I almost was ready to admit defeat. Because for so long I actually really wanted to write a longish post about the Vasa and the museum and why I enjoyed my third (or even fourth?) visit to the museum so much, when I was in Stockholm in August. But whenever I start to try and write this post I never find the right grip on how to write it. I’d love to recount the whole incredible story of the Vasa, her sinking, the salvage and restauration. But then I always realize that this has been told so much more eloquently already on the museum’s website or on wikipedia and anywhere else online.
I decided to just write down a few random thoughts and to put these up with a collection of pictures. Even these random thougths turned into a pretty long post, so I don’t want to imagine, what this would have looked like, had I been able to actually write down ALL of what I originally had intended ;-)
The Vasa is a large ship and still most impressive to me is, that it was salvaged in the first place and that the whole ship is on display. The whole freaking ship in one piece.
I know last week I announced there will be a extra post about the Vasa (ship and museum) and there will be! Later this week, I hope. The cold really dragged me down a bit and then there was work. And the season opening event for my hockey team. And more work. In between I sorted through my Stockholm photos and the upload and tagging and such took so much more time than anticipated. But they are online now. Finally.
I didn’t want to show them chronologically, because then I would have to explain much too much in this post (and I wrote a bit about the trip already, while I was there). So I ordered the photos more or less thematically and in this posts there are a written few explanantions in advance. About the order of the photos most of all. So you might either want to read this first and watch the slideshow afterwards. Or click through the gallery in an extra browser tab.
Slide Show | Gallery
It’s starting with pix from my former dormitories and “my” Royal Institute of Technology. Then there are a few typical innercity sights: Places, Buildings, Parks. There are also a few (just very few unfortunately) photos of the artistic metro stations. A lot of the central metro stations in Stockholm have been designed by various artists all with a special theme. It’s actually quite impressive, but I either rarely thought of taking a photos or I just haven’t been to these stations this time. There are also just a few photos of the Bergianska Botanical Garden. I took a lot more, but it’s basically a typical botanical garden. It’s quite close to the university and the dorms where I was living in 1997 and I can’t believe I’ve never been there in the six months I was living there.
I’m still not really feeling well so I’ve decided to stay out of the office for this week. It’s ok for my colleague and I *am* working from home even though I’m feeling like I should spend most of my time in bed and not in conference calls *sigh* The cough is getting a bit better, I think, but the heavy coughs make me slightly dizzy so it’s a good thing that I’m staying home where I can sit or lay down. Plus it’s no fun to talk (or for other people to talk to me) while this cough is bothering me so much.
I don’t know when I’ll be up to sorting through my Stockholm photos and I don’t think there will be such a long vacation post anyway, because I posted daily while I was in Stockholm ;-) But I know I’ll definitely will be writing an extra post about the Vasa Museum, because it’s one of my all time favourite museums. It’s so unique. And just impressive. You don’t know about the Vasa? Here is a short incentive for the yet to be written post. (And unlike other posts which I say I will write and never follow through I promise that this post will be written this week!).
The Vasa is a ship that sunk on it’s maiden voyage in 1628 in the harbour of Stockholm. She was salvaged 333 years later, with a mostly intact hull and masts and all the stuff on board. The whole story of the ship and it’s recovery and preservation is interesting on its own even without the proof. But there is a whole museum dedicated to it, with various exhibitions about the “Life on Board”, “Sailing the Vasa”, “Preservation” and much more. Well and of course the galleries around … the Vasa herself. Have a look. And yes, that’s an ordinary male grown up visitor in the right bottom corner of the picture ;-) Continue reading
The suitcase is more or less packed and I’m almost ready to go to bed. Yes, at 9 pm, because I’m once again pretty exhausted and my flight leaves at 7.30 am tomorrow. Which means I have to leave at the hotel between 5 and 5.30 am. Ugh! I also seem to have gotten a cold over the last few days. A little one, but a cold nonetheless. It will make flying so much fun tomorrow. :-( Or maybe it won’t bother me that much after all.
I can’t believe the 4 days in Stockholm are already over. I haven’t been to all the places I wanted to go to. I guess I have to come back some day. Soon. And then I will try to not see the same favourite places all over again, but try some new ones. But I enjoyed it very much this time and I’m glad I have been back to this wonderful city.
Photos and some real vacation reports will follow some time next week. At least I hope I’ll manage to post them next week :-)
Besides all the walking around I guess the other thing that’s tiring me a bit is the hard mattress and the nearby airport that makes me sleep less restorative as it could be. And should be, with all the exhausting walking of the typical tourist :-) It probably really is the mattress because there are no flights between 10 pm and 6 am (or even later).
