Even in the winter, or maybe especially in the winter (unclear on this distinction, frankly), Stockholm is a beautiful city.
It’s a wonderful walking city, in spite of (or perhaps because of) the snow. Everything’s actually pretty close, and worse case, you’re thirty minutes from the next thing. And there’s all this water and open sky. Reflections on ‘flections on ‘flections.
Look at this badass motherfucker. Courtesy of a gallery of old school portraits at the Fotografiska.Dropped by the Vasa Museum, where they have a reconstruction of an actual ship from a bunch of centuries ago when they made ships out of wood. Also, whoever made this particular ship fucked up real good because it sank after a few miles. By a few miles, I mean less than five miles. That’s about as good as those origami boats I used to make in third grade and put it in some sink water. But it does look like a pretty badass warship.
If it could only float.And of course, Stockholm has some cool shops. Check out this dope poster. City of champions indeed.
Jinghong’s town market, just off a main corridor called Mengla Road running east-west, is a lively scene of vibrant colors. Sometimes tropical, sometimes earthy, and sometimes nothing more than a shock of blood red. So much closer to nature than most places. And oddly quiet, save for the thud of cleavers on animal bone, the squawk of caged birds, and the watery rustle of fish in their shallow tanks.A tableful of sausages and hams.Preserved eggs (thousand-year).Grilled pork belly.A little shopkeeper and his chili pepper bushels.Fresh chanterelles and wood ear mushrooms.Beautiful pink bamboo hearts.Bee larvae, a local delicacy.A tray of ingredients for cold-mix salad.Pickled things and an array of spices.
After walking through the grounds at Tenryu-ji, I passed through a portion of the Sagano Bamboo Forest, which can be accessed from the northwest exit gate of the temple. While not as dense and tropical as the one in Haleakala National Park in Maui, these rows of sturdy growth were equally as beautiful, shimmering a light blue-gray in the mid-afternoon light.
One marvelous thing about experiencing Kinkaku-ji, and many of the other sights and shrines throughout Kyoto, was that there were many distinct moments, such as the one I took above, free of people, free of crowds, free of the claustrophobic crush that I’ve come to know so well in China.
Even at this popular destination, swarmed by Japanese schoolkids and their guides and other visitors, I could easily find isolated views, serene panoramas. Such a breath of fresh air. Space and pause in which to reflect and admire, to stand in awe.