Vasa, Parks, and Old Town

Trip Start Jul 06, 2005
1
5
7
Trip End Jul 25, 2005


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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Yesterday I skipped my last day of classes to go to Stockholm. Im very proud that I managed the whole journey by bus...and on my own.

Nothing gives me a rush like exploring on my own a new city, navigating it, getting my bearings and being totally free to do and see what I want.

Herrang is about 2 hours away from Stockholm. Rural hours too. I swear it made me think of fiddler on the roof , watching as the bus dropped people off in the middle of some kind of corn field. There must have been one bus stop for every 10 people.

But anyway I was talking about Stockholm. Stockholm is a an archipelago; made up of 14-18 islands. The city is connected by bridges and ferries, but the islands are very close together, giving the feeling that the city if full of rivers and not that this is actually the Baltic Sea sliding between the Stockholm isles.

Considering I only had 6 hours in the city I got quite a bit of sight seeing in. I wondered through old town, which is in fact a tourist trap. But it's also a very beautiful part of the city. with nice waterfront views and pathways.

The architecture in the city is really interesting. The buildings are grand, but square and smooth. With gold leaf ornamentation if anything.

Soon I went to see the Vassa

So, one week down. One week left to go.

Yesterday I skipped my last day of classes to go to Stockholm. Im very proud that I managed the whole journey by bus...and on my own.

Nothing gives me a rush like exploring on my own a new city, navigating it, getting my bearings and being totally free to do and see what I want.

Herrang is about 2 hours away from Stockholm. Rural hours too. I swear it made me think of fiddler on the roof , watching as the bus dropped people off in the middle of some kind of corn field. There must have been one bus stop for every 10 people.

But anywayI was talking about Stockholm. Stockholm is a an archipelago; made up of 14-18 islands. The city is connected by bridges and ferries, but the islands are very close together, giving the feeling that the city if full of rivers and not that this is actually the Baltic Sea sliding between the Stockholm isles.

Considering I only had 6 hours in the city I got quite a bit of sight seeing in. I wondered through old town, which is in fact a tourist trap. But it's also a very beautiful part of the city. with nice waterfront views and pathways.

The architecture in the city is really interesting. The buildings are grand, but square and smooth. With gold leaf ornamentation if anything.

Soon I went to see the Vasa Museet. A museum dedicated to what amounts to a huge 17th Century embarrassment. In 1628 the King of Sweden, who had made his name expanding to Poland and conquering much of Scandinavia ordered the construction of grand ship. The Vasa. Construction of this project had already begun when the king decided that one floor of cannons was not enough. So he ordered another floor of cannons, to show the Swedish superiority at Sea.

The ship was built, with beautiful ornamentation, and bedecked with colorful wooden statues.

On its maiden voyage, the ship took off with much pomp and ceremony, manned with a full crew of 50 people. No sooner did it leave the harbor that the top-heavy ship started to list from side to side.

The top-heavy cannons eventually caused the ship to capsize, drowning 30 of the crew.
A brief inquiry into why the ship sank was conducted but then the matter was quickly swept under the rug. The ship sat at the bottom of water, directly inside of Stockholm city for more than 300 years, and was only excavated in the late 1960s.

I took the trolley to the first open-air park, a huge park that takes up most of the land on one of the southern islands of Stockholm. The park was built in the 1800s to preserve the Swedish Way of life, samples from each era. if it weren't for the flood of tourists you would think you were in an Amish Community.
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