Hey everyone! I hope you've been enjoying my travel posts all about my adventures in Sweden :) We only went to Stockholm for three days so this will be the last post about how we spent our trip. I wish we had more time in Stockholm as there was so much that we didn't get to see! We still had a incredible time and I've been looking forward to sharing this post with you. Enjoy!
On Sunday morning, we had a well-needed lie in after the Eurovision celebrations the night before. Once we eventually managed to get out of bed, we headed out to look for somewhere to eat. We came across a bar called 'Pub Anchor' which I thought was quite cool since there's a similarly named pub at the end of my street back home. It turned out to be an alternative bar so it was really awesome listening to a mixture of Swedish metal/rock and popular US bands. Green Day even came on! (They will always be my favourite band). For lunch, I ordered a burger meal; my burger came with bacon and salad on and I got some delicious chips. My friend chose chicken pasta and absolutely loved it! It was a great way to kick start our day.
I can't visit anywhere without checking out the local zoos, so I was really excited when I discovered that there was an outdoor folk museum and zoo in Stockholm. Two of my favourite things in one place, History & Animals ♥ The place we went to is called Skansen Museum & Zoo, and its the oldest open-air museum in the world (established in 1891). It's such a massive place! We weren't expecting it to be as big as it was, so we couldn't see it all since we arrived three hours before closing time. There was quite a lot of it that was uphill too; hills are not very compatible with my asthma and my feet were really sore from all the sight-seeing we'd done so we walked around at a nice leisurely pace. The grounds are filled with beautiful buildings that would have been found in old traditional rural Sweden. The museum aims to show visitors the way people lived between the 16th century and the beginning of the 20th century in the countryside towns and villages.
How gorgeous is this building!? it's a little school house. All of the buildings that are open to the public on-site are filled with traditional furnishings which is really cool to see. The old black stoves inside are in working condition, and are on so the buildings are toasty warm and it's awesome to be able to see them and get a feel of what it would have been like for the people living in the buildings all that time ago. The staff working in the buildings at Skansen were dressed in traditional clothing too, which was another thing that I thought was fantastic. There was a teacher in the school house explaining about the life of the man who was the teacher in this actual school. She was telling us that school teachers made little money so had to do other jobs in order to support their livelihoods. The teacher who taught in this particular building also raised bees and sold the honey, and apparently he made more money from that than from teaching. I absolutely love learning about anything historical!
I loved seeing this traditional classroom! It made me think about all of the movies and musicals I've seen set in Victorian and Edwardian England, and it made my imagination run wild thinking about what it would have looked like in 16th century Sweden filled with students. What would they have been learning about? What would they have been wearing to school? What materials would they have been using to do their school work? Inside the school, there was also a kitchen, the teachers bedroom and his office.
The next building we explored was called 'The Skane Farmstead'. The sign outside said that the farm had been transported from Skane, in Southern Sweden and it was set up how it would have looked in the 1920's when the Akesson family lived there. The farmstead was surrounded by enclosures with different farm animals in so walking around it felt almost like we'd been transported back in time. There were sheep and cows, and geese and chickens roaming around. The house you can see at the back of the courtyard was so pretty inside but unfortunately no photos we allowed to be taken. There was an elderly man in there dressed in traditional farming clothes and he talked to us about where the house had come from, which was really interesting. I loved seeing the original furnishings in the living room and the bedroom, and again the stove was on in here too.
There was lots of old artefacts around the farm such as this water pump, as well as milk churns and old farming equipment. I was so fascinated by everything I saw. We saw some adorable lambs by the farmstead too! I'd love to visit more outdoor/open-air museums. I went to one with my best friend when we were around 14 years old in Yorkshire called Ryedale Folk Museum, and that was awesome!
I had to snap a photo of this goose on a roof because it made me giggle! I don't know why, but I thought I'd share it with you all anyway :) haha
This building was a traditional village hall. Inside there were rows of wooden benches and with wooden walls and floor, it reminded me of the rural churches I've seen on American movies. It was gorgeous inside with the light shining in through the windows and across the floor; I felt so peaceful and could have sat in there for ages. I just love the red colour that all of the buildings were painted in. We saw lots of houses that were this traditional colour on our first train journey from the Arlanda airport to Stockholm city. They were so picturesque. There was a lovely man sitting inside the village hall who chatted to us briefly and gave us a leaflet all about the village hall, and then left us to look around. I prefer this so much because it makes me really anxious when I have to make awkward conversation with people!
