2009-06-17 59 18
Northern section of Skansen, a sort of museum/zoo combination. Entry fees, so this hash should qualify for Admit One.
Gnitset and LoneTech planned to visit in the evening, at about 19:00 since Skansen closes at 20:00. The visit was successful.
This would be our fourth expedition, and probably the most thoroughly planned one. Skansen is a sort of combined outdoor museum, park, and zoo, showing a sort of miniature image of how Sweden used to be (it makes no attempt to copy the modern urban environment - it's in the capital anyhow). There is an entrance fee, ordinarily 110 SEK, which gave some of us pause. Pulling some strings, however, we were permitted gratis entry provided any article we wrote about the expedition mentions Skansen and what it is - a given, I'd have thought, as geohashing is largely about getting out to see what's there. This time each of us brought two cameras (one digicam and one cellphone), leaving us nobody to blame for the poor images but the photographers.. who also forgot to check the batteries.
After much telephoning, dithering, and colliding plans, LoneTech and Gnitset met up at Karlaplan. We had free entrance for four people and agreed that if we wound up with five we could easily split that extra cost, but trying to coordinate with the other participants we found that noone else would come - a disappointment to be sure, but we were in it for the views, not a nanny achievement, so we continued southward. Later it was found that Gnitset qualified for a Walk achievement, having walked from his workplace.
Djurgården, the island we were headed to, is something of a cultural beacon in Stockholm. It has several museums, a tivoli, quite a bit of park, and the city's only active tram lines, as well as ferries. Being met with all this, of course we stopped to take pictures, probably annoying a few others on the bridge. As it turns out trams in motion aren't the easiest thing to get pictures of. Soon we reached the main entrance at the southwest of Skansen, where we explained that we had been offered free entry. The ticketeer started shuffling through his papers, looking for the name of our contact, but the moment XKCD was mentioned he stopped and waved us in. Apparently he had received word directly.
Once inside we had a nice, calm walk up the hill, looking about at whatever we found on our haphazardly chosen path. First was a map, where Gnitset pointed out the location he estimated for the geohash, somewhere near the boar and bison enclosure. Other things we passed turned out to include lemurs, a small tivoli, a milestone, and a windmill. As it was fairly late, we didn't get to see the tour train (aimed at children), but having caught a glimpse of it I stuck a camera up over the wall and got a pretty good picture, anyhow.
Our guesstimate turned out to be quite a bit off, so we continued northwest past the bears and foxes, and reached the target coordinates at the junction of the public trail and a closed access road. Luckily it was on the public side, and finding a dirt slope next to it, Gnitset scratched in XKCD to mark our success. Pictures were taken, and about this time our best (borrowed) camera declared its battery flat, and refused to do any further work. Thus the not so trusty third-hand Olympus camera, borrowed from someone who found it in the garbage, took over. Later on this camera refused to operate on freshly charged batteries but did function with the ones it complained were flat - go figure.
On our roundabout trip back, we admired the view from the hill we were on, observed some elk (including one who we couldn't figure out if he was scratching his antler or leg), failed to photograph a multitude of seals, and met some peafowl. The biggest peacock attempted to intimidate us, but Gnitset was just as convinced he was the bigger one, and more stubborn besides. We had missed the day's last departure of the funicular, but that didn't stop us from photographing it and following its track.
Exiting Skansen, the turnstile cage got some unnecessary inspection, and was deemed probably inadequate for raptor protection. We also found an old (and we do mean old) style telephone booth, but two wasn't a very impressive number of people to stuff into it - we ran out of people long before room. By the tram garage we saw an unusual (and old, naturally) double decked bus, and recalling an article I'd seen in a paper, thought to ask if we could see the newly restored trolley bus. As it turns out, a friendly demeanor and open curiosity gets you in many places, so we got to discuss railway preservation and take a few pictures inside the garage.
Last, but possibly not least, we wandered into the big and modern tivoli Gröna Lund, where Gnitset had cards permitting free entry a full year. We thought a friend of ours was there, but after phoning found that his friends had not come, so it was still just the two of us. Being fairly tired, and satisfied with the day's achievements, we simply bought some cotton candy and left by bus (the GPS track became quite unreliable at Gröna Lund).
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