zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word

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Brio has the absolutely coolest children's playroom disguised as a museum that I've ever seen. It's not very big, but it's packed with neat things for kids and even as an adult, I found plenty to amuse myself with. The toy museum part is mostly Brio toys, no surprise, with the addition of several cabinets full of Barbies and Steiff animals. They had a REAL train, several cars long, full of games and toys and moving electric trains, and a giant dollhouse. They had a multi-storyed climbing playhouse. They had Brio train sets all over the place that the kids could actually play with. They had an entire basement dressed up as "Santa's World" that was full of animatronic (non-frightening) elves in santa suits making Brio toys in the coolest ways and another huge playroom full of building blocks and games that you could sit and play, or books you could read, or tapes you could listen to. They had a playroom upstairs like a little house, 2 tables set up with chess, and an outside playground with a cool mini-playhouse, etc. etc. etc. VERY well done.

Across the street was the Brio boutique that had much cheaper variants of all the Brio assortment (I almost wrote sortiment there, and had to really think for a second) and other games and toys. Some of them were as much as 50% cheaper than regular toystore prices. Excellent Christmas shopping and now I've got something for my nephew and several things for Martin & Karin.

GETTING THERE, however, was another story. We got lost and turned around repeatedly. Called for directions after the first realization that we weren't sure we were headed in the right direction, and the woman at the museum sent us the wrong way. Stopped and asked at a house, and the man even drew a map in the gravel, again sending us off to the wrong place (he sent us to the Brio FACTORY, not the museum). Felt we were getting closer though so continued, but had to stop and ask yet another person, who finally pointed us in the right direction. Not one sign to be seen ANYWHERE in town. Geez.

Before Brio, we headed into the Swedish hinterland, and visited a tiny little sightseeing attraction in the friendly little "town" of Buttfuck Egypt Gisslaboda, where the Miniature Stone Houses can be found. This was actually pretty cool, and somewhat sad. It was the work of one man, who spent 25 years putting it together, only to be struck down by a thunder-induced heart attack at the age of 62. He was single, had no children, and so could devote all his free time to transforming his yard into a beautiful mosaic wonderland. He built fantastical fences and little buildings and other garden ornaments, all made of mosaic natursten, which is a sparkly dark red, along with black diabase and crushed white marble. There was a little castle with two towers, a gingerbread cottage, 2 viking longhouses of sorts, a bird feeder and lots of other neat things. His brother, who must be in his early 80's, showed us around and told us all about it, in EXTREMELY thick Skånska that I was quite proud of myself for understanding the majority of. He's maintained the place since his brother died, but doesn't know what's going to happen to it in the future. It was a bit sad to see the place now in the late fall, when the flowers are gone and the greenery was mostly withered. I bet it's just fairy-like in the early summer.


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