Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday July 15, Stockholm

     It took me a while to get my head wrapped around the money here in Sweden.  In other countries I've been in, there's a large unit, like our dollar, and a smaller unit, like cents.  Here there are only kroner.  Looking in my wallet, I have coins of 1 kroner (silver and the size of a quarter), 5 kroner (silver and bigger than a quarter), 10 kroner (gold and smaller than the 1 kroner).    I have bills of 20 kroner, 50 kroner, 100 kroner, and 500 kroner. The larger the denomination, the larger the size of the bill.  I owed 40 kroner and the woman at the cash register asked me if I had any coins. I gave her a 20 kroner bill and then I showed her the coins I had and she gladly took two of my 10 kroner coins.  Until then I didn't realize that each 10 coin was half of a 20 bill.  I think I've got the hang of it now.  There are about 8 kroner to one U.S. dollar, so 100 kroner equals about 12 USD.

     Today we went to Skansen.  It's Conner Prairie on steroids, if you're in the Indianapolis area.  Otherwise, it's a living history museum with old buildings and people dressed in period costumes acting as though they are in that time period.  The neat thing about Skansen is that it was founded back in 1891 to show what life was like in different areas of Sweden before the industrial age.  There's also a zoo and an aquarium.  We looked at a few of the animals, but didn't really visit the zoo or aquarium.

     Skansen is on a large island called Djurgården .  It was once the royal hunting grounds but now it is home to several tourist attractions including the Vasa museum and the ABBA museum (more on them in a later post), an amusement park, walking paths, and several other museums.  We got there using a tram after we got off the subway.    We spent about 2 1/2 hours at Skansen then ate lunch at a restaurant across the street.  One nice thing about Stockholm is that many restaurants in the touristy areas have a special fixed price lunch menu.  For about 100 kroner (12 USD) you can get a main course with sides, salad bar (Scandinavian style--see an earlier post), bread, coffee/tea/water/reddish-pink juice.  We like to do this then eat a lighter dinner.  (It would be hard to find a dinner for 100 kroner...well, maybe a kebab plate).  And each restaurant has a varied selection offered at that price.  This restaurant offered a pork dish, Swedish meatballs, lasagna, pasta/pesto, a fish dish.  Karl and I both had the pork.

     After lunch we took a boat tour that was included with our Stockholm Card.  I was so sleepy and I couldn't stay awake.  No photos.  We then walked back to Gamla Stan and had carrot cake and coffees.  Our next stop was Storkyrkan, or Stockholm Cathedral.  This church was so beautiful! It has stood at its current size since the 15th century but must of the current interior is from the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

     Our last stop was the area around the Royal Palace again and the Medieval Museum.  The entrance is located under a bridge near the Royal Palace.  This museum was a gem.  Nice exhibits and descriptions in Swedish and English.  As we were walking on Drottninggaten toward T-Centralen, it started raining again.

     Today's photos are here.

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