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Four bgb says 'thank you for the ABBA museum'

It is a glorious day in Stockholm and a group of five journalists and I are stomping across the bridge to the City Hall to the tune of Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Yes, we are receiving a couple of wry looks but no, we are not mad. We are in fact on a super trouper mission: to get a sneak peek of the Abba Museum in Stockholm, 10 days before it launches to the public on 7 May, together with the Stockholm Visitors Bureau and Visit Sweden.

From the moment we arrive in Stockholm Arlanda airport after a super efficient flight with SAS airlines, music is in the air. There are huge monochrome posters of Anni Frid, Benny, Björn and Agneta and cabinets of spangly costumes welcoming us in the arrivals area. And as we check into the Clarion Sign Hotel, we can hear Abba's greatest hits in the lifts as we zoom sky high to our suitably stylish rooms.

Our Abba city walking tour is being led by professional guide, Elisabeth Daude, a Stockholm local, and, as you might expect, a huge Abba fan. She shares memories of how Swedes grew up listening to Abba, even if the band weren't as big a phenomena in their home country as say Australia or the UK.

We arrive for dinner at the soon to be opened, boutique Melody Hotel, attached to the Abba Museum, whose restaurant has only just started taking reservations. It's already full and the excellent food and kitsch decor provides a taster of what we'll be seeing tomorrow at the preview.

The next day we set out to get a sneak peek at the museum. Five years in the making, the buzz around its opening is palpable. Builders are working on the final touches, interactive exhibits are being installed and here to meet us is former Abba singer and songwriter Björn Ulvaeus himself.

When the museum swings open it doors to the public in a few days time, people will be able to perform with the band and try on their fabulous flares, sequins and capes, in holographic form. There will be a phone that is liable to 'ring ring' at any moment, with a live call from one of the band, and when the piano plays, it will be Björn himself, playing when the mood takes him, from his own home. It's all very exciting.

That evening, we have a final dinner at the wonderfully inventive yet inviting Restaurang Jonas, and discover a new found respect for perfectly baked rye bread,  liquorice infused espresso soups, and 400 degree ovens (all the better to cook beef with, and, as we later discover when we tour the kitchens, recreate that Swedish sauna experience).

The next day, it's time to wave goodbye to Stockholm, and say thank you for the music, as the countdown to the opening begins....

 www.abbathemuseum.com

www.visitstockholm.com

www.visitsweden.com

 

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