Skansen, Vasa and Nobel!
Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
26Trip End Dec 22, 2010
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I've already mentioned Gamla Stan, the old city...it's very cool and the street layout has stayed the same since the Medieval times so it makes for some very interesting walks. Winding streets, narrow alleyways and surprises at every corner!
The next big tourist thing we did was Skansen, this amazing open air museum of Swedish life in general. We saw century old houses from Sweden all over Sweden, a farmer's summer cabin from Lapland, middle class houses from Stockholm, glass works, bakeries, workshops, it was all very cool. And the people dressed in the traditional Swedish clothing as well
Next day, VASA! So the story behind this is that the Swedish king at the time (early 17th century) wanted to impress everyone with how great Sweden was (and win a war against Poland) so he commissioned the Vasa to built, a giant floating battleship with 3 canon decks! I know! Unfortunately, people at the time did not know much about naval engineering...let alone have ship plans. Add an impatient king, numerous design changes, the addition of larger canons and opened gun ports and you get the sinking of Sweden's pride in the first 20 mins of her Maiden voyage XD. The first couple gusts of wind tipped the ship so that water poured through the opened gun ports...sinking it. Epic fail....Fortunately for us, because the Stockholm harbour is not so salty, the worms that normally eat away all the wood in other ship wrecks didn't affect the Vasa so in 1961, it was brought back up to become this fantastic museum ship it is today =D. It's really quite a sight, and there's all the cool finds that the archeologists discovered once they brought her up. Sailers clothes, carpenters tools, backgammon and even a gold ring...mmm the only 'treasure' they found. And the statues too! You cannot believe how many statues were on this thing, definitely worth a visit!
Then the Stockholm City Hall for the Nobel Banquet? Yes please! It was amazing seeing the (red) Blue Hall where a specially designed staircase helps nervous people make an elegant entrance =P. Apparently the architect got this wife to walk up and down several different staircase models in her high heels to see which one was easiest...wasn't that nice? =P There was also the Prince's room, the council chambers and the weirdly cool Golden Room. The Golden Room was supposed to be painted by some famous Stockholm painter but he died before starting so in a panic they got this young inexperienced artist to do a mosaic using gold tiles. Needless to say, not everything went according to plan...2 crowns instead of 3, not measuring the height properly so some pictures were cut short haha. The Stockholm people like it now though...well, at least that's what our tourist guide said XD
So there you have it, the some of the biggest attractions in Stockholm...can't wait for a trip to the Stockholm Archipelago, everyone says it's so beautiful...