Bicycle riding in Djurgården, Stockholm



Years ago my parents gave me a bicycle for my 30th birthday. I loved that purple bicycle and rode it everywhere in the suburbs of Melbourne until it was stolen. (If on the slight chance you happen to be reading this, the person who stole it, I hope you fall off and graze your knees!) I wouldn't recommend cycling in Melbourne though as the drivers there are absolutely out of control. Though the councils have made a big effort to create safe bicycle paths all over town, there are still drivers that think it's fun trying to run you over. (As a result a kind of 'militant' bicycle organisation started up called Critical Mass to demonstrate against the dominance of the car and do things like take over freeways occasionally. Really, really annoying drivers and everybody else.)

One of the rides many cyclists do in Melbourne is ride around Port Phillip Bay which is stunning on a sunny day. It's also death defying because of the crazy drivers. Not so in Stockholm. Is there anywhere in the world with such considerate drivers? So considerate you don't even have to wear a helmut. Well I imagine my rose coloured glasses will come off at some stage.

So to celebrate the rebirth of nature and since it was Easter we thought we might go on a bicycle ride. Hopefully in the sun. And what better place to ride than Djurgården, the magical little island in the heart of the city. The only place in Stockholm where you can drift around on the road just like when you were 10 years old. Sort of.


And lo and behold- perfect weather on Good Friday. Unblemished perfect blue sky and warm enough to wear a t-shirt. And what a difference the weather makes in Stockholm. The whole mood alters. People are out packing the cafes, on bicycles, smiling, happy. In winter there is no other noise other than the crunch of snow under your foot. Now the sounds of children, birds, loud music and parties echo through the air. 

Who first called Stockholm the Venice of the North? I don't know but I can kind of see it on a sunny, tranquil day. This is a view of Östermalm taken standing on the Djurgården bridge. It's where all the richest people live in Stockholm. I was looking through a magazine waiting at the checkout one day and was reading some expose about Queen Silvia as told by her friends. Great friends. Virtually the whole lot of them lived in Östermalm.

Djurgårdsbron, the main bridge to the island. Built during the Stockholm World's Fair 1897. You can see the paddle boats for hire from the cafe to the right. We hired our bicycles there.

Painting of Djurgården in 1535

It looks like there's hardly anyone around in these photos though there was a fair few riding and walking on the island. Most of the people head to Skansen, Nordiska Museet and Grona Lund. We've visited the Thielska Galleriet and Prince Waldemarsudde's museum a couple of times. And they're fantastic places to visit. But if you want a bit of nature and don't want to travel that far out of town you can easily get away from people on Djurgården and just be in nature, out in the meadows and forests of birches, elms, oaks. And relax and ride without a care in the world.

Just so peaceful riding around the perimeter looking at the water. 
Just watch you don't ride of the edge captured by the beauty.

Wildflowers are staring to cover the ground and the trees begin to sprout new leaves as spring or vår is here.

There are a few houses on Djurgården most of them belonging to some very lucky dudes. Little wooden cottages are dotted around like the one above. Some are a bit more grander like the one below.



I don't get the whole fishing thing for recreation. But half of Sweden does it apparently.
I love magnolia blossoms. Hasn't quite bloomed yet here but still magical.

This mother was determined to photograph her daughter at the edge of the rocks. They tried and tried and she still wasn't happy and made her go back.

Dog looking for a place to relax.

Swans in unison.

Birches surrounding the wetlands on Djurgården.

Bird viewing platform. I'm looking forward to going back one morning to do some birdwatching.

Hiie taking a break in front of the wetlands.

I love bicycles.
The way I glide.
The power applied.
It is justified, glorious!
A place to think in.
A heart to love with.
I know what my soul feels.
If I could share the breeze in my face with the world,
it would know it's neighbor.

Peter C.
April 4, 2007


How to get there:
Get tram 7 from Kungsträdården to Waldemarsudde (on Djurgården) or you can walk. Get off just before the bridge to Djurgården or the stop just after it. Djurgårdsbrons Sjöcafé is right next to the bridge on the water. You can hire a bike, canoe, kayak, rowboat. It was 320 kronors for 2 hours for two bicycles which isn't too bad.





Comments

  1. Hee, hee ... they thieve bikes here as well. In the 10 years I've been here I've had 3 bikes stolen :(

    You don't necessarily need to get killed on a bike in Stockholm if you know the bike trails. They have a great route planner at http://cykla.stockholm.se/ It's a bit like SL's site, where you put in your start and destination, and it gives you a route. Hopefully out of the way of the crazy weaving Stockholm drivers.

    What a lovely day to explore Djurgården - there are so many little hidden treasures there and on a sunny day, it's glorious.

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  2. Thanks for the info Marie. I will look at that. We're about to buy some bikes for summer and I'm looking forward to exploring Stockholm. And after your experience I'll certainly be locking them everywhere. Having 3 bikes stolen is awful. You must've been really peeved to put it nicely. Yes it is a glorious place. We went again to Djurgården again on Sunday and caught the ferry but went to another part. Just superb weather too.

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  3. Beautiful. I love Stockholm, it's my favourite of all the cities I've visited. The sky seems to be bigger there than anywhere else...

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  4. Hi Alderica yes it is a beautiful city. Interesting point about the sky. I haven't noticed that myself. Maybe it's because they don't have skyscrapers here so you see more of it?

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  5. Thanks Sy glad you enjoyed them.

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