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Published: January 31st 2007
Stockholm truly lives up to its reputation for being one of the world's most beautiful cities. The city itself is made up of thousands of islands, with multiple harbours forming the backdrop for the beautiful baroque style architecture throughout the city centre. Our day in Stockholm was largely spent strolling around. While it was a very chilly day, the sun was out making our stroll along the harbour really beautiful. Being that Stockholm is the city of museums, it was only fitting that our visit there include two of the most famous. We first visited Skansen, an open air museum that exhibits traditional housing from Swedish and Nordic lands. It also houses a huge variety of animals, some of which I had never seen before. Being that its winter here, the brown bears at Skansen were in hibernation but other inhabitants put in an appearance including elk, lynx cats, wolverines, foxes, bison, otters, seals, owls and even a few lively squirrels (not part of the exhibits there but just roaming around in true squirrel fashion!)
Coinciding with our introduction to common species of the Northern World was our first real experience of the cold. While we'd been exposed to -10
degree temperatures at various times in Sweden, our time at Skansen was the longest period we'd ever spent outdoors in such conditions. Adam and I felt our faces, fingers and toes go completely numb. My legs were also becoming numb and eventually we had to go indoors to quite literally defrost!
Our second museum outing was to Nobel-Museet which presented the history of Nobel prizes and their recipients. It was truly fascinating, not only the prizes themselves but the historical events that formed the backdrop for such achievements. It gave me my first real sense of how interconnected everything throughout Europe is, with nationhood itself seeming to be the only real division between European citizens. Quite surprisingly we stumbled upon this museum as a group of performers from a famous Swedish circus were doing circus tricks in the foyer of the museum so we also got a display of some fabulous circus acrobatics. Its amazing what the human body is capable of!
My favourite part of our day was our visit to Gamla Stan, the oldest part of Sweden having been built in the 13th century. We arrived at Gamla stan via ferry which gave us a beautiful
view of the area as we approached. It was full of lovely old buildings and interesting little shops and galleries, all strung out along traditional narrow cobbled streets. The Royal Palace is located there, along with the Royal Cathedral of Sweden. We definitely hope to return one day.
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