With Covid restrictions keeping me from my usual Christmas back in the UK, or my more adventurous winter breaks in places like Jordan, I spent my first Christmas in Sweden since starting to work here in December 2015. Perhaps it is appropriate that five years later, a month or two before I become a Citizen of Sweden and through it rejoin the European Union that I am here for the winter solstice and Jul celebrations.
Not one for staying indoors all day, I headed out to the nearby Göteborgs Botaniska Trädgård, walking through Slottskogen park to get there. Even at 1 pm, the sun was low in the sky as we are only two days past the Solstice, when the night is longest and daylight a brief golden splash of a few hours.
The shadows were long, and many of the trees were bare of leaves, but where the sun was visible, it was bright and cold, which leads to some challenges for taking photos as you get a blend of dark foreground and bright sky.
I climbed up to the viewpoint to look back across Gothenburg and was able to see the Watertower at the top of Slottskogen, peaking out of the forest.
Off in the distance, crossing the river, I could also see Älvsborgsbron.
Finished with the viewpoint, I walked back through the Botanical Gardens, pausing in one of the many landscaped areas, in the shadow of the viewpoint hill, but with the winter sun lighting up the tips of the trees.