CHILL OUT IN STOCKHOLM'S ICE HOUSE
Many years ago a famous American singer, Dinah Shore, sang "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Today visitors pay to freeze inside a unique bar, Stockholm's Ice House located at the Nordic Sea Hotel.
We had been cruising on luxurious Silversea Cruise Line's Silver Whisper when we arrived in Stockholm, our final port. We spent two exciting days touring, which included a bus city tour, lunch at Marten Trotzig in the Old Town, a Royal Canal Boat Tour, drinks at Rosendale Tradgar, dinner at Ulla Winbladhd, a boat ride to Djurgarden Island, and fascinating guided tours of the Vasa and Millesgarden (where we also had lunch). Along with these was fun shopping on our own in Stockholm's shopping mall, loaded with designer boutiques. Finally, we ended with dinner at the Bern and almost chose to skip the "Ice Bar." Sensible travelers would have returned to the Grand Hotel and gone to bed early to catch the dawn airport pickup, but our traveling buddies urged us not to miss the Ice House. Thankfully, we native California sun worshippers were lured there by the thought of patrons paying to freeze in a bar.
The Ice Bar is kept at approximately 20° Fahrenheit. For $15.00 each, 30 guests at a time are permitted in this unique venue for a 30-minute stay, accompanied by a drink in a glass made of ice. The fun part is being dressed in "Star Wars"® insulated silver capes trimmed in fur, mittens and hats or hoods, along with special boots. These outfits not only keep visitors warm, but prevent the body heat of guests from melting the ice bar! Entry to the bar is through two doors; we were told to allow the first one to close before opening the second one, to keep the cold in. Non-alcoholic drinks such as lingonberry juice tend to freeze quickly, whereas Absolut vodka is perfect. The room is constructed of the clearest ice blocks available. Also, the bar, tables, bar stools, sculptures, and lamps are all made of ice. Twice yearly the ice is replaced to prevent freezer burn and keep it looking clear.
Reservations are necessary for night visits. You may even get lucky and chill out with a celebrity, like Pierce Brosnan, who has visited the Ice House, along with many others.
Jack and Toni White of Rancho Mirage, California have, for many years, been freelance travel writers specializing in cruise travel. Their articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the United States and Canada, including the Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, and Vancouver Sun. Prestigious Palm Springs Life magazine published their article on filming the movie "Out to Sea" on the Holland America Line Westerdam. They also write regularly for Mature Living and Plus, formerly Senior Life.
Jack graduated from USC as an architect. His background in architecture allows him to review, write, and produce photographs from a unique perspective. Toni attended UCLA after graduating from Hollywood High School where she had been the Feature Editor of the Hollywood High School News, where one of the writers was comedienne Carole Burnett. Toni lived abroad for many years in South America and in the UK and has a familiarity with different cultures that influences her writing. The Whites love to travel and especially want to share their passion for cruising with you.
Toni & Jack White may be reached at: JACNTONI@aol.com.
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