Stockholm Ice

by Eckhard Bick January. 23, 2017 1804 views

There is a world of difference between ice-skating in a rink and ice-skating on natural ice. So I love frozen lakes, but sadly, our local lakes are small, and with ever warmer winters, the ice doesn't get thick enough.  Not to mention sea ice which Denmark hasn't seen in 2 or 3 decades. Plus, when we do get ice, it may be all "ridgy" from the wind and waves while freezing.  All this is better in Sweden, so I went to visit friends in Stockholm. No sea ice either yet, but miles and miles of frozen lakes.

Stockholm City Ice

In the city itself, there is a warmer micro-climate, and the ice is fragmented, freezing at night and melting in the sun (max. 7-8 hrs, but still). But water on ice yields even more beautiful reflections.

Sunrise skyline under the bridge

Blood on the ice, oranges in the sky

Sunrise is magical on the ice. I watched the skyline changing through an orange caleidoscope for half an hour.

Skating to Sigtuna

They have the ice we don't , and they also have skates we don't - special Swedish long distance running skates, which are faster and nicer on the feet than hockey or rink skates. Plus they go over rough ice much better. I joined a group for a tour from Kungsäng on the outskirts of Stockholm to Sigtuna, the old Swedish capital. 19 km of icescape, a chain of lakes that goes on all the way to Uppsala.

Ice fishing

Not everybody uses the ice for skating, though. There is ice sailing, and if you can make holes in the ice, there's ice fishing. Or winter bathing, but I didn't see that ...

glass ice

The best ice is black (core ice or steel ice), it's smooth  and strong. You get white ice from snow freezing in the water, and it's less smooth and less dense. In the picture there are patches of another type of white - glass ice with air underneath. The upper layer crack when you pass over it, and tries to trap the skates. Unpleasant. The rift in the background is from the last boat crossing the freezing lake.

Ice cracks

Smaller cracks are no problem, but there can be a level difference from shifting ice plates.

Sun on the ice

Ice wedding

Street photography on the ice, when we arrived in Sigtuna. High heels on the lake, and she didn't slip. Must be a Swedish girl.

Swedish winter setting

Another, smaller lake. Safely frozen in a Swedish winter postcard setting. Waiting for the moose. Well, at least I saw a beaver's hut.

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There are 7 comments , add yours!
Ram Ya 4 years, 7 months ago

#1 beautiful capture. Did you use a circular polarizer here?
#2 Love the reflections and dramatic colors!

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Eckhard Bick Replied to Ram Ya 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for your feedback! As to #1 - no, I didn't use anything special. Just Swedish winter light, still with a touch of morning :)

4 years, 7 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie 4 years, 8 months ago

Great post Eckhard! I think I'd be brave enough to have a go at
walking on the ice if I was in Stockholm. Looks like fun. How
thick is the ice? Love the girl in heels walking on ice!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Eckhard Bick Replied to Ben Mckechnie 4 years, 8 months ago

Thanks! The ice is 10-15 cm where we skated, but there are open patches, and in the city itself the ice is melting. It depends a lot, on salinity, depth, wind etc. And sorry, don't know the girl :) - just street photography.

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 years, 8 months ago

Fascinating series! Very informative for someone like me, who has never lived in a climate capable of producing places ice skate!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Eckhard Bick Replied to Jay Boggess 4 years, 8 months ago

It's a very diverse world :)

4 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Eckhard Bick 4 years, 8 months ago

And, thankfully so!

4 years, 8 months ago Edited