Hej ! Hej ! – by Trevor Leeden

by Patty Ryan posted on 8 May 2014

Trevor Leeden continues his journey through Scandinavia with his family. His children discover that the ABBA decade was not so bad after all !

This Swedish word is pronounced “hey” and is the delightful EVERY Swede greets you, it really is infectious and is one of those words that evokes a feeling of happiness…..and today is all about HAPPY. Don L has a panic attack thinking I’ve left my camera behind somewhere; the LegsyBoys have brekky whilst I fruitlessly retrace last nights steps. Returning to the shoebox, I manage to locate the eye appendage on the coat rack (underneath my coat) – hard to believe I could lose anything in that room!

Plaque of the Vasa
Plaque of the Vasa
The Vasa - what a sight it must have been
The Vasa – what a sight it must have been
Dulcinea and los ninos with two relics
Dulcinea and los ninos with two relics
What a beauty!
What a beauty!
Towering over Buzzy
Towering over Buzzy
What a beauty!
What a beauty!
The stern
The stern
Starboard
Starboard
Sculptures
Sculptures
The latrine - nothing like a bit of privacy
The latrine – nothing like a bit of privacy
Gunports and scuppers
Gunports and scuppers
Superb sculptures
Superb sculptures
More superb sculptures
More superb sculptures
Still more superb sculptures
Still more superb sculptures

We catch the tram down to Djurgarden where, much to the children’s disgust, we are going to two museums. First visit is to the VASA Museum, and as soon as we enter at least Buzzy’s discontent dissolves. The Vasa is the world’s only preserved 17th Century ship in existence and over 80% is original. It is the largest warship ever built in Sweden but due to an unfortunate design flaw (not enough ballast), it sank to the bottom of Stockholm’s Strommen on it’s maiden voyage, 10th August 1628. It lay there for 333 years before being salvaged. It’s truly amazing, the700 carved sculptures make it a work of art as much as a ship. The museum is terrific, very interactive for kids, and even has on display numerous complete skeletons of those who perished with the ship (53 of 150 drowned). The Vasa is, by any measure extraordinary, and we get a thumbs up from the kids.

We haven’t told them where to next and Buzzy is dead against another museum. Finally we end up at our destination which curiously is one of Stockholm’s best kept secrets – the ABBA MUSEUM. Aimee’s on board but Buzzy is adamant he doesn’t want to go in – 2 hours later we have to drag him out!! It’s brilliantly done and very interactive; apart from static displays that tell the story of the Swedish wonder kids, as well as the history of Swedish popular music, there are some great activities – duck into a sound booth to record vocals to one of the hits, remix a hit,create dancing avatars, and best of all – audition to become the 5th member of the band. The museum website allows us to download all our performances, which remain confidential to protect the innocent (Dulcinea, Aimee and Liam) and untalented (me)! Fabulous fun, much better than the British Music Experience in London.

ABBA - The Museum
ABBA – The Museum
LADD - The Museum!
LADD – The Museum!
...couldn't forget if I wanted to, ooh oooh ooh.
…couldn’t forget if I wanted to, ooh oooh ooh.
Ring ring, give us a call
Ring ring, give us a call
Aimee hitting the high notes
Aimee hitting the high notes
Las chicas duetting
Las chicas duetting
The famous star guitar
The famous star guitar
Arrival
Arrival
Part of the wardrobe
Part of the wardrobe
Part of the gold records - even some from Downunder
Part of the gold records – even some from Downunder
Album and EP sleeves
Album and EP sleeves
Brunette babe
Brunette babe
The bearded guy
The bearded guy
Blonde babe
Blonde babe
The no beard guy
The no beard guy
ABBA wannabe
ABBA wannabe
Another ABBA wannabe
Another ABBA wannabe
Yet another ABBA wannabe
Yet another ABBA wannabe
Still another ABBA wannabe
Still another ABBA wannabe
The LegsyBoy Stripes
The LegsyBoy Stripes

Time for dinner, so it’s back to Gamla Stan and we find a suitable venue – Restaurant C&C is in a house dating back to the 17th Century. The meatballs prove popular again, Aimee shocks us all by tucking into guinea fowl and we also partake of some Australian white wine (the house wine). But Don L has spotted something super special on the Vilt-Kott (game-meat) menu; last night’s serving of Rudolph was excellent, tonight it’s time to have a go at some BULLWINKLE – yep, MOOSE! They may be one of the dumbest looking animals I’ve ever seen but they taste GREAT!

Bullwinkle......
Bullwinkle……
....aka...Moose
….aka…Moose
Swedish meatballs
Swedish meatballs
Guinea fowl
Guinea fowl

Early to bed for an early rise to catch a Norwegian Air flight to the home of Hans Christian Andersen – Copenhagen………..