I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Skansen


Djurgården is a five-minute ferry ride from Skeppsholmen. With typical Swedish efficiency, they put a button at the ferry stop that you push to call the ferry, and a few minutes later it arrives. I was so impressed by this I was tempted to just ferry-hop around Stockholm for the rest of the day, but I got off in Djurgården as planned and went to Skansen.

Skansen is a huge open-air museum celebrating Swedish history and culture. I'm tempted to call it the Swedish version of Colonial Williamsburg -- there are people walking around in traditional clothing, and demonstrations of glassmaking and other crafts -- but it's not at all commercialized, and not the least bit tacky. There wasn't a single Skansen t-shirt for sale anywhere.

All of the buildings are real, from different areas of Sweden, representing different eras, reassembled here. (The turf-roofed house on the left dates from around 1700 and was originally in Södermalm.)

There are farm buildings with pastures of farm animals, a petting zoo, picnic tables everywhere, lots of wooded paths and open space. It might be the most civilized big city park I've ever seen. I thought I might spend an hour there -- admission is free with the very handy Stockholm tourist card -- and then go on to one of the other parks or museums on Djurgården, but I ended up spending the entire morning and only left because it was obviously about to rain.

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