Skansen in Winter

My friend and I planned to visit Skansen yesterday. The plan was to meet at 11. I reached the venue at 11:30. Unfortunately my friend had forgotten to pick up the entrance tickets so she had to rush home and pick it up. She arrived by 12.

Those 45 mins of waiting felt like I was trapped in ice. The temperature was only between -1C. Technically it shouldn’t be much because I have experienced unto -18C. Despite three layers of clothes, my toes and fingers began to turn numb! I stood there stamping my toes so I don’t loose my sense. I almost decided to return home wondering if I will be able to survive that long outdoors!

Thank God I didn’t!

We just had two hours on our hands. Gosh! It just wasn’t enough! We couldn’t help just stand in complete awe at every step and every turn! Although the trees were barren and there was nothing colorful, except for the red wooden houses, there still was something very captivating and rustic about all of it!

Within moments I absolutely forgot how cold it was! Only then I realized that even most of what we feel physically has to do with our mind! It’s what we put our mind to that grips our body!

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Btw, Skansen is an outdoor museum of Swedish history and culture. The moment you step into those gates, you are taken back in time. The place is a replica of a late 18th century town. It consists of houses, office buildings, barns, post office, street market, church, Scandinavian animals, etc.

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The cottage on top is the first one we stepped in. On the right there was an old cozy living room. On the left there was a door with a key in its keyhole. My friend and I thought we will trying opening it. To our surprise it opened and there was a person sitting inside and knitting! I was shocked for a moment as I wasn’t expecting anyone inside!

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She warmly welcomed us. We sat on a little couch by the window and she explained to us how life was back then with no water supply and electricity. Such were the cottages of laborers who worked for wealthy businessmen. She said they did not make a fortune, but they did make enough for living with their handicrafts!

I also exchanged a few sentences in Swedish! She was quite impressed 😉

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Most of the buildings were close since winter is off season. However just the sight of these houses felt like we had walked into a post card!

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Usually, there are people dressed up like countrymen walking around. Again since it was off season, we were able to meet only one on the road!

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Meeting Alphonse!

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A Sea Lion – They are quite massive!

Having grown up singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer every Christmas, it was quite a feeling to finally see one!

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Each of their antlers have a unique pattern so intricately carved by the Master Craftsman!

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These wooly sheep looked so cute!

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All the little ponds and streams were frozen! I wonder how magical Skansen would look in snow!

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There was a small row of these cute little houses, were you can actually sit inside and have a picnic meal!

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It was almost time for us to hurry back. Just then a lady working there who walked past us, gave us a handful of sunflower seeds and asked us to stretch out our hands. In moments, cute little birds (I am not sure what kind they are!) flew to our hands and fed on the seeds. I was amazed how fearless they are. They had absolutely no problem with a huge DSLR staring at them!

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It was truly an exhilarating feeling!

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This cobble stone alley was the just the prettiest!

The yellow door on the right opened into a spice shop!

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It was dimly lit. It was cold, damp and yet smelled of spices! The lovely lady there explained to us what such shops usually sold!

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Aftonbladet is one only of the old newspapers of Sweden which is still in circulation. The one in the picture below is a replica of its 15th version that was published in 1890s.

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Skansen was one of the places on my to-see list prior to coming here. After coming here when I read the reviews, I found that people had either rated it with 5 stars or 1! It was quite weird because that shows people either loved it or hated it! So I kinda lost the interest to visit it!

Now after visiting the place, I feel Skansen is for those who love nature, history, culture and the little things in life. It is not fancy nor fast paced. In other words, its the essence of Sweden itself – not fancy or fast paced, but laid back, relaxed and quaint!

Skansen took me back to a time and place were life was so simple and people were so one with the nature that surrounded them! You cannot just walk past a house or a street. How I wish I had a few more hours to stand at every spot, breath that air, treat my eyes and my mind with all that beauty! You cannot just see Skansen! You got to feel it!

I just cannot wait for summer to take my girls there!

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