Just across the street from the Vasa Museum, is the beautiful Nordic Museum. We didn't have time to go inside and see the 300 years of costumes exhibit but I think I could have enjoyed it. Did Rick Steves recommend it? It killed me not to know. [chuckle, chuckle]
These are all over in and around my little German town so I was thrilled to finally know what to call them and understand their origins! The Skansen hut here said these allotment gardens played an important role during the food shortages during and after WWI. In Germany and pretty much all over the world, the allotment gardens (or community gardens as they're called in the states) sprung up as a result of industrialization and urbanization by 1850. City workers were given or leased an allotment of land to grow their own food from the town, a private land owner or a church. Many would build a little hut on their allotment to double as a shed and sleeping quarters. The gardens now serve less as food security for the population, and are now seen more as a hobby and are often used for social gatherings as well as growing fruits, veggies and flowers. Food security and hobbies. Self reliance and food storage. Note to self. [Twinge of guilt.] I also read of them being in the Philipines too.
In looking up these gardens I found it interesting to note that Einstein was part of an allotment association in Berlin. He didn't keep it up to code and there is record of an association letter to him with a deadline to get his weeds and fence in order or he'd loose his lease for it being a nuisance.
Speaking of food security, Ryan sure enjoyed what he thought was the perfect food stand offering - the Suovas in a flat bread cone.
That would be "lightly smoked and fried reindeer meat in a flat bread cone with crushed new potatoes (mashed) and cloudberry creme fraiche." He liked them so much he had three over the course of five or so hours. Me? Not so much, they weren't my favorite. Too much gamey-flavor, chewy texture with the sweet and sour of creme fraiche and berry sauce. I was, however, very appreciative of their food display and English menu so we knew what we were ordering!
I enjoyed seeing how this played out because each dance had one or two children in the center who had to pick a partner when the music cued them to. One song had them yank the partner out of the circle, another had them drop a hanky and the selected one had to pick it up and follow, while my favorite was a demure smile and coy look over the shoulder to be sure the partner was following. Simply adorable! And what fabulous colorful costumes!
Watching these fun dancers in their layers of thick clothing made for colder temperatures on such a warm day and sweating profusely sure made us thirsty! We headed for the water spigot to fill up our water bottles and the best dried, crisp apple chips I've ever had!
As the crowds began to grow at Skansen in anticipation of the National Day celebration concert, we decided to head out. The Skansen celebration was expecting the Royal family in attendance and as luck would have it, we happened on the parade preceding their arrival and finally did get to see the family in their horse drawn carriages and royal guardians on horse back. The size of this celebration was akin to a regular sized town in the States doing a 4th of July parade and concert. It was a little strange given some of the big national celebrations in big cities we've been to.
But Sweden has only been celebrating their National Day for a few decades now. Ryan was disappointed there were no fireworks. One of our docents reminded us that there's no fireworks on account that it doesn't get dark until about 11pm or later right now! Being that far north, the sun was up by 4am when we got up to catch our train and flight home Monday morning.