Vasa and Skansen

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August 25th 2019
Published: August 25th 2019
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Today was a better day. I’m not completely back to normal, but I’m good enough to do some serious sightseeing. Today I toured the two sights I was most interested in seeing in Stockholm: the Vasa Museum and Skansen. The first is an indoor museum dedicated to the 17th century warship Vasathatsank on its maiden voyage and was then recovered 333 years later in the 1960s. It is in remarkably good condition - something to do with the brackishness of the water in the Baltic Sea. I was prepared to be impressed and I was. The museum made the clever choice of making the main floor of the museum be the waterline (rather than deck level), so the ship towers over you as you enter. It sank because of poor design - it was top heavy and capsized with the first breeze that hit it - but it was wonderfully decorated with brightly painted carvings, especially over the stern of the ship. There is a scale model of the ship looking the way it did when it was launched and it has all the colors in place. After Vasa, I spent the rest of my day at Skansen, an outdoor folk museum similar to Greenfield Village (or the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo). The summer season is short here in the northland, so a beautiful sunny day in August like today was great for experiencing all that Skansen has to offer. There were multiple activities and demonstrations, music and dancing, animal talks (there’s a zoo of Nordic animals), and many Swedish food options. I walked around and tried to see as many of the activities as I could. I liked seeing the reindeer and it was fun to watch the kids try their hand at washing clothes the old fashioned way. At one point I took a break and tried some Swedish pancakes - yummy! We shall see how I am feeling tomorrow, but I am optimistic that I’ll be back to normal and able to see a few more things before my time in Stockholm runs out.

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