Stockholm, as many of you know, is my former hometown. Now spending the month of July here with family and friends is a real treat. The weather is fantastic and the whole city is in ‘summer mode’. Walkers, bikers, flowers and restaurants have taken over many streets in the central parts of the city, like this one where I’m staying.
The day is 18 hours long, the sun rises before 4 a.m. and goes to sleep around 10 p.m. The picture below was taken around 10:30 p.m., just after sunset. Unfortunately this night owl is not inclined to get up early enough to offer sunrise pictures.
There are so many places to visit, but first I wanted to go to Skansen, the world’s first and oldest open-air museum. And a place where we took numerous weekend walks when our son was small. So last Sunday my sister and I made plans to go there. I invite you to join us.
The Swedish way of life in the past is exhibited in villages of authentic old residences, farmsteads, shops, a pottery, a bakery, a bank, a post office and a large number of specialized workshops and factories, store houses and barns. These exhibitions are manned with people sporting time-typical outfits. They can tell the stories (in many languages) about life in Sweden from late 1600s to early 1900s. Please follow us to the glassblower’s workshop, where the master is working on small animals in brilliant colors. Then we’ll stop at the general store, the bakery, and the pottery still making lergods typical in Sweden in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Next, let’s take a peek into the life of middle class people at a house where the publisher and his wife lived in early to mid-1800s. Their parlor houses an old piano in a good working order and we can see the weekly magazine they published spread on the dining table. The intricate wall paper is not clued onto the walls, but as customary, it’s nailed on the walls so that should the family need to move, they could take it to their new house.
The workers’ quarters are not as elaborate, many people used to live in one room in a house like this. We can also take a peek through the door into the shopkeeper’s room adjacent to the shop.
We walk the cobblestone alleys between the old houses enjoying the beauty preserved from old times.
Next we find a bank and a government office.
Skansen also houses authentic old farmsteads and typical farm animals, such as cows, pigs, goats and chicken. I focused my camera only on the smaller, more colorful animals.
Passing a windmill, a belfry and a traditional (now dried out) midsummer pole, we can observe a woman taking care of her cottage garden, just like women had done in the 1800s.
From there we walk to see some Nordic wildlife. The huge brown bear is bound to leave a lasting impression.
The lynx appears sweet like a house cat, but appearances can be deceiving…
And at the home of the wolf, we are in for a surprise. Mama wolf has three cubs!
We stay for a while and watch the cubs play. Luckily they have a large area to explore. Finally our feet decide it’s time for a late lunch at one of the restaurants and we round up our ‘wild tour’ by visiting the moose and the European bison.
Of course we have to ‘shoot’ some birds on the way too. The Skåne geese have young goslings. (Aww). And finally we have to document the Swedish version of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.
Greetings from Skansen and thank you for visiting this unique museum with us!