What threw me off the most about spring time in Stockholm was the extended day time. I woke up at around 6:00 AM and the sun was already up, I went to sleep around 10:00 PM, the sun was still up! The first few days I had mini panic attacks thinking that I’ve overslept!
Excited for the second day of sightseeing, we had breakfast and made our way towards the Tram stop! From SicklaUdde we enjoyed a nice morning tram ride to Globen and walked to the Ericsson Globe. The Ericsson Globe originally known as the Ericsson Globe Arena is the largest hemispherical building in the world! It has a diameter of 110m and an inner height of 85m with a seating capacity for an audience of 16,000 for shows and 13,850 fans during Ice Hockey games. This iconic Stockholm landmark is home to SkyView, where you can get on a gondola that departs every 10 minutes and scale up the side of the globe to get a fantastic view of Stockholm. A Swedish work colleague who interned at an elevator company told me that the gondolas on the Globe are categorized as roller-coasters because of the curved track that they move on.
Have you ever heard about the “Sweden Solar System”? For those of you who have not, it’s the world’s largest permanent scale model of the Solar System. In this scale model the Ericsson Globe represents the Sun and whilst the inner planets are found in Stockholm, the outer planets are founds in cities along the Baltic Sea.
Next on the list was the Nordic Museum. Known as Nordiskamuseet in Swedish, this museum is located on an island called Djurgården. The building that houses the artifacts of the museum takes the styles of Dutch-influenced Danish Renaissance architecture instead of a Swedish historical model. This Cathedral like building has a huge main hall which is about 130 meters long, and in the center, passing through all the levels of the building upto the roof is a gigantic sculpture of King Gustav Vasa, the so called founder-king of Sweden. The artifacts showcased in the museum are dedicated towards the ethnography and cultural history of Sweden from the early modern period to the contemporary period. The museum was founded in the late 19th century by ArturHazelius who also happens to be the founder of the open-air museum Skansen, our next destination.
Skansen attracts more than a million visitors each year! The 75 acre land that belongs to the museum is used to set up a complete replica of an average 19th century Swedish town! Here you will find craftsmen and women in their traditional attire going about their day to day chores as shoemakers, silversmiths, bakers and glass-blowers. The grounds also host an open-air Zoo that is home to an array of Scandinavian and non-Scandinavian animals like the Bison, Brown Bear, Moose, Grey Seal, Lynx, Otter, Red Fox, Reindeer, Wolf and Wolverine. You also have a chance to see rare breeds of farm animals at the farmsteads located on the premises. Skansen, the first open-air museum in Sweden is also located in Djurgården, a short walk from the Nordic Museum.
After spending a good part of the day at Skansen, we proceeded to the next attraction on our list of places to visit, Skansen’s Aquarium! Though it’s referred to as an Aquarium it’s actually a fully-fledged zoo. Spanning over an area of 3,000 square meters, it is one of the zoos that is home to the most number of animals in the country. The animals that are on display vary depending on the seasons so you may not find all the animals mentioned on the website during your visit. The Lemurs are the most popular residents at the zoo! For those of you who don’t know what a Lemur is, think of the hit song “I like to move it” from the popular movie franchise Madagascar. In the movie, the character of King Julien is a Lemur. The Aquarium is home to many species of Monkeys, Fish, Spiders, Snakes, Lizards, Frogs, Turtles, Crocodiles, and Birds. Certain sections of the Aquarium allow visitors to get up close and personal with a few selected animals. If you’re brave enough you can even stroke the head of the python or have a Tarantula on the palm of your hand!
Next we headed to Gröna Lund! I’ve been itching to go here since the moment I saw it on the “Stockholm Pass” pamphlet! For many years, I’ve been watching documentaries on the Discovery Channel and TLC about amusement parks around the world and dreaming of an opportunity to experience it firsthand. And today was the day! Gröna Lund is also located on the sea side of Djurgården Island. Because it is located in central Stockholm, the park is relatively small in size compared to other amusement parks, but has more than 30 attractions for visitors to enjoy. The park is a popular venue for concerts during summer time! I was mostly interested in riding a roller coaster and Gröna Lund had 3 of them! Twister: a wooden roller coaster that boasts of its compact size and unique classical design located by the waterfront, Jetliner: An action-packed classic steel-track coaster designed by the legendary roller coaster manufacturers “Anton Schwartzkopf”, Kvasten: where your legs dangle in the air like flying on a broomstick swishing past the haunted house to enrage the mean old troll, and Nyckelpigan: the kiddie coaster fit for all ages! The park also has a refurbished thrilling Ghost Train ride, a terrifying Haunted House, a giant wave swinger and a giant drop!
After two days of frantically exploring the sights and sounds of Stockholm, it was time for us to get back into work mode and prepare for the work week ahead.
“Just close your eyes and enjoy the Roller Coaster that is life.”
– Zayn Malik