting mixture of Swedish and Finnish influences with her own unique culture.
Mariehamn is the center of the 6.700 islands. The ferries from Sweden and Finland arrive here and most of the 26.000 people live here. The first day we saw very little of this mini-city, because we left immediately by bus. A few days later however we were back. Visiting this provincial town with some nice stores and a lovely lunchspot Bagarstugan. We had a very good lunch over there and we should have gone back for some delightful pie. Maybe next time 🙂 In the post office I found some lovely cards, hand drawn with special Åland stamps.
We were lucky to be there at the time of the Åland Sea Days. At the harbor we saw beautiful wooden boats, visited a nice craft market and had some good beers.
More about the Workshop in my next blog ….
Stockholm in summer is lovely! This colorful city, abounding in water, invites you for long walks or bike rides. The people are friendly and the city has a lot of secrets to reveal. Of course I visited
the hotspots from the many Stockholm city guides, but I had a lot more fun just strolling around, taking pictures of the many colored houses, climbing hills enjoying the views and walking at the waterfront, listening to the water and the tinkling of the ships laying at the quays.
Djurgarden, the green museum island is a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the city. I went there by boat from Slussen … as recommended in the guides, but unfortunately that was very very busy. The view at the city though was wonderful! Liljevachs Kunsthalle, one of the many museums at Djurgarden was a nice start of my day. A day later, the ferry to Åland revealed more of this wonderful green island in the middle of the buzz of the city. It is a great place to walk at the waterside, escaping the city for a few hours.
The same ferry that brought me to Djurgården hopped me over to Skepsholmen, the other museum island. It was lovely to stroll at the quay in the sunshine, enjoying the views at Stockholm and the beautiful moored boats. The sceneries from the island are great and the atmosphere is easy laid back. A good place to enjoy your picnic or drinks on one of the many benches.
Looking for a nice lunch? Try Blueberry; organic, healthy and delicious. They have several stores in the city center. When you are in the city center don’t forget to visit Ilhums Bolighus … although the shop in Copenhagen is much more beautiful … NK is also a must visit big shop. In the cellar they have some of my favorite shop in shops; Ordning & Reda, Bookbinders Design and Design House Stockholm. Looking for some good food … this is also the place to be! Oh and they have a super COS, if you are interested in cloths. In Rotterdam we have a COS as well, but not like this one
J I bought myself a beautiful scarf.
Some nice shops to visit in other parts of town; Papercut, magazine heaven for addicts like me, Konst-ig for art and designbooks. Walking around in Sofo means hop in one nice shop to another, but I also had a great time climbing up to Sofia Kyrka and seeing a lot of locals enjoying the sun. This small green place reminded me of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in Paris. A green laid back area with great city views. A good place! A little out of the shopping area lies Ersta Kyrka. From this place you have the best view at Stockholm city center and Djurgården. Then hike back to Slussen via Katarinavågen to prolong the good views.
My last day in Stockholm was a short one, because I had to catch my plane. I visited some hobby shops, such as Kreatima and Slöjd-Detaljer. And last but certainly not least I really can recommend Iris Hantverk. There was some extra luggage I had to carry home ….