Today was kind of weird. I changed my plans a few times and those changes were more or less caused by which bus was the first to stop at the bus stop where I was waiting :-)
I went to Skansen (openair museum and zoo), even though I was afraid it might rain while I’m there. Which it didn’t, but I probably should have gone there tomorrow anyway, because today was the Nickelodeon Family Day. There even was some kind of show on stage in the afternoon, but all through the day there already was crappy music blasting through the park, which was kind of annoying. And of course there were a lot of visitors in general (summer weekend) and even more families it seems. I spend less time there than I thought I would, but it was ok. It was nice to stroll around all the old farm building and town quarter. Plus… I saw my moose, which was the main reason for this visit anyway :-)
Afterwards I decided against visiting the Vasa Museum and the Aquarium (I will do that tomorrow) and went to the Ethnographical Museum instead. It sounded interesting enough and I didn’t even know it existed in Stockholm. And it was ok, but with too much written explanation for all the items. Information overload and most of it was in Swedish, which I understand when I read it, but it’s exhausting to have to concentrate that much. I actually planned to visit the TV tower afterwards, because I was close by, but then it really started to rain and the view from the top probably would have been not really worth it then. Maybe I’ll do visit it tomorrow afternoon…
I spend the evening with a walk on the Monteliusvägen, which is the path up on the cliff of Södermalm (southern part of the inner city) and offers some great views of the city. But from up above it becomes all the more obvious that there is a lot of construction work going on everywhere. The tower cranes really mess up the beautiful view. Too bad. But it was a nice walk after all. Nice and exhausting! So I’ll spend the rest of the evening in my hotel room, put up my feet, catch up with online stuff and probably watch the 2nd Lord of the Ring movie on TV until I’ll be too tired to keep my eyes open. Which I guess will happen pretty fast tonight :-)
OMG, I’m so exhausted. If you had put a bed for me somewhere in Stockholm City around 4 pm I would have gladly gone to sleep. Right then and there. Being a tourist is hard work :-) I actually had planned to visit another museum after 4 pm, because I want to make good use of my StockholmCard. But the bus that should have taken me to the museum just didn’t show up, so after some relaxing, sitting on the bench, waiting for any bus, I spend another 90 minutes just strolling around the main shopping area in central Stockholm. Didn’t really buy much, but I most of all wanted to kill the time until I could sit down for dinner and then head out to my hotel :-)
I’m too tired to write a lengthy report now and will do that sometime next week (about the whole trip then), but I wanted to share two photos I took today. The first is from the Golden Hall at Stadshuset, Stockholm’s town hall, build in the 1920s. I have been there once before in August 1997, when Hai_di and another friend paid me a visit while I was studying here. I did the guided tour once again this time and it felt like I heard most of the stories the guide told us for the first time. Which could even be the case, but I doubt it, because these are the stories of the townhall and every guide should tell these stories to the visitors. Anyway, the walls of the Golden Hall are coved with large mosaics- Most of the pieces are covered with a tiny layer of gold, hence the name, and it’s quite an impressive sight. At the head of the hall the mosaic shows a large woman, symbolizing the city of Stockholm in the center of the world. Left and right to her feet are the east and the west of the world and the details were really stunning…
The other picture I took in the churchyard of Storkyrkan, the old cathedral in Gamla Stan, the medieval old town. There is a small playground in this churchyard or at least some playground equipment. If you know me or if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know why I just had to take this picture of this so very Swedish rocking horse :-)
Being back in Stockholm today was weird. Not in a bad way, not at all. Just… weird :-) I tried to remember what it felt like in 2003, when I had been here for a few days as well, but I honestly don’t remember much from that trip. Which probably should worry me, because it’s not THAT long ago. I remember the hostel and that I’ve been to Skansen and back at the dorms, but besides that… no idea. It probably would come back if I’d look at the pictures I have taken in 2003.
Anyway, today I almost felt like if I was here for the first time. A lot of the city centre, or at least the parts which I’ve been to, felt so foreign to me. Like a tourist. Doing all the tourist-y things. Which I guess I didn’t do that much in 1997. Because I wasn’t a tourist then, but an exchange student. An inhabitant. But quite a few times today I had to ask myself: “Have you been here before? And if so, shouldn’t you remember it?!?!” :-) Or maybe if just put to much newer information on my neurological harddrive (=brain) that some of the old memories just got lost. So it’s a good thing that I’m here to make new memories, right?