Travel Log Part I
Read this on galpod.com.
Hello! It feels like I haven't written for EVER. I guess it's not that long, but we've been away on our trip and I feel like everything that happened before that was another life. So, a little update is due.
We spent three days in Stockholm. First off, arriving from the airport to our hotel, we encountered blocked roads and much commotion. It was the Pride Parade. We quickly checked in, dumped all of our stuff in the room, and went down to watch the parade. It was very cool, and we were right at the heart of it: the commentators stood right at the corner of our street and talked about the people marching below. We couldn't understand any of it, however, because they were speaking Swedish of course. But this got us off to a great start, as everyone was happy and lively for the rest of the weekend.
A few highlights from our stay in Stockholm. All of these are recommended should you ever get there, and are great to do with kids (assuming the kids are into these kinds of things, i.e., geeky kids). Well, the first three are.
An actual flagship that capsized in 1628, after a 30-minute inaugural sail, right off the shores of Stockholm. It is incredibly well-preserved because it was sunk in the Baltic Sea, which is extremely cold (we later learned from experience). The museum is fantastic, showing life in the 1600s Sweden, how they used to build ships, the ship's salvage process and lots of other interesting things. It's not as hands-on as other museums I've seen so younger kids may be a little bored, but we spent there a good two hours.
Junibacken - The Stories Museum
They call it the children's museum, but I think the name Stories Museum is better. This is less a museum in my mind but an indoor magic place where stories come alive. It's based on Swedish stories, obviously, but luckily I read with the kids not long ago the Pippi Longstock book, so they were entranced--and refused to leave--a show that turned out to be in Swedish. It was short, but we understood nothing more than the story we already knew. Nevertheless, it's an excellent place for kids, as there are many places to explore even if you're not familiar with the stories. Don't miss the Story Train (there's an English translation)--a ride that compared in quality of production to what I remember from Disney's World rides (I was there a long time ago, but it's still impressive).
We love ABBA, and the Eurovision, and my kids can sing a surprising number of ABBA songs. This museum was LOTS of fun, as everywhere there are activities you can do when you scan your ticket. The activities include, of course, singing to various ABBA songs in a studio and on stage, dancing and making video clips, and mixing the sounds of an ABBA song on a sound mixer. It details (in many many details) the story of how the four members met and started ABBA, the road they journeyed on, and their careers after the breakup. It gets a little tedious at some point but we just skipped whenever we got tired and went to sing and dance instead. The kids had put this museum on par with the Junibacken, so it is definitely worth a shot.
First, be warned. You need to line up about half an hour before it starts and it's a 40 minutes thing. It takes a while and you're standing the entire time. The kids were not impressed. That said, we saw a horse-back marching band (equestrian band? Not sure what's the term. I've never seen anything like it, that's for sure), and the ceremony is cute if you like that sort of things. We weren't that much into it but it is one of the main attractions. I think it's worthwhile, but you need to know what you're getting yourself into. We didn't go into the palace because we got there pretty late and no one had patience for antiques. Something for next time, I guess.
Stockholm is a fun city. People told me there's not much to do but I'm sure we could have spent another 2-3 days there easy, as there were many things we didn't get to do. When you travel with kids you need to take into account that two attractions a day is a packed day. We usually plan on 4-5 hours of activity and trying to get a good lunch break in the middle. So, for instance, we went to see the Vasa and then had a lunch break outside of about an hour. Then we went to the Junibacken and we got back to the hotel around 5ish. That's a good day for us, full but not too full. We could have pushed harder but then everyone would have been cranky and tired so that's no fun.
We left Stockholm yesterday and moved on to new adventures, on which I'll update at some point in the near future. I like writing a travel log, but to be honest I'm exhausted in the evenings. I'll do my best to keep updating about fun stuff.
Until then, have a happy sunny holiday!
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