Spotting wildlife isn’t always high on the agenda when you’re visiting a capital city. You might expect museums, restaurants and art. There may be elegant parks, but it is rare to find untamed nature. However Stockholm is different, as I discovered when I went on a Stockholm Night Safari.
Discovering Nature on the Stockholm Night Safari
I was with a group of other bloggers on a wildlife safari organised by Stockholm Adventures. Our guide, Toya, drove us deep into the forests that surround the urban area. It was lonely countryside; we soon forgot how close we were to the city. We passed forests and lakes, and meadows full of wild flowers. Occasionally the landscape was interrupted by a red-painted farmhouse.
But we were here to spot wildlife. We set off at dusk, to get the best chance of spotting the animals that only emerge under cover of darkness. They still proved elusive, but we managed two moose, the occasional deer and several wild boar. Later on, as night fell, we could just make out an owl on a telegraph wire. As it grew darker it was difficult to take photographs, but this tour was more about seeing animals than taking pictures.
Not Just Wildlife…
There is more to a Stockholm Night Safari than nature and wildlife. The tour was billed as a “wildlife safari with midsummer meal”, and we stopped by the edge of Lake Malaren to enjoy the sunset and a picnic. We had a traditional Swedish meal of herring, sausages, crispbreads and a special sort of midsummer cheese. There were tubes of local caviar and, of course, fresh berries. To complete the atmosphere Toya put a Swedish flag and a midsummer totem on the edge of the picnic area.
Thereswas evenssome history on this trip. The road into the forest was an ancient path, one of the original routes into Stockholm. Thousand year-old rune stones lined the path, relics from the Viking era. We stopped to look at one. It was covered with writing and symbols, including a wiggling snake. Toya told us that no-one knows exactly what the symbols mean, but this stone had been erected by two men in memory of a woman, perhaps a mother or a sister.
We arrived back in the city centre just after midnight. We had seen countryside, wild animals and a sunset. We had eaten a Swedish midsummer meal and discovered a little bit of history. What more could we ask for?
I went on the Stockholm Night Safari as a guest of Stockholm Adventures.