At the back of the village hall, there was a room filled with cabinets. I LOVE this one packed with books. I think old books are gorgeous! I also love old photos so it was great to be able to look at the ones in this cabinet. There was a tiny room at the side of the village hall with a bed and a kitchen area in, too. This is the last building what we went into, but we also saw a massive church, some huge farm houses, a barn and some cool storehouses. There were some staff dressed in traditional farming outfits who were sawing logs and carrying out other activities that would have been seen back in 20th century rural Sweden. I really recommend going to Skansen if you ever get the chance!
I thought this 'Soldier's Cottage' was really pretty because of it's roof! I just adore buildings like this that look like they perfectly blend in with the natural surroundings. It would be a dream to live in a little cottage in the woods with a roof like this and a garden full of flowers. The next part of Skansen we explored was the zoo. It was only small with a few species of animals but it was lovely to see some Scandinavian species. I didn't get many photographs because the weather wasn't the best on Sunday and so most of the animals were hiding in their sleeping quarters. The zoo has wolverines, otter, lynx, brown bears, elk, reindeer, grey and common seals, wild boar, owls, red fox, woodpeckers and European bison.
I think bison are beautiful so I was really happy to see them at the Skansen zoo. They are in the process of shedding their coats so they look really patchy and shaggy, but it was nice to see that the zoo had provided enrichment in the form of brushes on the trees so they can scratch against them. In the enclosure with the bison, there were also wild boar. The wild boar had given birth to piglets so there were 8 gorgeous babies running around!
I was really excited about seeing the elk! They are known as moose in America but elk in Europe and I can't stop calling them moose. I think they are so adorable with their long noses. The elk/moose is the national animal of Sweden and the souvenir shops in Stockholm were filled with moose themed gifts. I got myself something with a moose on, as well as a moose pin badge for my brother and for my best friend a pink moose keyring (she loves pink!). Another animal that I was looking forward to seeing and was one of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Skansen was the wolverine. They are beautiful animals and I don't know of any zoos in the UK that have them (please tell me if you know of any) so it would have been amazing to have the chance of see one. However, the wolverine was no where to be seen which was a shame, it was probably asleep inside off public view.
The lynx was hiding in it's cave at the back of it's huge enclosure but thankfully, I could zoom in with my camera to see it. How beautiful is it!? It's ears are so pretty and I love it's markings. I've never seen a lynx before! There were some absolutely fantastic enclosures at Skansen. They had naturalistic set-ups filled with trees and foliage, with ponds and fallen logs to resemble the natural forest habits of the species housed there. It was lovely to see so much enrichment (which are things provided to animals to encourage the expression of normal behaviours). I was completely nerding out over the enclosures and the enrichment I saw. I have a degree in Zoo Biology, so this is my thing!
This is just one part of the lynx's enclosure, omg i just really love it! I didn't get to see the wolves either because they had some new arrivals so they were off-public so that they could settle in. Their enclosure was just as awesome! After looking around the zoo, we found a little shop so I managed to get some postcards. I'm honestly postcard obsessed! I look for them everywhere I go. Next to the shop, there was a 'children's zoo' which was a building filled with smaller species and there was also an area with enclosures set up with teddies inside to resemble real animals to educate the children. The animals in the children zoo included a European tree frog, toads, sand lizards, newts, snakes, rabbits, rats, fish and some really adorable field mice that were too fast to photograph!
Since most of Skansen was on top of a hill, we got some amazing views over Stockholm. It was really windy up there too, I felt like I was going to get blown away! Overall, Skansen was an fabulous place and I really enjoyed our visit there. Something that did disappoint me a little about my trip there was that I couldn't go into the aquarium/reptile house, and world of monkeys. This part of the zoo was owned by a seperate company so you had to pay an extra admission fee to get in. It's quite close to the entrance so we'd literally only just paid to get into the park. I would have probably paid to get in before leaving the zoo but we didn't have time. Reptiles are my favourite group of animals so I was sad that I didn't get to see them! Nevermind, I saw some lovely animals and I absolutely loved the museum side of Skansen. It was a great way to spend our last day in Sweden. It was an amazing trip and I can't wait to go back there someday.I'm so proud of myself to stepping out of my comfort zone and going abroad with my friend, we can fantastic time and I really challenged my anxiety.
Thankyou for reading!
Have you ever been to an open-air/outdoor museum? What's your favourite Scandinavian animal?
Check out my other posts about Sweden: