Stockholm Day 2: Spa, Sauna and Skansen

Today we immersed ourselves in Scandinavian customs and history and both absolutely loved it.

Another three course breakfast.  A small bowl of muesli with strawberry yogurt, fruit salad, nuts and seeds.bast 30-10-14 2 A cold course, with peppers, sprouts, cucumber, cornichons, beetroot salad, smoked salmon and herring.bfast 30-10-14 2 Herring three ways: pickled, in mustard and in a herb sauce.herring three ways The hot course: scrambled eggs, a small sausage, potato, bacon and Gouda cheese.bfast 30-10-14 1 On the top of our hotel, which is next to the railway line, is a Spa.train tracks Up the steps is a good sized and very crowded heated pool.  The air temperature was 5 ºC and the water was 35 ºC so as long as you stayed in the water it was extremely pleasant.  It was very steamy and great fun.  After a relax in the warm pool we sat in the sauna.  It kept me warm for hours and all day long I felt really clean which was a lovely feeling.Clarion Spa We were blessed with sunshine and eventually blue skies today.H with large statue We had a decent walk across our region of Stockholm, Norrmalm, through the City and Ostermalm to Djurgarden.  Where possible we walked along the waterfront which was stunning in the morning sunshine.walking to SkansenThese are some of Stockholm’s grand hotels which line the waterfront.

grand hotels 2 grand hotels

We were walking to another island, called Djurgarden.

Swedish flag This island is the location of numerous royal palaces, museums, beaches, a forest and the University of Stockholm.  This beautiful building is the Nordika Museet.Nordika Museet No idea what this one was but it looks like the Spiderwitch Chronicles.Spiderwitch houseAn old style telephone box.

Rikstelefon

Our destination for the day was Skansen, an open air museum founded in 1891.  It contains over 150 traditional buildings from all over Sweden dating from the 14th to early 20th century.  They were dismantled, transported and rebuilt on site.  The 75 acre site is also home to Nordic animals in a natural habitat and trees and plants from all over Sweden.  It is a living history and was quite fascinating.

When we walked in, and during the day, the air was filled with the smell of wood smoke as they were burning logs to provide places to huddle from the cold.  We were not cold until much later in the day when a cold wind picked up but I love the smell of a wood fire and enjoyed these fire pits as we came across them.Skansen wood burner

We relaxed with a drink when we arrived.  I had coffee and Harvey had one of these bottles of cordial.  He had the Lingonberry and really liked it.
Safteria and Kaffe resting at Skansen I had a traditional Swedish Cinnamon bun which was very good.Cinnamon bun and Kaffe Near the entrance was an aquarium and small zoo which I thought was going to be full of the Nordic animals so we went in.  It had nothing to do with Scandinavia so it seemed out of place but it was very interesting anyway.  You could get a bit too close to some of the animals for my liking!H with ring tailed Lemur

These were behind glass.3 baboons baby baboon green snake But these weren’t!bats The aquarium section was small but very interesting and easy to see the fish and other animals.Cuban crocs

This exhibit was fascinating.  They had about 20 skulls from different animals and once you had guessed what you through it might be, you lifted the flap to check if you were right.  Guess what this is !H and giraffe skull I am not sure which of these is the most scary!Harvey with crocodile Harvey touched the snake but baulked at the tarantular.  I stayed as far away as possible from them both.Harvey with snake We then began to walk through the extensive and beautiful grounds of Skansen.  This striking building is a belfry.

belfryThis is the Frammestad windmill; the top section rotates so you can turn the sails to face the wind – clever.

Frammestad windmill The Hornborga Cottage.Hornborga Cottage Most of the signs were in Swedish and English – phew!Virserum storehouse This is the Virserum Storehouse.At Skansen The soldiers cottage.  I forget the age of this but farmers were asked to provide a cottage for soldiers who in return helped work on the farm until they were called up for war.soldier's house The Nordic animals section was superb.

