Bliss in a bowl

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July 3rd 2008
Published: September 30th 2017
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In dreary Stockholm, this brightly-coloured church stood out.
Geo: 59.3327, 18.0645

Bad sleep, so I was up early. The top bunk was crappy and very creaky - I should've chose a better bed when I arrived but didn't think. I tried some of that liquid bandage I bought to deal with those massive splits I get in my feet when I travel, but it was pretty much wiped out after 30 minutes of walking.

I used some more free internet before going out sightseeing - dreary again, today. It took me 45 minutes to find a Stockholm card for sightseeing - annoying! All the information I had indicated they sold them at hotels, hostels, news stands, and at subway stations, but none of them had them. I had to backtrack to the new town's tourist office to finally get my hands on one. I was annoyed and in a bad mood today.

I hopped onto a boat bound for the island of Djurgarden (Stockholm is essentially a number of islands), where I would be hitting up the museums. The boat was packed with Spanish tourists. I was a little less annoyed after ...

First up was the Vasa Museum - the Vasa was a warship that sunk 20 minutes into

Neat photo exhibit down at the harbour.
its maiden voyage in 1628, and was retrieved and reconstruction started in 1961. I picked the wrong line and ended up waiting forever to get a ticket - my annoyance grows ...

The Vasa was the only boat in the world to have two cannon decks, but this made it very top-heavy and unstable. They call the reconstruction the world's biggest jigsaw puzzle; the work was brutally painstaking. For 17 years, the wood was sprayed with glycol to preserve it, and was dried for NINE years! The museum finally opened in 1991.

They estimate that the ship only had about half the ballast it required for stability. Workers used round stones, but claimed that couldn't fit enough in the hold. This was later disproved - there was room for more, but still not enough for stability. More stones could have been fit in had they been flat, and salvage crews also found that the round stones had all rolled to one side of the ship - the stones started to roll as the ship pitched, and caused the ship to pitch harder and harder until it sunk.

All of the restoration work has been done using new techniques and was all one

Here's the description.
of a kind - who knows if the preserving process will survive the test of time? Experts know that the Vasa will eventually fall apart, but they don't know exactly when.

Next up was Skansen, Stockholm's open-air museum - I considered skipping it because the one in Oslo was boring, but was glad I listened to Solange's advice. It was much bigger and livelier than Oslo's.

Next was the Nordic museum - blah! Not much to see, but included with the Stockholm card. I left Djurgarden to go back downtown to stroll through Drottningatan, the main pedestrian street in town. I wandered over to an amazing underground food market - wow! The sights, sounds, smells ... I was tempted into having an early dinner tonight. I went for the 80 Kr for fish soup - the equivalent of $13 CAD, it was a spectacular value. It included bread, crackers, a simple salad of just lettuce, and even one refill!

I'm tempted to come back to the market for lunch tomorrow before catching the night ferry to Helsinki. There was this Middle Eastern deli serving roasted and stewed lamb dishes - I almost went for that instead of the fish soup

The not-so-mighty Vasa.

I popped into the nearby Kungshallen food court just to see what they had on offer - it was a big, fancy food court where everything was served on real plates and cutlery. Pricey for fast food, it was actually more restaurant quality - all manners of ethnic food were available, including Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish, Middle Eastern ...

I shopped a little bit on Drottningatan, but found that shopping just isn't as fun when there aren't hordes of Spanish women around 😞 I headed back towards the old town to catch a harbour cruise - the pre-recorded commentary kept putting me to sleep. I paid for my early dinner later on as my dining patterns are still a bit on Spanish time - I needed some yogurt and juice, as well as a crappy hot dog from 7-11. The bun was dry and the dog was hard - but what do you expect from 7-11? I wandered through the old town, then back to hostel for some more free internet.

Additional photos below
Photos: 31, Displayed: 25



The back of the Vasa - doesn't look like much now ...

... but it originally would have been brightly decorated like this.

Some random photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Vasa museum - what the heck?

Some of the beefy supports used to hold it up (the Vasa, not Arnold Schwarzenegger).

The entrance to Skansen - I wasn't going to pay extra to take the funicular up - I need to use that money for food!

In Skansen, I had this yummy light fragrant cinnamon bun with crunchy little sugary bits sprinkled on top. Fresh from the oven, it was tasty! My annoyance level shrunk, and my mood improved ...

Attractive Swedish woman working the pottery wheel. She declined my offer to re-enact the pottery scene from the movie "Ghost". What? Shouldn't she be interested in helping a guy cultivate his artistic side?

Funny-looking fake sheep. It's a good thing they were fake, otherwise I would've tried to eat them.

A rune stone ...

... and its accompanying description. Actually, it was a description for another rune stone, because the associated one was being blocked by a big crowd of people. Would you even know the difference? Would you even care?

Mmm ... baby duckling ...

A traditional type of home of the Sami people.

And here's a bit of their history.

Too funny - these kids come complete with a "If found, please call" number.

It's a good thing they had this sign, otherwise I would have been staring into the habitat for quite some time!

Lunch was also at Skansen - a game stew stuffed inside of a pita. The pita was horrid and dry, and was filled with lettuce and a weird curry sauce. Pickles and lima beans rounded out the strange combination. There wasn't much meat in the stew, which was actually quite tasty, but not sufficient in quantity.

Still hungry, I went back to the bakery and had a different type of cinnamon pastry - it was hard, not tender or flaky, and wasn't fresh out of the oven like the first. The previous one was definitely much better.

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