This is what it looks like at 7 am on a weekday in August, on the shore of the island of Kungsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden.
Lots of people jogging, walking, solo, in twos or in groups. Men and women. Sports clothes on, or slick office wear and sneakers. Lots of headphones. I belong to the minority that shuns them.
The whole atmosphere reminds me of the park at Dollar’s collony in Bangalore, which was brimming with people in the early morning. Families with children, couples, housewives and the odd dog all taking advantage of the moderate heat to exercise and socialise. The fresh coconut water stall was strategically located at the entrance/exit.
Places visited stay with us one way or another. They pop up and remind us of their existence inadvertently. Like sirens in the mist…
Before holidays become a remote recollection, I thought I should document my northbound trip in late July that took me from Uppsala to Umeå via Sundsvall.
Whenever I travel north of Uppsala I get a special feeling. The landscape changes quite fast and there is something special about the wilderness of the nature and the character of the people that strikes a chord with me. I am convinced that the heart of this oblong country beats from a high up place.
It probably has to do with the fact that my family comes from the so called north. Technically speaking below the country’s middle, but in the mind of every Swede and on any administrative map, definitively the north. The southern north, but still the north.
Everything was quite a contrast to my holiday in Greece. A different climate, a different geography, a different way of traveling.
I planned the trip so as make space for a pit-stop at Sundsvall on the way up. After a walk and a really good lunch at the seat of my second alma-mater, we boarded a bus to coastal Umeå. The scenery along the High Coast of Sweden is magnificent. I can vouch for it, even if was constantly dozing off, rocked by the motion of the coach and sedated by the warmth of the sun…
Several walks by the Umeå-river, a dinner at an Indian restaurant, a free guided tour, a late morning at the open-air museum of Gammlia…
Voila. A short reconnaissance to put it simply, which left me a sweet aftertaste of wanderlust.
This fall I want to make time for traveling by train to new or known destinations. Ι have just booked my first trip and I am already looking forward to it.
This is me, 06.30 am on the commuter train.
I packed my little backpack bought in Vietnam some years ago to the brim and I literally ran to the station.
Running has been bugging me for some time now and I decided to give it a try. Twice a week. I went for my first run this weekend and I thought it would be terrible after two years of abstinence. I jogged for half an hour without problem which feels like all my efforts to lead an active life aren’t totally in vain. There is an imprint on my body.
That said, the toughest muscle to tackle is the brain. The big slacker and the great doer.
According to an article I read recently, running between 60-144 min a week on 2-3 occasions is optimal. Any running activity beyond that, does not show any additional health benefits. In fact, it pointed out that excessive runners and couch potatoes run similar health risks.
Whether you believe this or not, it certainly provides me with a feasible framework made of modesty and contentment. My motive is resolution and not result.