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Published: July 24th 2018
Park in Helsinki
Spent a couple of pleasant hours enjoying this city and citizens one last time. A contented Bird sits somewhere to the left.
Back to where it all began...Stockholm. City and people as great as June yet many more tourists. Great job Bird planning an early trip😊 On the way from St. Petersburg we spent the day in Helsinki, which also continues to be wonderful, but compared to Stockholm a bit of an outpost. Who cares, great folks, wonderful temps, and a nice park to spend the afternoon waiting for our last ferry. Have a pix or two for you.
Okay, we'll say it, the Viking ferry is markedly superior to St. Peter Line. We can even drink the water! What a great idea. Food is also a tad better (yes, understatement), but the smorgasbord on this ferry is not quite as good as the trip outbound from Stockholm. Of course, we ate it nonetheless. After breakfast we strolled on deck admiring the Stockholm archipelago; noticed less of it on the voyage out and needed to compensate. We did. Yes, also a picture.
Sure, we made it to the Vasa. We are certain everyone recalls our visit to the Mary Rose in Portsmouth, England a few years ago. She also sank on her maiden voyage, but lying at less depth and the
A portion of the fortress built by the Swedes in 1748 to deter the Russians from attempting to swipe Finland-it didn't. We took a short ferry here a few days ago but were too pooped (okay, lazy) to walk across the island to see it. Very fortunately, just when we hopped out on deck after departing for Stockholm, it was on the starboard side.
warmer waters of south England suffered serious deterioration. Not so with Vasa; this ship is intact-98% of what you will see is original.
While having by far the most intact ship of that age is a wonder for us, it was a tragedy for Sweden. In 1628 she was in a brutal war with Poland and needed this ship, the most powerful one in the world when she was constructed, to assist in controlling the Baltic. While the King was very angry when she foundered, looking for someone blame, he was actually the villain. He demanded too many cannons, sixty-four in all, too high on the ship resulting in a top heavy unstable vessel. A gust of wind in the harbor blew her over-she sank in five minutes. Yet she surely was grandly constructed. Sculptures adorned a great many areas of the ship, the stern entirely. Bright paints were used liberally. They do not remain on the vessel, but careful study of the wood has revealed many of the colors. We also made one last visit to Gamla Stan (the Stockholm old town) touring the present day Parliament building (hourly tours are conducted in English only) and made one
There are countless rocky (granite) islands east of Stockholm, some supporting large and permanent communities, others just a summer house or two. This is one of the larger ones.
last picture adjacent to the Nobel Museum.
Sadly, very sadly, we bid farewell to the wonderful Nordic countries. The citizens of all four countries are fabulous, genuinely friendly and helpful. Wish we could bottle them and spread throughout our country. But fair warning to prospective tourists-this place does not have the price structure of southern or eastern Europe-bring your wallet. We fly at 9am tomorrow. Great trip!
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