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.

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.

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.
Vasa Warship

The warship was finished in 1628, and was not recovered until 1961. Divers had to put steel cables underneath the wreck in order to be able to lift it out of the water.

The stern of the ship. Basically all of the carvings on the ship are symbolic to the fact that it’s the kings ship. There is a carving of the king as a little boy flanked by two griffon’s holding a crown over his head looking over eleven people (being the common people). His initials are carved out right below that, and the lion symbol is one of power, but also referred to his nickname, Lion of the North.

King Gustav II Adolf.

The masts are in actuality 2 times taller than what we see here. Back when the ship sunk it was in the harbour where there’s an awful lot of traffic, so the masts were sticking out of the water. Locals had to go and cut them down so that other boats could get by it.

They have evidence that the carvings were all painted brilliant colours with gold playing a large role. It’s hard to imagine looking at them today, but these are replica’s shown here to make it easier to imagine.

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!

Bring on the sun!

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 Europeans love their funiculars! It’s a pretty big hill to get to the top where the exhibits are, so yes, I like a good funicular!

They had things for kids (and adults) to try, like stilt walking and whatever this toy is called (stick and hoop?)

There was also some traditional dancing demonstrations, but I took off as soon as they started getting audience members up there to join them.

She was doing pretty good on those stilts!

One of the old homesteads from the mid 1800’s.

They had a summer field with farm animals.

There was a zoo with native Scandinavian animals. Pretty well every animal in area is also a native of Canada, so I sort of felt at home. Momma moose and her babies! I spent a lot of time right here. They were sort of killing me with cuteness!

This kind of made me laugh. Really? Do you really need a life preserver next to a duck pond?

The post office circa the year 1900…

You know I love the goats! Just WHY are they so cute?

The funicular coming back down. No, I’m not that lazy… I walked. (:

This is my new little gnome friend. I’ve been looking for a teeny tiny gnome to call my own, and I found him in Stockholm. He’s only 1/2 an inch tall!

The entrance to the park on Djurgarden.

The entrance to the park on Djurgarden.

I like a nice, clear message in my signs.


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2 Responses to Stockholm, Sweden Day 104

  1. Jay September 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I posted about Vasa this week as well – such a fascinating story and museum.

    • Andrea September 17, 2013 at 4:40 am #

      I’ll have to check your blog to read more about it! I had trouble getting good photos in there it was so dark. Really great story and kind of hard to believe that you;re stanf=ding there looking a this boat that had sunk so long ago!

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