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ABBA, or rather, wax figures of them.

Kitsch and Karaoke at ABBA The Museum

Admit it: You like ABBA. Okay, maybe you don’t like ABBA, but you catch yourself singing along when you hear an ABBA song on the radio. Love them or hate them, unless you’re truly allergic to the sound of their music, you’ll enjoy ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. The museum was kind enough to…

a view out of the main building toward the lake at Öster Malma

Öster Malma Estate: Not for Animal Lovers

Öster Malma Castle and Wildlife Park, which I visited as part of a familiarization tour organized by Visit Sörmland and Visit Sweden, includes a beautiful estate house and a large wildlife park. It is more modest (read: smaller) than the others we visited, like Gripsholm, Nynäs and Sparreholms, but was nevertheless interesting. Built in the 1600s,…

Inside a Hop On Hop Off boat

Hop On Hop Off: my only bad experience in Stockholm

As you’ve probably guessed from my posts about Sweden, my trip was a great success. I took part in two familiarization tours: one before and one after the TBEX conference. The first was an introduction to the Stockholm archipelago and Swedish military history. In the second, I visited several manor houses and castles in the southern province of Sörmland….

the manor house at Nynäs

Nynäs: more than “Upstairs Downstairs”

The very impressive Nynäs manor house (pronounced new-nahs) is about a 30 minute drive from Nyköping. What makes this manor house special is that it was occupied continuously from when it was completed in the 1680s until 1984. In that year, the Gripenstedt family, who had owned it since the 1850s, sold it and all…

in the center of Nyköping

Flying into Skavsta? Nyköping is worth a look.

Budget airlines seek out secondary airports because the landing fees are lower. Skavsta airport, an hour outside of Stockholm, is one of these: both Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to Skavsta. Most visitors get on the express bus to Stockholm straight from their plane. That is a mistake. While I had booked a cheap Ryanair…

This grave was left in place inside the excavation. A mirror above the skeleton allows visitors to view it.

The Medieval Museum of Stockholm

Back in the 1970s, the Swedish Parliament planned to build a garage underground next to the Parliament building in Stockholm. As often happens in European cities, the construction stopped when excavation uncovered the remains of what turned out to be the original medieval center of Stockholm. For two years, archeologists excavated and studied the city wall, built by…

a spice shop, the precursor to the grocery store, at Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden

Skansen open-air museum, Stockholm

Or: Both of these statements are true. The fact is that most of us only have limited time when we travel, and, if you’re like me, you want to see as much as possible in that limited time. Open-air museums help us cut corners by letting us see buildings from a wide area assembled in…

The main hall in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

The Nordic Museum: Sweden’s small-town museum

Exploring the Nordic Museum in Stockholm reminded me of some of the small-town museums I’ve visited before. Often a seemingly random collection of objects donated by residents or local companies, they offer insight into the area’s culture and history. I enjoy them because their “smallness” is often quite amusing. The Nordic Museum struck me as…

Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden

Gripsholm Castle and Two Charming Towns

It surprised me that the lovely town of Mariefred is only about 40 kilometers east of Stockholm, Sweden. It seems much further because it is so different. “Only” 40 kilometers is a bit misleading, however, given that most of what lies in between is water and islands. Traveling there by road, as I did recently on…

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