The best value-for-money attraction in Sweden is Skansen, an enormous outdoor museum and cultural center. Skansen has a little bit of everything and something for every one. Skansen is located on the same island on which we had visited the Junibacken on the day prior. We still saw some downed tree branches from the storm, but most of the area was cleaned up and back to business.
Right near the entrance to Skansen, is this cool building that houses a circus type of show. I just loved the building and had to grab a few snaps of it.
We arrived at Skansen when they first opened and it wasn't very crowded. Skansen is so big, that it never really feels over-crowded, even in the peak of summer tourism. Often times, we were the only family in the more remote sections of the park.
Speaking of how huge it is, here is picture of a model of the park. We were there for a full day and couldn't see it all.
Sprinkled throughout the park are dwellings that illustrate the way the Swedish people lived during different time periods and in different regions in the country. There is a huge variety on display. There are employees in the homes, wearing traditional costumes and explaining life during the various time periods. In many ways, Skansen reminded of one of my favorite places in America, Colonial Williamsburg. It was sweltering hot and I felt terrible for the two women in heavy dresses that were working over the cast-iron kettles.
Dan got this great panorama shot of a cluster of houses.
We stopped for glass (ice cream) and I took a picture of the flavor list to show all of the different flavors in Swedish. Some are pretty easy to figure out, but others are unique, like melon and pear. Daim is a candy bar which is similar to a Heath Bar. Yum. Cornetto is a soft serve ice cream that comes individually packaged and the attendant opens the package and pushes its contents through a machine and on to a cone. It's like the Keurig of ice cream. Doesn't matter what flavor you pick, it all goes through the same machine.
Skansen was my first experience with water in a can.
Unfortunately, sparkling water is king in Sweden. It was difficult to find places that sold still water. I'm not a fan of sparking water at all.
We found the most beautiful restaurant to grab a coffee and bullar (cinnamon buns). The Flickorna Helin Voltaire looked like something from a Tim Burton movie. Inside, it was filled with little alcoves and a photography exhibit. A very special place to take a break.
My favorite part of Skansen was all of the animals. But almost better than the actual animals, were these two signs regarding pigs.
The second one, with the pig looking absolutely petrified, is even funnier. Screw the tummy ache, this pig wants some junk food, not plants!
We saw a ton of animals, including sheep and goats. The moose was my favorite, although the poor things were clearly suffering in the heat. I was surprised to see a seal exhibit. The best exhibit was the bears, who had an enormous enclosure and who were acting very playful while we visited. I've also included some pictures of animal sculptures and a snake themed slide.
We recorded the bears playing on the tree branches. There were probably ten bears in the exhibit, all very active and playful.
We had a great time at Skansen. We will have to go back the next time that we are Stockholm, to see everything that we didn't have time to fit in on this trip. It's definitely a must-see attraction.