Polar Bear Hunt 2015 - Day 21
We had the whole day in Stockholm. Our main destination was the island of Djurgården that boasts amusement parks and museums. There were two attractions of interest, the museum that houses the old warship Vasa that sank on its maiden voyage (the same as the Mary Rose did in Portsmouth) and the Abba Museum. After a wonderful time there, we took the local ferry back to Gamla Stan, the old centre of Stcokholm to wander through the narrow streets.
From Hotel to Djurgården
The get to Djurgården we could have taken a tram or bus, but it was early morning so we decided to walk. It was a pleasant morning after the overnight rain, and we were able to walk along the waterfront without the crowds that were sure to clutter the place later.
The Vasa Museum
I had long wanted to visit the Vasa Museum and see the old warship.
Vasa is a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship foundered and sank after sailing about 1,300m into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. She was located again in the late 1950s just outside the Stockholm harbor. She was salvaged with a largely intact hull in 1961 together with thousands of artifacts and the remains of at least 15 people The ship was built on the orders of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus. She was constructed at the navy yard in Stockholm and armed primarily with bronze cannons cast in Stockholm. However, the design kept changing and eventually she had too many large bronze cannons, so that she was dangerously unstable and top-heavy. She was ordered to sea and foundered only a few minutes after encountering a breeze. An inquiry was organized by the Swedish Privy Council to find those responsible for the disaster, but in the end no one was punished for the fiasco.
After the darkness and rather sombe atmosphere of the Vasa, we emerged into the bright sunshine and walked on to the Abba Museum. It is so popular that your tickets have a narrow time period in which you can enter. Fortunately the queues were short and we were soon inside. What an amazing place! Full of original photos, artifacts, clothing, golden discs etc. Far too difficult and overwelming to photograph. Later we staggered back outside into the sunshine and found a nearby bar to sit at and recover, with a beer of course.
After recovering from the museums, we took a local ferry across to Gamla Stan, an island that makes up the "Old Town". It dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. There is plenty to see here, so we walked slowly along the narrow streets making our way back towards the main bridge near the royal palace. Eventually we crossed back to new Stockholm and walked back up Drottninggaten, the pedestrian shopping street that took us back to our hotel.
Last updated: 31/01/2016