Første mai

Like most of Europe, we had a work holiday första maj (May 1st)—for Swedes, a time both to march in support of International Workers’ Day, and to recuperate from the annual Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis Night) bonfires. This year’s timing also made for a three-day weekend, so we took the opportunity to connect with our broader Scandinavian community, hopping the 50-minute flight to visit friends in Oslo, Norway.

After a long Scandinavian winter (like Stockholm, Oslo had snow just last week), the weekend brought a gratifying taste of spring. We joined many enthusiastic Norwegians in exploring the budding Østmarka wilderness on Oslo’s southeast border.

Norway’s Arbeiderpartiet, and a diverse crowd of related activists, turned out in force for the første mai demonstrations around Youngstorget—accompanied by Per Palle Storm’s labor monument Pioneren, as well as the looming Regjeringskvartalet, still marked by the 2011 Oslo Attacks. Nearby, Stinius Fredriksen’s 1950 memorial to FDR (top)—erected, in part, for his influential Look to Norway speech—looked on from a luminous forsythia bower.

Many thanks to our hosts, former San Francisco roommates Matt and Laura (plus effervescent daughter Evelis), for helping make even our quick trips instructive and nourishing.

Hills still alive

After a productive week in Lausanne, we joined friends from London and Strasbourg for the end of the winter season in Ehrwald, Austria.

Our crew of twenty made the most of the remaining snow on Austria’s Ehrwalder Alm, and across the German border on Zugspitze Glacier.

With snowy days behind us, we wrapped up our trip with a loop through Reutte to walk the record-setting Highline 179 suspension footbridge, connecting Fort Claudia to the ruins of 12th-century Ehrenberg Castle.

Many thanks to the Dutch team at Chalet Erlifeld for hosting our holiday, and to Kara Chanasyk for keeping Franklin fed & befriended back home in Stockholm!

Asterisked (*) photos credit: James Ruthven


Sunday full of Stockholm traditions, from Santa Run to Skansen.

Vasa viewing

Visit to restored 17th-century warship Vasa, Stockholm.

…mehr ein Weltteil als eine Stadt

Sights between sessions of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism biennial World Congress in Berlin, Germany.

Alsace in bloom

August weekend in and around Marlenheim, porte du vignoble, France.


Gardens of painting prince Eugen Bernadotte (1865–1947), with views from Djurgården including former asylum Danvikshem.