Thursday, June 5, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 5

This fifth installment of David Anderson’s Return To Sweden is a collection of three photos; a ship, an event and a building.  Each are of significant historical importance to the people of Sweden.  
On Friday, David and Debbie will be on a morning railroad ride to Krylbo, Sweden.           
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor.
June 5, 2014,  Stockholm  The Stockholm Card.
Stockholm has been compared to a city in Italy, being called “The Venice of the North”, since it is a city on islands at the outlet of the lake Maleren and the Baltic. Personally, I think the city down south should be called the Stockholm of the south, but that’s my opinion!  Stockholm is an easy city to get around in, provided you aren’t driving.  Walking is easy and most of the city’s attractions are within close proximity.  Public transportation and admissions to museums and attractions can be covered if a “Stockholm Card” is pre-purchased at several locations or on-line.  On Thursday we made use of the card in travelling out to the Vasa and back to Gamla Stan.  When planning a trip to Stockholm look in to purchasing the card.  It is really worth it.
Vasa Ship


The Vasa Museum is dimly lit, and the temperature is cool.  You enter the room where the ship is, and it looks very much like a ghost ship – which in several respects it is.  It is impressive.  The Vasa’s maiden voyage lasted only 25 minutes – which is how long a guide’s tour of the museum takes.  This is indeed a rare example of 17th century shipbuilding.  There were several design flaws that contributed to the sinking of the Vasa.  It was too top heavy and sank when a gust of wind hit it broadside.  The ship that followed the Vasa had similar length and height dimensions but it was a meter wider.  Just one meter (just over a yard), made all the difference between a ship that had a voyage of 25 minutes versus one that sailed for 30 years.
We arrived back at Gamla Stan and saw the changing of the guards and had to stop and have some lunch. 
There is no place like StorTorget in old town to have lunch.  Sidewalk seating is wonderful as it is a great place to people watch and have the Nobel Museum as company.  You are sitting in the square where the Danes beheaded rebellious Swedes in the 16th century.  Nearby is a statue of St. George slaying the Dragon. 
St. George (Sweden) slaying the dragon (Denmark)
This statue represents Sweden finally gaining independence from the Danish king in the 16th century.  Gamla Stan is a time capsule in to the past, where the present is somewhere else.
Everyone visiting Stockholm needs to visit the Royal Palace. 
Interior Hall of the Palace
The Stockholm card gets you quick admittance to The Armory, The Treasury and if they are open The Royal Apartments.  All worth viewing.  The Royal Chapel is open for viewing and is worth it.  The Royal Carriages in the Armory are elegant, ornate, overwhelming – all for the pleasure of a very few people, and to impress the masses.

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