We are really really bad tourists. We meant to go to art galleries and more palaces and all sorts of things. I can imagine if the weather had been worse we would have done that. But the weather was perfect for walking and walking and walking, so that is largely what we did. Still, we went to the following.
The Nobel Prize museum. I mentioned elsewhere online my surprise that they didn’t display the sports section. I was expecting to see Australia Australia Australia all the way. Except for the bad weather events, of course. In practice we found the place lacking, even granted that it ignores sport. There were displays where one could find out something about each prize winner, but most of the information which was clearly supposed to be there was missing. New and thus incomplete? Next up a little cinema where one could actually see winners in film clips. But each clip is limited to a few minutes in length – pity! On the other hand, it was a fairly comfy place to nap. Indeed so soundly did we sleep, that when we later woke up and moved on to a gallery nearby, only to discover all our money, which generally speaking was in my bag, was missing, the worst did seem possible to me. Either an enterprising thief had ferreted around in my bag or I’d left it all in the apartment we were renting. Yes, all was okay, I had left it behind. Phew!
Skansen Established in the late 1800, this bills itself as the world’s first open-air museum. It’s a strange mix of historical display – authentic buildings, costume etc of the past – and a zoo of sorts. Frankly, I thought the animals were a bit sooky – it was only about low twenties, but they were acting like Australians in the middle of a mid forties heatwave. Ie mostly napping and often not visible. There are lots of eating opportunities here, so although we brought a picnic with us, there was no need. In fact we rested up for a while in a nineteenth century cafe located in the historical quarter which had a charming outside area, though inside was grimly dark as seems to be the wont of locals.
Drottningholm Palace My favourite. You take a ferry for an hour’s trip or so through a sample of the archipelago to get to this beautiful seventeenth century palace which is on UNESCO’s world heritage list. We weren’t good enough tourists to go inside. Instead we brought a picnic lunch to have outside in the grounds which are well worth spending a few hours’ walking around. Again, it wasn’t necessary to bring lunch, there being several places to eat. We went to a very old building near the Chinese Pavilion when we needed a drink. I don’t see this cafe mentioned on the website, we came upon it by accident.
Drottningholm Theatre For us the highlight of the palace visit was going to be seeing The Magic Flute at its amazing theatre – the only working eighteenth century theatre in Europe and the set for Bergman’s famous interpretation of the opera. Ahem. I said ‘was going to be’. It turned out that we’d actually bought tickets for a guided tour of the theatre. JUST the sort of thing we don’t do! In fact it has occasionally shown the opera, but not this year and it was too early in the summer for anything to be on there. There is a standard tour of the theater and while we were there, a special one that focussed on Bergman – expensive at around $40 for one hour*, but there were only three of us unlike the large group for the regular tour and we got to go on the stage. It was all very exciting, so much so that I forgot to sing. The building is amazing, I highly recommend paying for a tour, and if you happen to be there at a time where an opera is possible, go!! I’m sure it’ll be worth it.
* yeah, don’t tell me, suspiciously cheap for an opera, but the last time we’d seen The Magic Flute it had been by coin donation, so you know….