Cottage stay at Ölands Djur & Nöjespark

Posted by ~Summer~ on June 11, 2011

Ölands Djur & Nöjespark is a dreamland and a home away from home that we discovered only in June this year. As it took a less than 1.5 hours drive to get there from Karlskrona, we wondered why we did not chance upon it sooner. Anyway, we were thrilled at the thought of spending a good 4D3N here where we would be able to experience a cottage stay for the first time.

There were actually many parks combined into one. From the zoo, amusement park, water land, dinoland, sagoland and the safari camp, it was indeed a heaven for children and a fantastic summer getaway for everyone.

This was our cottage! There were a total of 55 cottages available and I was lucky to be able to book the last of it all when I called. Good thing we did. When we checked in at the counter, we saw some people who drove in and wanted to book the cottage but too bad, it was fully booked! Neh neh ni boo boo. I was really thrilled when I was handed the keys to my own cottage for the next 3 nights. Yippie!

The cottage was very clean, simple and cosy. On the bottom floor was the living room, a small shower and toilet, a kitchenette and a terrace where you could sit down and enjoy a meal outdoors. The top floor was the resting area with two single beds and a sofa bed. There was a tiny door that led to a balcony where you could view the luxurious greenery and animals right outside your cottage. Animals? What animals, you might ask?

That's right! We could see zebras, peacocks, gnus and ostriches right outside our porch. Ok, I was told there was a lion nearby too. There was because our cottage was situated in the Safari Camp which was right next to the African Savannah part of the zoo. How cool was it to wake up every morning and have breakfast on the terrace as you watched the zebras grazing the grass. We felt so close to nature and Angel definitely loved it!

I was also all for the idea except for a tiny glitch. There was this peacock which I couldn't decide to love or dread, but as beautiful as it was, it would somehow make loud noises every half an hour through the night. As a result, every time Angel was going to fall asleep, the peacock would sound and Angel would open her eyes wide, stand up, walk to the window by our bed, attempt to look out and keep saying "Bird, bird!". Well. This cycle probably took place at least 50 times? Every night. Though that meant that we slept late every night, we also had a good laugh out of it all.

The next day, we bought a 3-day pass to the park and our first stop was the zoo. The good thing about staying in the Safari Camp was that you had access to a separate entrance which led to the zoo. To Angel's delight, she learnt to pluck the grass and feed them to the goats after seeing others do the same. Whenever she fed the animals, the paranoid mum in me would worry because she always seemed to hold the food so near the edge and she would be offering her delicious tiny little fist to the animals. Ok, she has never gotten into any trouble with it, but it still makes my heart skip a beat sometimes.

There was also this petting corner in the zoo where you could get up close with the goats, stroke them and feed them. The thing was, some of the goats were not as friendly as we thought and there was this violent goat who not only snatched food from all its counterparts, it even rammed its horns into jw just to attempt to get even more food. Ok, I admit I was chuckling when I saw that, nonetheless it was really a little dangerous.

There were over 100 species of animals showcased at the zoo and there was also an aquarium, which by the way never fails to interest my hubby who loves marine life. This zoo was definitely better than many of the zoos we went to (yes, that includes you Reykjavik Zoo) and was an eye opener for Angel.

We also visited the amusement park and went on roller coasters, carousel, tuk tuk car, ferris wheel and kids' rides like those where you would sit in aeroplanes and spin round and round. Angel also went on her first simulator ride since they had no age restriction. I thought it would be so fun by ended up the ride was so jerky and bumpy that jw had a hard time hanging on to Angel. Me, I had a hard time even hanging onto myself. Oh, there was also a haunted house ride which they denied Angel of entry so jw and I took turns to go in. I gave myself a pat on the back for doing that. Though my eyes were shut pretty much 80% of the time.

Anyway, we played almost all of the carnival games just to make us feel like kids again. Neh. We somehow just loved playing all these games, winning the coupons and exchanging for toys, not to mention the thrill of challenging each other to beat our high scores. Guess what? We won a total of 11 stuffed toys for Angel, big and small.

There was also a Dinoland where you could walk along the trail and see many species of dinosaurs in their natural size. It was pedagogically constructed and every dinosaur had a signboard displaying its name, the period it existed and its natural habitat. Not a bad idea to teach your kid about these prehistoric creatures.

That night, oh yeah, it was still very bright even at 8pm, we had chicken porridge for dinner. There was an ICA supermarket not far away and it was easy to get our grocery supplies. More importantly, we needed a mosquito coil and insect repellent because there was a constant swarm of mosquitoes and flies especially at night. Well, that was the price of staying in the wild, but I would gladly battle these bugs anytime to have an experience like this.

The next day, we visited Vattenland and Pirate Island which was a paradise for toddlers and older children. It had six different water slides, you could choose whether you preferred it straight and fast, long and curving, downhill and bumpy, a shorter one for the less adventurous or a child-friendly one for the smaller babies. Well, I couldn't help it but try this weird looking one where you would slide down in a spiral manner, then end up in this giant big tank where you would keep swirling around till you reached the hole at the bottom of the tank. Ok, it got me giddy but yet proud of myself. 

The one thing I would prefer about the water park was that it would be better if the water was heated. Although the weather was kind and the sun was up, I thought the water was a little too cold for Angel. We realised later that we probably reached too early and we should have waited till the crowd came in at about 1pm and it would be much warmer then. Nonetheless, we had a fun time splashing around and basking under the sun. I forgot to bring any body sunblock though so I got pretty burnt.

We also went to the amusement park and zoo, again. You can't get tired of animals. Or games. Or both. Especially when you have a 1-year-old kid with you. 

It also happened to be Children's Day in the park this weekend, lucky for us. There were many dance performances, singing contests, mascot parade and booth games like darts which we tried many times to win a pair of shades but failed. Anyway, Angel loved the dance and singing performances and it got her grooving to the beat. Check out her 18th-21st month video here.

On our last night, we decided to have a barbeque right outside our cottage after seeing others do the same.  The Swedish people were really friendly and we had a nice time chatting with a few while Angel was happily playing with their kids. Anyway, BBQ food somehow always tastes the best. We had yummy bacon, kebab, chicken drumstick, fish and even a big fat crab!

On the day before we left, we decided to fully utilise our 3-day pass and so we took Angel on a last re-visit to the zoo and the amusement park. She sat on her first ever bumper car ride which got her many stares from the passer-bys. Erm, it wasn't mummy's fault, they didn't have an age restriction, did they? She was definitely the youngest contestant around but fear not, because daddy was right beside her. Anyway, she probably got a little surprised by all the sudden jolting and wondered why mummy just kept crashing into her. 

We also tried a few dips at Tombola (kind of like our Tikam Tikam) where you picked out a few numbers and if they fell into the winning range, you would get a prize! Anyway, we must had been on a lucky streak because we won an umbrella, a Swedish flag and even the grand prize, a ball pit with 30 balls for Angel to play with!

So, that marked the end of a wonderful, fun-filled and relaxing cottage stay at Ölands. The sunny weather couldn't have been any kinder to us and we were thankful for that. Though that also meant I was twice as tanned Before and After. We would definitely try to come back again and recommend this enchanted getaway to all of our friends in Sweden.


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