2013 Summer (Baltic and Britain – Stockholm, Sweden)

The light during the early morning sail-in to Stockholm was just glorious.  I had a great time standing on the deck taking photos. We had a drive around the city and then were allowed time to stroll the medieval Old Town before we were driven to the island of Djurgården and dropped off at the Vasa Museum.  The Royal Palace is on one side of the huge central square.                  The town of Sigtuna, which dates from 1744.We visited the oldest creamery.  The building definitely has a lean.These ancient stones were located in various parts of the town.St. Mary’s Church is the oldest building in Sigtuna.  The earliest part of the church was built in 1247-48 and the building contains artifacts and religious furnishings dating back 700 years.  A restoration undertaken between 1966 and 1971 turned the medieval church into a building suitable for contemporary needs.All of the pew rows had different carved symbols on the aisle end.The 64-gun Vasa was the pride of the Swedish navy when it was built in 1628.  Unfortunately some major design flaws (it was top-heavy with too much weight on the upper structure, a lot of which was tons of ornate carving on the stern) caused the ship to capsize in the harbour 1300′ into her maiden voyage.  The ship was buried in the mud of the cold northern waters and faded into obscurity until it was discovered in the 1950s.  333 years after she sank she was painstakingly raised to the surface almost completely in tact.  A huge museum building was built nearby and the 4-storey ship was towed into it during December of 1987 and the next summer over 20,000 people toured the half-finished building.  Since then about 2,000,000 people have visited the museum.  Vasa is the world’s only preserved 17th century ship. There were cases of models that demonstrated how they ‘floated’ the Vasa to the surface.  It cost the Swedish people practically nothing.  All of the preparatory work, diving and tunnel digging to get ropes under the hull, and rigging to lift it, were done as part of the naval and coastal artillery proficiency training.  The salvage company that did the actual lift did the work at no cost in exchange for being able use the project in their advertising.  Only a few salaries and incidental expenses were born by the government.We really enjoyed our Swedish day.  I have Swedish blood.  My paternal grandparents both emigrated from Sweden to Canada in the early 1900s so it was nice to be in their homeland.

 

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