Animals and antiques

Trip Start Dec 23, 2012
Trip End Jan 23, 2013

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Flag of Sweden  , Stockholm,
Friday, January 18, 2013

Temp. -12C

Back on the bus tour today, with lots of things to see & photograph. It's a sunny day with blue sky & no clouds, first one for the trip. But clear sky means extra icy cold & with the breeze I'm sure it's colder than -12C. I'm becoming an expert now :) That sun is so bright & low in the sky that it's making taking photos really tricky.

Saw the majority of the main sights in the city including the Royal Palace which like Oslo is very open to the public,cathedral, Parliament, Opera House etc. Walking around is still a challenge & I continue having to watch where I'm walking.

I decide to spend most of the day at a park called Skansen. It's similar to the Folk Museum in Oslo where all the buildings are originals & have been relocated to this park. You can see buildings from different eras starting with a Sami village to a 19th Manor House. Not all the buildings were open but some were & inside there were people in costume explaining what they are doing. There were shops as well showing various trades eg. pottery, bakery, furniture making, printing. I had a long conversation with this old man & woman at the Furniture maker. They told me a simple history of Sweden, the types of wood he uses. Then he told he that he worked for the original founder of IKEA who started his first factory in this area of Stockholm. He then taught me, or told me, how to pronounce IKEA properly, the 'i' is said like in igloo, and the 'e' like in egg.

The park also contains farms, an aquarium & zoo. The zoo has Nordic animals, and this is one of the main reasons I came. I got to see an energetic wolverine, who kept running around & was impossible to photograph. Next was the wolf enclosure, my favourite animal to see. They were much larger than I had imagined & very beautiful & peaceful because they'd just eaten. Next were Lynx who were very funny to watch. Three looked smaller in size than one & the way they were running around & jumping I guessed they were juveniles. They kept stalking each other, hiding behind rocks, pouncing, rolling. Very hysterical. Unfortunately the large brown bears were hibernating, of course, so they weren't on display. I finally got to see reindeer up close, albeit in a zoo, and there were huge Elk which are related to the Moose. The other animal I enjoyed watching was the Sea Otter. It was being fed by it's keeper & it was as if they were playing hide & seek. First you'd see it, then it'd disappear & pop up out of the ice. It was totally adorable & I think I stood & watched it for 30mins. That's a great feat of endurance to stand perfectly still in this temperature.

This park is huge & very hilly, which is a challenge not just because of exhaustion but icy, slippery slopes. Proud to say that at this point of the trip I've never fallen only wobbled. I ended up staying at this park longer than I expected which means I missed out on a museum that holds a tall ship from the 16th century. Not to worry.
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jalobro on

Haha, and all of us nuff nuffs have been saying eye-key-arr all these years ;)

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