May 31 – Full Day in Stockholm

Full Day in Stockholm

Clouds and rain greeted us as did the Stockholm Marathon. Not sure if any of the Voyagers braved the run, but it did add to the excitement of the area.

Nathan and Katrina Phelps led an informal city walk along the Riddarfjardin to Gamla Stan. I leave it to them to report on that adventure.

Everyone ventured out as their imagination took them. Water was my destination, so the Barnaby crew did the Royal Canal Tour … also referred to as the Under-the-Bridge Tour. Inside a low-slung boat was the way to go as the rain sputtered off and on.

Then mid-day that sun broke through and it grew quite warm.

Stockholm developed as a key connection between internal waterways and access to the sea. The canal tour revealed this story from the water line.

The afternoon found us at Skansen; one of the world’s first open air parks. Housing a variety of animals and history of Swedish lifestyles, one comes away with a sense of culture and the history. The cotton candy and popcorn are a little out of place, but keep the kids happy. The collection of animals is impressive with a brown bear and fox sharing a habit, the former chasing the latter, seemingly for their own entertainment.

We then rushed to the Vasa museum. An odd story of an early 17th century Swedish warship. Commissioned by the king to be the largest of its kind in its day, the ship left on its maiden voyage amid a massive celebration. Just 20 minutes to her journey, the Vasa tipped over then capsized into the muddy bottom. Over 330 years later, it was raised still intact and well preserved. Even the remains of many who died were recovered and reconstructed, shedding new light on the life and health of sailors of the day. The Vasa stands over 6 stories from bottom to deck with towering three masts rising much higher. Intricate woodwork covers all sides of the deck, showing the craftsmanship and expense of the vessel. One of Sweden’s infamous failures now informs us on environmental changes that echo in our current climate change situation. The low acid water and mud preserved that Vasa in a way the likely wouldn’t be possible today.

Tomorrow… we board the MV Explorer.

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