We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday…
As this summer was the first time in my life where I was able to have 4 weeks of paid vacation leave (plus the extra 2 weeks of bonus pay that you get here in Finland…), we decided to go on a bit of an adventure. After checking out a number of options, we settled on a housesitting holiday in England. I signed up at TrustedHousesitters.com and after a short time had managed to secure a housesit for dates that coincided with my holiday break. The cheapest way to get to England from Helsinki was to take the overnight ferry to Stockholm and then catch an EasyJet flight out the next evening, which gave us a day in Stockholm for some sightseeing.
After a delicious buffet breakfast on board the Viking Line’s M/S Gabriella we arrived in Stockholm around 10:00am, caught the bus to the Central Railway Station where we stored our bags in the luggage lockers, and headed off into the city for a look around.
Mamma Mia, Here we go Again
My My, How Can I Resist You ???
No trip to Stockholm would be complete without a visit to the ABBA Museum, so we made our way there on the tram. This is a top ranking Stockholm tourist attraction so, even though it was my second visit here, I was looking forward to it. As we hadn’t booked our tickets in advance we did have to queue for around 20-30 minutes to get to the ticket desk, so if you are planning on heading there I would recommend booking in advance if you don’t fancy queuing. Also remember that it is a cashless museum meaning that you will need some sort of payment card to purchase tickets or merchandise here.
Once inside you are taken on a journey from the pre-ABBA days of the band, with lots of interactive exhibits where you can listen to them telling their stories about their personal journeys into music and ultimately ABBA. On the way through you get to try your hand at mixing a track, singing along in a recording booth, recreating the moves that we danced to in the ’70’s and ’80’s, sitting in the helicopter from the cover of the Arrival album and even joining in on stage and becoming the 5th member of a virtual ABBA stage show.
For anyone who was a child (or a young adult) of the ’70’s and ’80’s and remembers singing along to the ABBA classics such as “Waterloo”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Dancing Queen” and the likes then this museum is like a step back into your childhood or youth. It is filled with the costumes they wore, the album covers and the sounds of those days long ago and will leave you humming, singing and bopping away as you relive your personal memories of this pop sensation. Your ticket has a barcode on it which allows you to store all of your interactive endeavours online so you can go back later and watch yourself dancing or listen to your singing. If you are really lucky the ABBA phone may ring while you are nearby and you can pick it up and have a conversation with one of the band….
This is definitely one of those places you walk out of with a spring in your step and a classic ABBA tune in your head which will follow you around for the next few days, so beat the crowds and book your ticket here.
After this we caught the tram back to Kungstradgarden, from where we set off for a walk through the historic Gamla Stan district to while away the rest of the afternoon. This is an area of Stockholm that dates back to the 13th century and is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centres in Europe. This area is full of narrow streets, picturesque alleyways, cobbled streets and ancient architecture and is home to the Royal Palace and the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) among other notable buildings. After exploring the streets of Gamla Stan it was time for a quick bite for dinner, back to the Central Railway Station to grab our bags and catch the bus to the airport to wing our way off to England.