Stockholm, Sweden of June 2004, Log 02

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Stockholm Log 01
• Stockholm Log 02

The next day saw us heading out for the touristic sites and we were firmly told to go to the Vasa Museum. Definite sight to go to where we saw a full sized Viking ship. "Si be tuo ah!" History goes that in 1625 the Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, ordered new warships and among them was Vasa. In 1628 the ship was ready. And as it was launched, it was only after a few minutes of sailing that the ship began to heel over. And, to everyones horror and disbelief, the glorious and mighty warship suddenly sank!


Preserved by the cold waters of the Baltic Sea, it was found by an amateur marine archeologist 328 years later, in 1956, and was raised in 1961. For the next thirty-odd years, an enormous restoration effort reassembled and preserved the huge ship, and a purpose-built building, the Vasamuseet (Vasa Museum), opened in 1995. It is by far the most popular museum in Sweden. We had an English tour to the ship and of course had our fair share of fun in "battle" and as "slaves" crying for help! One thing I only just found out: that there was a Soviet Whiskey-class submarine right outside and we missed it!


We headed after that to Skansen and allowed us a really scenic walk. The world's first open-air museum, Skansen was founded in 1891 by philologist and ethnographer Artur Hazelius, who is buried here. He preserved examples of traditional Swedish architecture brought from all parts of the country, including farmhouses, windmills, barns, a working glassblower's hut, and churches.

We tried real hard to look for WOLVERINE but alas, no sight. The bears were however came really close to the screen enclosing them.


Seems on the day that we visited Skansen that the royal family was also scheduled to visit but I think we were too tired to stay on. I was still asking when we were going to have meatballs - we are in Sweden and home of IKEA! When were we going? We went ahead and we tried our hands on snuff. Hee, and had us guys spitting all around! High, high, high! We then took a train down to Gamla Stan (the Old Town), covering four islands in the heart of Stockholm, is where the city was born, first as a fortified place, growing gradually to become Sweden's capital.


The lacy iron spire to the right, on Riddarholmen (Knight's Island), is atop the ancient Riddarholmskyrkan (Knight's Island Church), the final resting place for Sweden's kings since 1290. The old town was very pleasant and we came to the Town Hall, Stadshuset, that holds some appeal -why? Its striking mosaic-lined Gylene salen (Golden Hall) stunningly depicts the lake view from the gallery and is also the venue for the annual Nobel Prize ceremony. We walked some more and came across this Singapore flag in a watch boutique! WOW!


As hungry people would be, one of the things we discovered is the cost and the beginning of a journey where we started having to pay to use the toilets. Yes! Even MacDonald's where it's a good S$1 to pee. ROI on that not worth it unless it's to go in for NUMBER 1. And although we didn't get to go to IKEA, we did get some snacks like Daim which was really good and now back in Singapore, we bought a whole lot more ah! And so ends our visit, perhaps the next time we do come up would be to go up North where the Northen Aurora lights are and where Nature is at its best! Or maybe with our kid to this ultra pro-family destination!

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