Wolverine.wolverine Wolf.wolfLynx.
Lynx The much anticipated Brown Bears.Harvey and bears

The enclosures were huge and from the location on top of the hill we had an excellent view towards Stockholm.brown bears and StockholmWe loved the bears and watched them for ages.

bears 3 Bjorn 1 late afternoon sun bear straddling log bear on rocks 2 bears

Brown bear

After lazing around and barely (tee hee) moving, they spotted a red fox and ran around chasing it.bears get up bjorn by water Bjorn on log

More historic settlements to look at.  This one was from Finland or rather, a part of what was Sweden but is now Finland.  Or was it the other way round?  I should have taken notes!Finn Settlement

Finn village 2 Finn village 1 Finn village

The Bredablick Tower which is on the highest location in Skansen and gives great views.Bredablick Tower I liked this house covered in wooden tiles.Nyloftet As the sun began to set we walked in to the Sami camp.Srockholm and Sami Sami camp sign

I didn’t know this but there are no wild reindeer in Sweden anymore, they are all looked after by Sami herders.reindeers timber dwelling red berries reindeer Sami village

 

Sami house 2 Sami house 1The reindeer are smaller than I was expecting.
Harvey with reindeer Skansen is a fantastic place for people of all ages and particularly children.  There were many rides, such as electric cars from the 1950’s which were aimed at younger children than a 12 year old but somethings he just had to have a go on.snake slide Swedish horse As the sun set fires were lit around the site and the Halloween fun began.  More fire pits were lit, some with grids for cooking sausages on and families who knew about the Halloween evening had brought food to cook which looked like great fun.skansen fireThere was no electricity in many areas of the museum so candles were lit along the main pathways.

candle lantern

There was still so much to see so we began to race around to see more before it was dark.  During the First World War, land was given to people for them to make in to allotments and they were provided with little huts to live in to encourage Swedish people to grow vegetables.allotment and hut This area is the Town Quarter and many of the buildings are furnished and decorated inside for their era.old town Can you see the ghost?  They had actors dressed up as creepy characters who appeared and disappeared, some silently and other with ghoulish screams.  It was really scary!ghost in old town This cosy fire was inside the kitchen of the print maker’s house.  There was a lady in traditional clothing from the turn of the century to explain about the house and the life of the printer who would have lived here.corber fire Crispbreads and apple rings drying on a rack.crispbreads and apple rings Sorry for the fuzzy picture but this is in the sitting room.  With long nights and no electricity, stories were read out loud.  Harvey thought life without electricity was much more sociable and I agree with him.  Two of the rooms in this house had fireplaces covered in decorated tiles which were warm so they were pretty and functional.  tile covered fireplace I think we spent about 5 hours in Skansen and we still didn’t see it all.  It was fantastic and I highly recommend it.  It was a magical place in a stunning setting and we didn’t want to leave. bridge back to Ostermalm The walk back in the dark was really pretty, especially beside the water.Stockholm 30:0 We had an early supper at Cafe Milano near Hamngatan.  A ciabatta roll with olive oil.Cafe Milano roll Spaghetti Carbonara.Cafe Milano carbonara A mixed salad.Cafe Milano salad Harvey wanted pasta hence we went to an Italian.  Unless I fancy a pizza I rarely choose Italian but he really enjoyed it and I was hungry by the time we ate and enjoyed it too.  No where near as much as last night’s Swedish dinner but it was quite adequate.P1020822

This was a fantastic day which we both loved.  Harvey liked the animals best and I liked the historical buildings.  We both enjoyed the swimming, sauna, sunshine, walking and being outside all day.  We are formulating the plan for tomorrow which so far involves a bike ride and the Abba Museum – I can not wait for some Abba immersion.

The skull answer was giraffe!

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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5 Responses to Stockholm Day 2: Spa, Sauna and Skansen

  1. Lucy Murphy says:

    How lovely – very jealous of the Abba museum trip tomorrow. I hope you have told Harvey the antiperspirant joke over one of your Swedish dinners. xx

  2. Bipasha says:

    Sounds like a perfect day! great photos 🙂

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