A Few Days in Stockholm

Carousel in Gröna Lund

One week and one hundred and seventy miles into our sailing vacation, we had arrived in the capital of Sweden, cool Stockholm. It did feel like an accomplishment of sorts, so with a bit of humble pride in our hearts, we stepped ashore to enjoy the city.

Allsång på Skansen

Allsång på Skansen (Sing-along at Skansen) is a legendary Swedish live music show that has been held at a place called Skansen (very close to our marina) every summer Tuesday since 1935 — that’s over eighty years! They broadcast it live on television (nowadays over in Finland as well), and there are usually thousands of people attending.

“What’s that music?” M asked, when we were walking by, outside the Skansen hill and park.

A few moments later we had paid the entrance fees, ascended up to the top of the hill (cool escalator, there, so cool that Charlotte wasn’t even able to look down!), and were standing, along with the rest of the crowd, at the Allsången stage watching their rehearsals for the evening show.

“This is a bit too loud for me,” J commented.

Sing-along at Skansen, the evening we were there. This picture is grabbed from the SVT live show, though. We saw the rehearsals earlier in the day.

Skansen is actually one of the world’s largest open-air museums, with lots of animals, farms, restaurants and other attractions. It’s a really, really nice place to visit on a sunny day. We enjoyed it a lot!

Little L with a hen.
A big bear! We were looking for the bear all over the place and then it finally appeared!
M and Little L trying to get airborne in Skansen’s small amusement park. They failed (=couldn’t get it to go upward), and it all ended in Little L weeping and the operator asking if she should stop the ride. It was Charlotte’s and my fault, though, since we kept shouting them the wrong instructions (“push” instead of “pull” to get up 🙈). Sorry for that!

ABBA – The Musem

Later in the evening, Charlotte and I went to see ABBA The Museum, another attraction just a short walk from our marina.

It was surprisingly enjoyable! We even got to sing a karaoke song there, together as a duo! And make a music video where I tried to dance so ridiculously I could. “You look ridiculous,” Charlotte commented. Success! 🤘)

Costumes from the Mamma Mia movie.
ABBA’s costume’s from 1974 when they won the Eurovision song contest with Waterloo.
A replica of the Polar Studio, where ABBA recorded a lot of their legendary music.

Me and the sign.
The wax figures were quite amazing.

Gröna Lund

The main event, of course, was going to the amusement park, Gröna Lund.

We spent the whole day there. Charlotte and the children went to countless rides, ate ice-cream, ate popcorn, went to more rides.

Little L and the tall people.
M checking out the water.
Charlotte’s outrageously delicious ice-cream cocktail.

Everything went wonderfully, with two notable exceptions.

Firstly, when O was trying to climb up the moving stairs of the Laughter House, he lost both his timing and balance and was really struggling to get up. A man below him noticed his despair, and was able to push him up and over the stairs. O got a few wounds and a big scare. (That fortunately didn’t last for long.)

Secondly, the park was absolutely packed with people, and for half an hour or so, we lost J!

“Where is J?” Charlotte suddenly asked.

We were all walking in a line and suddenly he was nowhere to be seen.

“You all stay here and wait if he comes back. I will try to find him,” I said to Charlotte.

I walked through all the places I thought he might have gone to, but there were just too many people and no sight of him.

About fifteen-twenty minutes later Charlotte called me.

“Come here! Come here, now! Someone called me from a Swedish number but I couldn’t hear them!”

We had put name tags with phone numbers on all the children. I put Charlotte’s phone number there, since my phone was almost out of charge. What I didn’t remember was the Charlotte’s internal speaker was broken, so you could hear close to nothing of what the other person was saying.

I ran back to Charlotte and tried calling the number from my phone. No answer.

Then they called Charlotte back again and I answered.

And couldn’t hear anything the other person was saying.

“I can’t hear you! Please answer when I call from another phone!”, I shouted into the phone.

“But but… we have your child!” I could barely hear someone shouting on the other side.

I hung up, called back, they answered, and finally we were able to talk to each other.

All’s well that ends well.

J had lost us, tried to find us for a while, but when he couldn’t, he had walked over to one of the park employees and explained his situation.

He got quite a scare, for sure.

“Papa, I will hold your hand now, when we walk,” he said to me, and so we did.

J, together with us again. (Thank goodness.) M to the right and the cap of O.
The children’s favorite ride! They went several times, and then some more.

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