Monday, July 4, 2011

In Which we Swelter one Minute, and Freeze the Next, and I Discuss Hotdogs with Europe.

The weather has been as crazy here as it has been everywhere else, it seems, fluctuating wildly between cloudy and 20 and burning hot and 33. Yesterday was a 33 day. We had plans to visit Skansen, an open air museum on the island of Djurgarden and it turned out to be a pretty good idea as it was probably one of the cooler spots in Stockholm with large leafy trees, and enough of a hill to catch the only breeze around for miles.

Still, it was exceedingly hot. The museum is a great concept – they have either recreated, or brought in the original, buildings from all over Sweden to show how life used to be lived. Sweden used to include most of what is currently Finland and Norway, so there were original Sami settlement huts, Finnish huts, a recreated town with baker, stores, post office, craftspeople etc. There is also a ‘zoo’ with so called Scandinavian wild animals including Reindeer (OK I’ll give them that one) Bison, Elk, Moose, Brown Bears, etc.

It was an informative, well-presented way to spend a few hours.


I took this shot from the top of the hill – in front is a Sami settlement hut from the North, behind it is a Cathedral in Stockholm, and behind that you can see Stockholm’s attempt at becoming a so-called ‘modern city’ – a folly of the 70s where city planners decided all the original buildings in part of the downtown core should be demolished to make way for modern office buildings. These five ‘skyscrapers’ are one of the results. They are spectacularly ugly from a distance and even worse, in my humble opinion, up close.

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This was my favourite building – a 14 Century storehouse from Telemark in Norway. It reminded me of one my favourite children’s books, Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett.

Speaking of trolls, this rarely seen Lesser Ginchy Bumshow was wandering loose in the zoo…


Dude, your underwear…they’re not even boxers.

On our way out, we could see the crazy rollercoaster next door at Grona-Lund theme park. These people are strapped in and spin around as the ‘car’ zips around the outside of the track. Why.


We also stopped for hot dogs.


Me: Hey, Europe: FYI, this is not a hotdog. WTF? You are usually really good in the bakery department, Europe. Think of the amazing breads, cakes, cookies, and pastries that you make. And especially those really long baguettes! So why so short in the hot dog bun department? I don’t get it. Don’t you think it looks weird? 

Europe: You are crasy! Ve LOVE our hotdog buns like zat. Zey are ze bun equivalent of ze short skinny jeans and ze europop! Zey are like zose long cigarettes ve like! Zey look like ze…

Me: Yeah Ok, Europe, Whatever. I’m just sayin. You might not want to take those anywhere else in the world. You will be laughed at.

Europe: Ok fine. Don’t vorry ve won’t! And aren’t you leaving soon?

Me: Yes, in two days.

Europe: Vell zen you can go home and eat zose huge big hotdogs as much as u vant!

Me: Hey don’t take it the wrong way. We love you, Europe! It’s just the tiny buns. And the washing machines. Oh and those bells that ring all night. Otherwise you are fabulous! Really! I love you!

Europe: Veally?

Me: Yes really!

Europe: Ok vell actually ve like you too. Sorry about ze buns.

Me: No problem. Catch you next time:)



We also spotted this awesome giraffe crane from the boat on the way back to the Old Town.

By this time, we were all melting it was so hot and humid. We decided to head to the Absolut Ice Bar. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s original, and it was also minus 5 in there so we couldn’t get inside fast enough. They give you these huge hooded fur-lined coats with mitts attached, kids are allowed, and those of us who don’t drink are served these lovely fruity concoctions, in ice glasses of course. We loved it. After our body temperatures had dropped to a more reasonable level, we were ready to go although it felt like a furnace again when we stepped outside.


The entire place is made of ice that is cut in the winter from a river 200km north of Stockholm. You can see evidence of this in pieces of river weed stuck in the ice.


Glasses made from blocks of ice. Bit chilly on the lips.

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The ice counter.


Jacob’s first time in a ‘bar’ and probably the first and last time he will even allow himself to be in a bar with his mother.

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My little ice princess.

We walked home to the Old Town and saw this Gold Guy along the way. (I checked to see if it was Eric from True Blood – nope) and Zoe entertained us all by not understanding that he wasn’t real until the last second…

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We stopped at the grocery store and I was delighted to see that they have pic-n-mix muesli bars here!

We slept well, despite the bells. That rang all night. Have I mentioned the bells?

Thanks for reading -



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