When I walked in the front doors and my eyes took in the sight of that ship, I sort of lost my breath for a minute. It is magnificent. Bad luck (the ship sinking on it’s maiden voyage) + good luck (the Baltic Sea not being very salty and wood eating sea worms not being present in the waters) = a very, very cool thing to behold! King Gustav II Adolph commissioned this ship, and oversaw the planning of it, so when it sank and they wanted someone to blame, they couldn’t blame the Dutch ship builders, because that would have been like blaming the king, and we couldn’t have that.
Stockholm, Sweden Day 104
Well, in usual Andrea fashion I managed to jam a whole lot of walking and sightseeing into my last day in Stockholm. I just had to see the Vasa Museum before I left, that was a priority, so off I headed for Djurgarden.
No one was ever held responsible, even after a long inquiry, but modern science is able to tell the story of what happened. The problem was that the masts were exceptionally tall, there was a huge amount of weight in the 64 cannons on the ship, and they didn’t have enough weight in the ballasts, so in short the boat was top heavy. To make matters worse, they had all of the cannon windows open, because they wanted to make an impression as they left the harbour, so when the boat lurched to its’ side, the holes started filling up with water, and within 15 minutes, it was at the bottom of the sea. Wives and children were also on this maiden voyage, as that was the custom at the time. In all, about 30 of the 150 aboard died.
After my 2 hours at the Vasa Museum walked down to the water and found some geese that looked (and sounded, and pooped) an awful lot like Canada Geese, but were a bit smaller and with different markings. They’re actually called the Grey Lag Goose and until recently their numbers were low due to over hunting. They are now protected and there were tonnes of babies, so their population is doing just fine!
Next I went to Skansen, the world oldest outdoor museum. It was created in 1891 by Artur Hazelius because he wanted to show the world how people in Sweden lived and worked. He relocated many old homesteads to the land here in their original form and re-created the way people lived in them. The people who work there are in costume and many are doing work that people would have done back in the day, like baking flat bread, spinning wool and weaving. It was very authentic and didn’t have a cheesy or touristy feel about it all (which I always appreciate!)
The entrance to the park on Djurgarden.
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Artist, Traveler, Fun-Seeker
Artist, traveler, baker, fun seeker.