This year, mine started on a very exhilarating note! I got to assist Natgeo Creative Photographer Lola Akinmade Åkerström on assignment for National Geographic Travel UK. Lola was photographing famous Swedish Michelin Star Chef Niklas Ekstedt at his boutique restaurant Ekstedt in Central Stockholm.
Some lessons cannot be learned from books or classrooms. In life, great lessons have to be watched and learned. That’s what I did – watched two creative maestro’s in action. Lola played with light and Niklas with fire. While Niklas is world renown for his primal, nordic stone-age methods of cooking, Lola is acclaimed for her photographs that can transport one into the picture’s world! It was nothing but a privilege watching them both!
Two days prior to the National Day, I kept browsing for events that were planned across the city. Being the castle/palace-lover that I am, my attention was immediately drawn to the celebrations at the Hasselby slottspark/castle park!
It was a rather cold morning. Thankfully bearable with just one jacket. The weather was a lovely mix of clouds, sunshine and blue skies. I loved the sight of this petite castle and I was very eager to get in. But first a little concert! Dancing to the beat of the music, waving the Swedish flags, the girls got themselves into the picnic mood!
As soon as the concert was over, we stomped out way into the castle!
This castle looks more like a bungalow or a manor house.
It is the brain child of a man called Karl Bonde who lived in the 16th century. Construction of this castle began in 1630s.
Ever since this castle has been owned by several wealthy people.
Today this castle is owned by the famous Swedish singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Tomas Ledin (Click on his name and listen to a captivating Swedish song performed by him!).
The Hasselby Castle now functions as a conference centre, fine dinning restaurant and spa.
The interiors of the castle have a very elegant mix of the old world charm and a touch of modernity.
The leather couches in every hall were very inviting. I sat on as many as I could and enjoyed the comfort of it briefly.
Being owned by a renowned singer, its no wonder that the Hasselby Castle hosts the Stockholm Folk Festival annually!
Every hall has a touch of music! You cannot miss the reception desk which is a massive piano!
Standing by one of it’s stately windows, watching people walk in and out of the castle yard, I wondered to myself how incredible it must feel to have a castle and kingdom of my own!
Stepping into the castle’s backyard was like stepping into a different world, in a different time!
The garden, although not too big, is a sight to behold!
The sight of the blue sky and the picturesque greenery felt therapeutic!
This particular tree appeared like the tree of life in the Garden of Eden!
The flowers swaying in the breeze,
beckoned for a selfie!
We strolled through the castle backyard in search of a suitable picnic spot to munch our lunch!
The sight of the castle so prettily framed by the well-trimmed garden appeared a little incomplete without us! So a group picture we took requesting a kind young man!
The rest of the afternoon was super chilled out!
Laying on the grass, in the cool breeze, snacking on spicy tuna and egg sandwiches felt like heaven!
The girls had a great time running, playing hide-and-seek and creating their own crazy games!
Then the dad’s joined them for a game of frisbee, while we mums sneaked in a short nap!
We wrapped up our day with a quick chai-stop at our friend, Shuba and Vels Bro’s home. Shuba’s ginger tea brought the day to a perfect finish!
It was one of those outdoor days you return home very satisfied, relaxed, peaceful and content!