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Sergels Torg, the beating heart of Stockholm

Posted in Stockholm E by
Sergels Torg - Stockholm

“För vi ska bada nakna på Sergels Torg å leva livet utan sorg…” It was Samir & Viktor’s song in Melodifestivalen that first drew my attention to Sergels Torg. Especially because my godchild (at the time less than a year old) reacted quite enthusiastically to the song.

Going naked in the fountains of Sergels Torg was not an option in recent years. The square (torget in Swedish) underwent a thorough renovation. In my archives I found a photo of what it looked like before the works. When I was in Stockholm in January 2018, I saw the monument illuminated again for the first time. Opinions about the pillar are divided, but I am a fan. It is a recognizable point and Samir & Viktor and their “Bada Nakna” will probably also have something to do with it.

All roads lead to Sergels Torg

For a long time there were road works around Sergels Torg. Sergels Torg is a busy crossroad where major Stockholm roads converge. It can be a chaotic square and even as a pedestrian it sometimes takes a while, especially during the works, to orientate yourself. On one side, the square has 2 floors with a lot of shops (Sergelarkaden) downstairs where you can shop covered from the rain. On the other side is Kulturhuset, a gigantic cultural center.

Plattan - Sergels Torg

This square and especially Plattan, the part that you can see in the photo above with the white / black triangles, is the heart of Stockholm. After the attacks of April 7, 2017, people gathered here to commemorate the victims. Even after Avicii’s sudden death, Sergels Torg was the place where everyone gathered to commemorate Tim Bergling. Sergels Torg is also a gathering place at joyful moments. There often are open-air manifestations and events.

The monument of Sergels Torg

On the other side of the square you can see a huge fountain with the artwork Kristall, vertikal accent i glas och stål in the middle by Edvin Öhrström. The renovations took more than 2 years. The tower is 37.5 m high. LED lights have been incorporated into the artwork so it is beautifully lit at night. I only saw the orange and purple versions for now and was told that they can adjust the colors according to the seasons.

Sergels Torg by night

Practical information

Watch out for pickpockets and petty crime at the entrance of T-Centralen on Sergels Torg. This is the only place in Stockholm that I prefer to avoid at night. Although extra guards are deployed to keep an eye on the “gangs”, I always tend to walk a bit faster here in the evenings.

How do you reach Sergels Torg?

Sergels Torg is centrally located in Stockholm. If you leave the station via Klarabergsgatan, you will arrive at Sergels Torg, just past the intersection with Drottninggatan. Here on the corner you will also find the T-Centralen metro stop. The (provisional) starting stop of Tram 7 is also located here.

In the neighbourhood

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Sergels Torg Stockholm
22 January 2021
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Dog sledging in Granö

Posted in Västerbotten E by
Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

One of the winter activities planned for my press trip to Umeå and the surrounding area (February 2020) was a dog sled ride. We were expected at the lodge early in the morning (well, around 9am) for the briefing. We were to drive the dog sled with enthusiastic huskies ourselves! I had previously obtained my reindeer driver’s license (basically just a certificate that shows you did this) after a round of reindeer sledding in Finland and had read about a husky ride in advance.

huskytocht

Husky sled and animal welfare

One of my concerns, as always when there is something on the agenda with animals, was whether the animals really like it. In a previous life I worked as a zookeeper in a seal rescue center and although my diploma takes a completely different direction, I there learned a lot about animal behavior and repetitive behavior.

Now, I expected the Scandinavians to work with respect for nature and animals. And that was immediately apparent too. The stories of the dog keepers showed the love for their animals. There was also a lot of transparency. You can just walk between the spacious enclosures of the huskies. That gives confidence.

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

Moreover, despite their hard work, the enthusiasm of the animal keepers showed that they only want the best for their animals. So I was immediately reassured. And when I saw the dogs’ enthusiasm to run with the sled, the last doubt was gone. These huskies love to run! That way I could enjoy this husky trip a lot more myself as well.

The brake of the dogsled

Uitleg over de hondenslee

The guides explained how we could drive the husky sled. For example, it was important that someone always stood on the brakes when we stood still. So while all the dogs were led to their place in the sled, one of us was on the brakes, while the other was able to greet the dogs. The dogs could barely overcome their enthusiasm to start running and if you let go of the brake, they are gone! We also learned how to help the huskies when it was uphill. Yes, you also have to work when riding a dog sled!

De rem van de hondenslee

I was quite nervous, but I soon got the hang of it and really enjoyed the environment. Contrary to the snowmobile ride, after a while I was really on my own ease. It was wonderful to work with the huskies.

