My first thought when I arrived at the airport was to search for my hotel. I knew it was a walking distance near the airport. I couldn’t find it at first and there were very few people to ask. It was cold and humidity was very low. After searching and walking around like a headless chicken for a while, I finally managed to arrive at the hotel. During the journey, I was dragging my twenty kilo luggage so you could imagine the relief when I arrived at the hotel.
Once I have finished unpacking, I decided that I could just walk around the vicinity of my hotel and perhaps explore a few places. At this time of the year, thick gloomy clouds enveloped the sky even though it was still early part of the afternoon. It looked as if a thunderstorm was brewing yet after a while, it never rained. Roads were dry and you could find a handful of people walking in the streets. Atmosphere was calm and serene. You could see a number of boats tucked at the pier yet you donâ€™t see much activity around the area. Nostalgic yet beautiful buildings could be found within the vicinity of my hotel.
It was a kind of tiring after walking for a while and searching for historical buildings and I decided to hit the sack early. Dinner was simple yet delicious. I have always love the combination of the bread, ham, lettuce and everything else that was served on the buffet menu.
I hoped that tomorrow would be a more adventurous day.
I woke up early the next day. After having a quick bite at hotel, I started taking a morning stroll towards the destination of my choice. I got a little lost and tried to get assistance from a handful of people whom I met along the way. I realized that it was quite a long walk. If I do this very often, I could very much become fitter in record time.
I felt as if I was teleported to another era. First that caught my eye was the unique houses that was built closed to one another yet it was tall with windows that you could only see in those ancient fairy tale movies. The houses were in bright colours yet each one has a colour of its own. The path was narrow and naturally it was made of cobblestone. It gives you a firmer grip on the ground however the sight of narrow meandering cobblestone path that was sandwiched by the myriads of houses stacked next to each other is a beautiful one. I could see a lot more people walking in the streets and I could feel a sense of happiness in them. It was as if there was a magical feeling that enveloped the whole place which kind left everyone in such a happy state.
I walked into a souvenir shop and the owner was a Thai lady who has been staying there for a number of years. After a quick choice of souvenir, I was back on the streets again. There was a church nearby which exuded a sense of tranquility when you entered it. As I find my path again along the cobblestone road that led further into the area, I bumped into some Japanese tourists who were quite occupied with snapping countless photo of the surrounding area with their friends. We chatted and even took some photos together.
I was beginning to get little hungry. I have actually arrived at a place where I was surrounded by fascinating yet nostalgic houses on all four sides with narrow path separating some of them. There was a museum on one side. At this place, there were a lot more people and mostly were tourists based on what I could observe.
It was near midday yet weather was surprising chilly. Cold dry breeze of wind provided the relaxing feeling that crept into your thoughts. I could observe the gloomy skies again and wondered how the weather might be later in the later part of the afternoon.
After checking out the menu that was displayed outside some of the cafe, I decided on my choice and proceeded to enter it. As I walked inside, I felt that I have been transported back in time. What caught my eyes were the chairs and tables that were made of wood of very low height as if there were meant for children. Halogen bulbs were placed strategically, the ones that you saw many decades ago, dangling from the ceiling on the very few tables placed within the little cafe. The yellow light emanating from each halogen bulb provided the magical atmosphere enveloping the tiny cafe. The paint on the walls was uneven and rough, I might say, however perhaps that should be the way. There was a handful of people sipping hot chocolate at their respective tables, laughing and joking in a jovial manner. However you could feel that it was never too loud and you could still find your own air of tranquility within the little space available there.
I felt like I was a school boy who just finished class and decided to take a sip of hot chocolate in a nearby cafe. I never knew that I was going to find such a gem in a place like this. And there I was, sitting alone, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate reminiscing of the good old times of yesteryears.
It is in places like this that your imagination works in ways that you could never expect.
Then the unthinkable happened.
I could observe that particulates of white in colour were raining from the sky.
I was shell shocked.
I have always waited for this moment.
Ever since I was a little kid.
Yet I never knew that it would happen while I was enjoying a cup of white chocolate.
I guessed that beautiful moments are never expected.
Your lifelong dreams sometimes come knocking at your footsteps when you least expect it.
It tiptoed into your life unannounced.
Like a hunter that seeks its prey uninvited.
Yet when it calls upon you, you need to be prepared to grab the bull by its horn.
Even though you might not be ready for the task.
So there I was, gazing out the window trying hard to fathom the unthinkable.
Fully aware that I was now living every moment of it.
While the unbelievable moment encapsulated me.
I paid for my chocolate. Put on my jacket and cap. And jumped out of the little cafe.
I stood out there and watched as the snow started raining onto my face and body. It was acold icy feeling as the snow melted on your face.
I closed my eyes momentarily as the melting snow started to flow down my cheek.
I let out a broad grin and laughed a little.
As the snow melted in my mouth.
It was the taste of my dreams.
To be able to witness snow fall in its entirety.
I was like a little kid finding the toy of my dreams.
As most people tried to find shelter in the cafe or elsewhere, I was walking out in the open. The cobblestone path was slippery and I negotiated the walkway in a delicate manner. Yet I was brimming with an air of happiness never felt before.
The snowfall was getting heavier and I could see that the bicycles parked nearby were quickly submerged in snow. The branches of the trees have a layer of snow covered in it and I could see the rooftops of the houses were enveloped by a thick layer of snow.
Stopping by for occasional photography session.
I walked. I walked. And I walked.
I was never tired even though the snow fall was getting heavier.
The vision in front was getting kind of difficult as heavy snow fall started to splash on to my face. Yet I soldiered on. The path was getting more slippery than before yet it never occurred to me that I should stop. This was the moment that I had been waiting for after all these years and I was determined to continue walking in the snow exploring the area.
When would I stop to take a shelter?
I didn’t contemplate about it.
I only knew that I would seek shelter the very moment it stopped snowing.
Contrary to what normal people would do.
Yet the snow fall continued with greater intensity. That was a cue for me to continue to walk. I even met a guy while walking and requested him to take my photo while I was basking in the snowfall. He told me that he was a professional photographer and took a few shots from different angles oblivious of the ever increasing heavy snowfall.
Walking for hours under snowfall was an exhilarating moment. Yet I was getting hungry again. However I found a stall selling french hotdogs somewhere near an adjacent building. So I bought one and had hotdog under the watchful eyes of the snowfall. I thought it tasted better. Perhaps the euphoria of experiencing snowfall did indeed make it even more delicious than expected.
By now, I was already walking out into the city. It has been a few miles of walking yet the elated feeling that crawled into my veins never seem to dissipate. I guess when you are truly happy, you never really understood the meaning of being tired. You always have energy reserves parked somewhere within you. It never seem to amaze me how nature could play such a pivotal role in inculcating the sense of euphoria within ourselves that would subsequently unleash a torrent of beautiful feelings to makes the world such a wonderful place to live in.
Finally the snowfall did indeed cease its activity.
Would I walk around the city again if the snow fall didn’t stop?
Yes, I would.
And I would do it all over again.
Moments of such beauty will always be with you.
Snow fall is indeed truly mesmerizing.
Until this very moment in time.
Gamla Stam in Stockholm.
That was where I found my snowfall.