Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stockholm - Day 3

This was our last day in Sweden, so Mom and I were determined to make the most of it! Only problem - for some reason, NOWHERE in Stockholm actually opens before 10-11am.  After searching the entire 80+ options in our Stockholm card book, we found one place that opened earlier - the Vasa museum.

Explanation of the Vasa - no, it's not a fancy vase, as the name might lead you to believe.  It's actually a 225 ft long massive war ship, that was built by King Gustav II Adolf and took 2 years to complete.  The people of Stockholm were so involved and excited about this massive war ship that everyone was given the day off to watch Vasa depart on her maiden voyage.  With the thousands of people gathered to watch the journey, maiden voyage, Vasa came out from under the lee of the Södermalm cliffs.  As it was doing so, the sails caught the wind, and the ship heeled over to port (aka, tipped over), then heeled again, even farther. Water rushed in through the open gunports and the ship’s fate was decided. Vasa sank, after sailing barely 1300 meters.  It was a pretty tragic day for the people of Stockholm, especially since they had all invested so much into this massive project.
The Vasa, slowly capsizing to the side and eventually sinking into the water, taking perhaps 30 of approximately 150 people on board down with it.
Though this was a loss, it provided for a fabulous adventure, and in 1961, the engineer Anders Franzén brought the ship back to the surface, ultimately restoring the huge battleship.  Now, the restored ship is on display in the Vasa museum, where you can see the original statues, gunports, and ship itself.
The back of the ship, showing the intricate and symbolic carvings
The Vasa itself- it's so large, that you can't even fit the whole ship into one picture!
It was really an experience to see the Vasa, and I was so glad that Mom and I went! We were there for a while, looking through the 4 floors of salvaged equipment, history, and restored skeletons of the people found in Vasa.  After we had finished there, we made one last stop before heading back to the airport.

The Natural History museum was a fun little guy, and had all sorts of exciting photography, artwork and statues. Mom and I wandered around there for a bit, scoping out some of her favorite artists, before catching the subway back to T-central, to begin the trek back home.

1 bus ride, a plane ticket and some public buses later, we made it back to our apartment, in time to relax and get some sleep before heading into church the next day.  Overall, Stockholm was a wonderful success, and Mom and I were both SO glad we were able to go. The sights, the culture, the kind people and especially the temple were all highlights of our trip. I feel blessed we were able to go :)

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