Through the forest with the huskies

Although it is not difficult, it proofed not to be very easy either. That became clear when the dog sled in front of us tilted. A little later they also didn’t have the brakes properly and the dogs were almost alone! Fortunately, the supervisors were alert. I myself suddenly lost my hat. The husky ride went through the woods, along narrow paths between (and sometimes under) the trees. My hat had been caught by one of the branches of the tree! I didn’t really mind the loss but we made a round back so I could get my hat back. And of course it was better to collect it so it wouldn’t lay around in the woods.

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

It was a beautiful sunny day and it was not cold at all. Halfway through the tour, we changed drivers and I was allowed to take a seat on the sled. I was able to take some beautiful photos. I even had one of them printed on canvas and I can’t wait to give it a nice place in my new home.

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

After the dog sled ride, there was still time to pet the animals and take pictures. We talked a bit with the caretakers and then it was time for us for the next activity. I now secretly dream of a multi-day husky trip!

Huskytocht Granö Beckasin

Practical information: dog sledging at Granö Beckasin

At Granö Beckasin you have the choice between 4 options: from an hour and a half to half a day or a full day and an evening trip in the moonlight (with the chance of seeing the northern lights but then you don’t drive yourself). You can borrow warm clothing on the spot. You can also take a husky trip in the summer months. The sled is then on wheels. Prices start from 850 SEK (about 85 euros). More information can be found on their website.

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Dog sledging at Granö Beckasin
20 January 2021
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A guide to Djurgården

Posted in Stockholm E by
Djurgården

It’s a real tradition. When I’m in Stockholm I usually go for a walk on Djurgården on Sundays. I walk along Strandvägen to this island and enjoy the view of the water. On Djurgården I take a different route every time. Somehow I always end up at Rosendals Trädgården. Yes, this is what a perfect Sunday looks like to me!

Djurgården

Djurgården is the second largest of Stockholm’s 14 islands and it is certainly the greenest island. In addition to lots of nature, you can also go here for culture. You will find many museums, ranging from Vasamuseet to the ABBA-museum. Amusement park lovers will enjoy themselves in Gröna Lund and the youngest will have a great time in Junibacken – the Astrid Lindgren museum – and Skansen , the open-air museum with children’s zoo.

Did you know that there are also about 800 people living on the island? A piece of cake compared to the 10 million visitors who come to the island every year. Many buildings, including the Djurgårdsbron, date from the Stockholm World’s Fair (1897).

The name Djurgården

In the past (1600) the royal hunting grounds were located here. This is how the island got its name Kungliga Djurgården.

The pronunciation of Djurgården often causes confusion among tourists. You pronounce it as ‘juurgoorden‘ but you hardly pronounce the ‘d’. So it almost sounds like ‘juurgoorn‘ to some people. Literally translated, this means ‘animal garden’.

Officially, the name of the island is Valdemarsön, but except for the derived Waldemarsudde, I had never heard of it before writing this article myself.

Some of the highlights of Djurgården

For me personally, the Vasa Museum and the ABBA Museum are 2 must visits. I have been to both museums several times and each time I was respectively impressed and came out in a good mood. I also visited Skansen several times. This open-air museum always has great events around Sankta Lucia, Christmas, midsummer,… Below I list all museums & attractions and restaurants/eating spots on Djurgården.

Museums & amp; attractions on Djurgården

Other-sights-on Djurgården

  • Monument in memory of the victims of the Estonia disaster, a bit hidden behind the Vasa Museum.
  • Galärvarvskyrkogården, a cemetery where, among others, Stig Andersson (manager of ABBA) and Anders Franzén (who located the Vasa) are buried.
  • Villa Ekarne where Stig Andersson lived.
  • Daniel & Victoria’s Kärlekstigen, a walking path that the Crown Princess and her husband were given at their wedding in 2010.
  • Isbladskärret, the ideal place for bird watchers.
  • Walking (or hiking) around Djurgården – a tour of 10 km.
  • Canoeing at Sjöcaféet
Kanoën bij Sjöcaféet

Restaurants on Djurgården

Hotels on Djurgården

Already tested myself:

Other popular Djurgården hotels:

Djurgården practical

How to reach Djurgården?

I prefer to walk via Strandvägen, over Djurgårdsbron to Djurgården. You can also go to the island by bicycle or electric steps. If you prefer public transport, tram 7 is your best option. It is also nice to go by ferry from Slussen. You then also see Stockholm from the water. The transfer is included in the prices of public transport. Finally, the bus is also an option. The nearest metro stop is Karlaplan.

All articles about Djurgården

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Djurgården Stockholm
18 January 2021
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