ABBA Museum To Open In Stockholm

abbaDancing Queens, get dancing, an ABBA museum is opening in Stockholm.

ABBA The Museum will open its doors in the Swedish capital on May 7. It covers the complete history of the disco group and will display their gold records, crazy ’70s costumes, and even reproductions of their recording studio and dressing rooms.

As visitors pass through the museum they’ll be treated to different music in each room. One room is dedicated to ABBA’s song “Ring, Ring” and has a phone that ABBA band members will occasionally call to have a talk with fans.

The Museum is a part of the new Swedish Music Hall of Fame, which has exhibitions on the history of Swedish popular music, a Hall of Fame dedicated to Sweden’s stars, and temporary exhibitions.

You’ll have to be a real ABBA fan to visit this place, though. Adult tickets cost 195 krona, or $29.54. At least the tickets get you into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame too.

[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

#OnTheRoad On Instagram: Sweden

This week on Instagram we’re off to Sweden, and since I’m at the helm you can expect a lot of bike and food photos. And some good sun shots on ice, because this time of year, in good weather, the landscape can be simply stunning.

With family in Sweden, I have spent a lot of time in the land of pickled herring, meatballs and Abba. It’s a place that I come back to in order to refuel, reconnect with family and find new inspiration. Having spent every summer in Sweden as a child, and much more time as an adult, for me, traveling to Sweden isn’t a novel thing as it would be for most people. It’s simply returning to a place that I know and love.

But this week I am excited to put a new eye to things, to feature all the things that I love about Scandinavian culture – the obsession with the coffee break for example – and give you a look into what life in the cold north really looks like.

Snap a photo worth sharing? Mention @GadlingTravel in your own photo AND use the hashtag #gadling, and your photo will be considered for our Photo Of The Day.

National Museum Of Scotland Takes New Look At Vikings

Vikings
How much do we really know about the Vikings? A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh asks this question and comes up with some interesting answers.

Vikings!” collects more than 500 objects from the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm to show a side to Scandinavia’s most famous culture that most people don’t know.

While most of the public is aware (hopefully) that those horned helmets are a product of Victorian imagination, some other facts about the Vikings may come as a surprise. For example, we tend to think of them as fierce pagans bellowing war chants to Odin and Thor as they cleaved their battle-axes through the skulls of whimpering Irish monks. As appealing as that image may be, in fact the Vikings converted to Christianity before much of the rest of Europe. There’s a beautiful ninth century silver cross pendant on display, and a house key with a crucified Christ on the handle.

Even the term Viking itself isn’t accurate. They were Norsemen who occasionally went “on a viking,” which means setting sail to trade or loot while the majority of the population stayed where they always did – at home fishing or growing crops.

There are also objects revealing their home life, like a folding bone comb and a little cat carved out of amber that some Norse kid probably used to play with. I’ve seen many of these objects at their permanent home at the Swedish History Museum (formerly the National Historical Museum) and can say that they are some of the best preserved and finest objects of medieval Norse culture you’ll see anywhere.

Visitors will get to some in-depth knowledge of Norse religion, shipbuilding, art, politics, the role of women and storytelling. A series of lectures are open to people who want to learn more. The exhibition is kid-friendly with lots of interactive displays. They can learn to spell their names with runes, dress up in period gear, or play Hnefatafl, a Viking board game of military strategy. If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, check out their online Viking Training School.

“Vikings!” runs until May 12.

[Image courtesy Swedish History Museum]

%Gallery-177128%

Uppsala, Sweden: A University Town With Viking Roots

Uppsala
Uppsala University in Sweden is 535 years old today, having been inaugurated on this date in 1477. As one of the older universities in Europe, it has quite a few sights to see and is located in a town of ancient importance.

The city started as a religious center for the pagan Vikings and the location of their Thing, a general assembly. An ancient temple at Uppsala was said to have had statues to Thor, Odin, and Freyr and the entire building was encircled by a golden chain hanging from the gables. While the old temple has disappeared, there are still some Viking remains in the form of runestones and three large earthen mounds. Legend has it that they’re the barrows (tombs) of the three principal Norse gods, but excavations showed them to be the resting places for three early Norse rulers.

As with many pagan sites across Europe, Uppsala was turned into a center for Christianity and became the site for the country’s first archbishopric in 1164. There’s a little medieval church dating to the 13th century and a much more elegant cathedral from the 15th century. I wish I could describe the interior of the earlier church to you, but on my visit I walked in on a wailing baby getting baptized and had to walk right out! Such are the hazards of travel.

The later house of worship still serves as the cathedral today. Its brick exterior has a warm, homey feel, but when you go inside you find the soaring arches and fine stonework that you’d expect from a European cathedral. Inside you can find the tombs of important Swedes such a King Gustav Vasa (of Vasa ship fame), scientist Carl Linnaeus and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg.

As for the university itself, such an old center of learning is bound to have some attractions. In good weather visit the Linnaean Garden, a beautiful botanical garden founded in 1655 and reorganized by Carl Linnaeus, who created the taxonomic system still used to categorize plants and animals today. He got in trouble with church authorities for categorizing humans as primates. Above is a view of the gardens courtesy Andreas Trepte, who caught them on one of those warm, sunny days that are so precious this far north. The gardens are an easy stroll from Uppsala Castle, complete with throne room and a rich collection of European art.

%Gallery-167737%The Gustavianum, formerly an operating theater where 17th century medical students could watch dissections, is now a museum showing off the university’s art and archaeological collections. There’s also a cool exhibit of early scientific instruments. The old operating theater still exists if you want to see what it was like to get cut up in public.

Take some time to soak up Uppsala’s atmosphere. Stroll through the narrow medieval lanes and along the riverside where the students like to lounge. Being a northern city, it changes dramatically with the seasons. My first visit was in winter and was in fact my favorite. Standing atop an old Viking barrow and looking out across the snow-covered fields as the church spire rose in the gray distance, I felt like I was seeing Sweden at its best. Sure, we all like sunshine, but biting cold wind and short, overcast days seemed more properly Scandinavian!

Uppsala makes an easy day trip from Stockholm and is one of the top places to see in Sweden. Gamla Uppsala (“Old Uppsala”) with its pagan remains and early church, is just outside the more modern town.

Stockholm Hotel Allows Guests To Pay For Rooms With Artwork

africa Are you short on cash but want to travel? Maybe you should consider traveling to Sweden for your next vacation. Beginning this month, the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm is allowing guests to pay for their hotel with artwork instead of money.

The program began because the general manager’s grandfather was an artist. In honor of him, the hotel has decided to pay tribute to creativity. For guests who submit a piece of art, they will be allowed to stay two nights free.

Unsure if your art will pass the hotel’s requirements? It will.

“Who are we to be judgmental about art?” explains Tess Mattisson, the hotel’s marketing manager. “Accommodation is what we know and we’re happy to provide it. Everyone is welcome here, from young and upcoming artists to those that are already established.”

All works must fit on an A4 piece of paper, and be signed by the artist. Pieces should be presented upon arrival to the hotel. If you’re interested in submitting a piece, click here.

[Photo via Jessie on a Journey]