Category Archives: MY NORDIC DIARY

Why you should start cycling today

Rememberme discussing whether to have a bike or not in my previous blog To bike, or not to bike? It’s time to give a definite answer: Yes!


Weather is the first thing to talk about (just like the Swedes open a conversation :P). As summer approaches, the average daytime temperature of the latter half of May, June, July, August, and the large part of September can be as high as 25 to 30-degree.

With a bike, you won’t miss the flower season: just imaging wandering the fields and fields of elder flowers and rape flowers on your bike:


As I mentioned in To bike or not to bike, there are at least three options to have your own bike:

The cheapest: join the Facebook group “Lappis” or “Lappis market“, there are always graduating students selling their own bicycles at low price

To have more options: visit the local website and search for “cyklar” you will find numerous advertisement from locals selling their bike, at all prices

The most convenient: go to any of the bicycle shops in the town and pick one. The price is usually a little bit higher compared to the two alternatives above, but you can adjust it until it fits and in this way you will never get a malfunction one

The good news is, I am adding two more now:

Flea market of bikes (Swedish: Cyklelloppis)

Usually at the beginning of summer, there are flea markets that look for new owners of hundreds of bikes, such as this one to be held on 20th May 2018 in Solna:

At an auction (Swedish: Cykelaktion):

Believe me or not, the police sales out bikes that were not reclaimed for a long time to new owners. You may visit the related website here.  There are different forms, some are sold on a “Polisen Dag” (Police Day) or via an auction website, such as this one:


It could be expensive to repair or replace parts of your bicycle in local bike shops, given that their staff are professional and well-paid. But now this situation is undergoing a change: with the prevalence of bicycling in the city and the passion of cyclers, in the city, there is increasing chance that you can have your bicycles tune, for free!

Cykelköket is a newly emerged non-profit organization. The concept is, you will be provided by tools and guidance, but you have to do it on your own!

The Bike Day on Karolinska Campus offers free bike tune-up and check of tires, chain and brakes on 18th May this year.

Nevertheless, don’t worry if you miss the chance this year! You may want to follow THS Grad “n” Bike Project on Facebook, as they offer free tune-up occasionally: the last one is on 26th April.


Same, pumping should not be an issue: according to the official website of Stockholm, there are hundreds of pumping spots scattered in the city:

Klick here to visit site

In addition, you may simply borrow the pump from most of the bicycle shops. When I first realised it, it was too nice to be true!



What is happening with Nobel Prize in Literature?

Over the weekend, the news “Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 is cancelled” storms the global media. What is happening with the utmost glory in literature?


In short, it fails because the committee that selects the Nobel laureate in literature, the Swedish academy,  cannot function properly after resignation of four members in April. Taking the number of inactive members into account, the remaining ten active members fail to meet the quorum of twelve to select a laureate. What has sparked such an abrupt resignation?


The Swedish Academy (photo: TT News Agency/Jonas Ekstromer, REUTERS)

#MeToo and Nobel Prize in Literature

You must have heard to #MeToo tag, which is a movement that encourages victims of sexual assaults to speak out for themselves. In autumn 2017, the movement has finally arrived in Sweden; since then it has gathered enormous support and publicity from both online and the open-minded, liberal Swedish society. However, it was still hard to perceive a bond between #MeToo and Nobel Prize in Literature, until a local newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, put the accusations of Jean-Claude Arnault in sexual assaults under light. Arnault was accused of long-term sexual assaults (including rape) by 18 women who were interviewed.

Continue reading

Art is the underground language here

It is estimated that around 900,000 people travel underground everyday in the large Stockholm metropolitan area. The underground metro network (so-called “tunnelbana”) encompasses 7 lines, 100 stations that span 105.7 km is length: it must require a complicate mathematical model to solve the flow of passengers, the arrival and departure of trains……however, there is one thing that we know for sure: art is the ubiquitous underground language.

Do you know that:

  • In terms of length, Stockholm’s metro is the longest art gallery in the world

  • >90 of its 100 stations are covered by certain forms of artworks

  • The art project was initiated in 1957, some of it is still undergoing today

Let’s start with the all-time favourites:


The exposed bedrock is the most enchanting feature of Stockholm’s metro. Here, it is both the carrier and the raw material of art.

#1 Solna Centrum


If Dante is looking for the entrance to the inferno, he shall take the escalator at Solna Central.

#2 Stadion

Continue reading

The top 10 spots to catch the best of Stockholm

If a good photo would worth a thousand words, this blog would be even lengthier than a doctoral thesis in molecular biology. Yes, it is a photo blog that  pin-points the TEN SPOTS, from which the beauty of the city can be best conveyed by camera.

Use this blog to take photos as professional as those in a postcard!

1. Slussen, Katerina Lift (Swedish: Katarinahissen)

Keywords: best view of Stockholm, sunset, sunrise

Katerinahissen is a lift that takes you 38 meter from the ground level of Södermalm, the islet opposite to the historical old town (Swedish: Gamla Stan). Its location and height guarantee an unblocked, 360-degree view of most part of Gamla Stan. For this reason, it is nearly unanimously among the “best views of Stockholm”.

Facing south to the Baltic sea, it is also an outstanding spot for viewing sunset and sunrise. You don’t need to even own any advanced equipments; the sea, churches, bridges speak about the past, present and future of the city.

Stockholm 2016

Stockholm 1904 from Stockholmskällen

2. Mariaberget in Södermalm

Keywords: 18th century, old Swedish neighbourhood

Mariaberget on the height of Södermalm is another hotspot of photographing. The castle-like buildings are actually Södermlam’s oldest neighborhood can be traced back to the 1700s; for three-hundred years, they overlook the restless Mälaren water that flow into the Baltic, and guard the aorta from the south to the city.

Riddarholm and the west site of T-bana station (Gamla Stan) are my favourite places to take photo of Mariaberget.

Mariaberget, Febuary


Marieberget, November

Instagram: visit Stockholm

Mariaberget, July

Instagram: kthinternationalstudents

Continue reading

What would happen after a thievery in Sweden?

A secret package was lying silently in my post. Until I removed the gummed tape, I had no idea that it has something to do with law enforcement and crime…….

Continue reading