Destination: North

It was a beautiful day. Sunny and cold. The train was quietly gliding through the countryside covered in ice and snow. It was hard to watch…the sun was just so strong and the snow so white. Everything was so quiet. Peaceful. Lonesome. Distant. Every now and then we passed a dark red house. Why are they red I remember thinking to myself. But my thoughts were just floating and I stopped paying attention to that question. This bright, lonesome countryside was so peaceful and quiet. The train kept going deeper… into the cold embrace of the Winter. Deep into the North.

“Will I get lucky?” “Will I see it?” “Please, let me see it!” These questions and thoughts just kept popping up in my mind. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I pleaded quietly so no one could hear me. “Please let me see it! Please, I’ve come so far. So far up North. Don’t let it be in vain.”

I was looking at this harsh and merciless countryside. Admiring its cold beauty. And I understood. She will always win. She will always be stronger. Natural born winner. The perfect creation of Nature. The Polar Winter. Who always gets her way. Who shows her beauty. Or hides it. With such nonchalant manner. She doesn’t care. She knows them.

I had to trust in destiny. Luck. Her benevolence. That everything will happen exactly as it should. That she will grace my with this gift. And let me see it. In all its glory. In all its beauty. That she will clear the skies and chase away the clouds. And let me see it. The Dance of the Gods. The Stairway to Heaven. The mighty Aurora Borealis. The magical Northern Lights.

The train was quietly gliding through the countryside. I couldn’t watch anymore. The sun was to bright, the snow was too white. “Let me see it. Please, let me see it!” And the train just kept going. Up, North. Deep into the cold embrace of the Winter.

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Venice of the North

I confess. I couldn’t start writing about Stockholm. I just couldn’t. Not that there was anything wrong with him. It’s beautiful. In its cold, Scandinavian manner. Venice of the North.

When I think about Stockholm, I remember that it was a beautiful and cold day. That the sky was clear and pure. Nice little streets, warm and cozy cafes and restaurants. How I thought to myself how quiet Stockholm was. Trapped in the cold embrace of the winter, that was slowly moving away and making space for the spring. How everything was in its place. And that they say that the most handsome men live in Stockholm. Honestly, I really don’t know. Could be.

It wasn’t the right time for us. Stockholm and me. We didn’t leave a trace in one another. But there are memories, that always make me smile. Chasing giant soap bubbles on the streets of Stockholm. A warm scarf that comes handy in the north. Because the winters at home are too warm. The beautiful shapes of ice in the lake. A church that serves warm coffee. And a sudden thought that crossed my mind. How beautiful spring mornings and autumn afternoons must be. Here, in the Venice of the North.

Deep down I knew why I couldn’t write about him. Because he didn’t leave a trace. Because for me there is only one Venice. That I keep coming back to them. Maybe one day I will go back. To the city on the water. To check if this time, the timing will be right for us. Maybe one day. Up there, far in the North, there is something that keeps pulling me back. That still captivates my imagination. The magic of the northern lights. Aurora borealis. Maybe one day.

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Northern Exposures

I see hills and mountains.Far, far away. Everything is… so white. For as far as I can see. The sun is high. There is a cloud in the sky…far far away. Not a single living soul anywhere. Lonely trees and bushes, every now and then a house, painted red. It is so very cold. The snow is reflecting the sunlight and I have to put my sunglasses on. I just can’t be without them. The sun is blinding me. It’s so quiet. Only the train is rushing through the countryside. No living soul anywhere. As far as I can see.

Northern exposures. Their overwhelming charisma. The cold beauty of the North. Its tranquility is pulling me back. To the north. Even though I am freezing there. The cold North is calling me back. Forcing me to leave my daydreams. Forcing me to stop admiring its icy cold beauty.Forcing me back to reality. Back to here and now.

For me, northern exposures are like a fix. Always pulling you back into their cold embrace. Inviting you to leave your comfort zone. Inviting you to go with their flow. Back in their cold embrace. Forcing you to face your most vulnerable self.

Because once you are in the north, everything is so simple. You realise what really matters in that moment. The cold clears your mind, your thoughts stop wandering around. The simple beauty of the icy countryside is a little dull and plain, I admit. But only on the first glance. The north hides its beauty carefully. Unveiling it slowly, one step at the time. You see it when you are ready for it.

It is only up there, far north, where the land is covered with cold, ice and snow for the most of the year, in the high north, beyond the polar circle, where you start to appreciate what you take for granted. The warmth and the light. The heat of the fire, that chases the cold away, starting your blood circulation again. The warmth that separates life from death. The cold sobers you up, clears your mind. The warmth is that force that pushes you forward. To the future. Towards the light that chases away the darkness and gives you the determination to persevere. Because the darkness… it embraces you, it protects you, it gives you shelter. But the light reminds you to start anew. To start fighting again.

The South is soft, gentle and fluid. It’s a little flirt. That sometimes becomes something serious, but mostly it’s just that – a little flirt. The North is serious, stable and maybe a little boring. On the first glance. The North is far more than just a flirt. It’s the real deal. That one true love. Because you see, you start loving the Northern Exposures when you’re ready. Ready to see their beauty and their depth. In that moment you see that the north is far more wild than the south. That is hides its hot passion for the right ones.That it’s relentless. Because it forces you to come full circle. To find out who you really are. Deep down. And enlightens you of what really matters in that moment: the warmth and the light. That’s when you see its true colours. And its eternal beauty.

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