David & Diana's Excellent Vacation In Sweden

Sunday, July 25, 1999

On Sunday, we travel via subway and bus to another top Stockholm tourist attraction, the Vasamuseet (Vasa Museum). The Vasa was a Swedish warship completed in 1628 for their war against Poland. It was built to be the mightiest warship of its time. Unfortunately, it sank 15 minutes into its first voyage. The ship was found in 1956 under 30 meters (98 feet) of water and was raised in 1961.

The entire ship is contained within the museum. It's a big ship, 69 meters (226 feet) long. None of my photos of the ship came out because the flash on my camera is just too anemic. There are some good views of the Vasa at their web site.

The Vasa sank because it was very top-heavy. The methods used to design the Vasa were those used to build ships with a single gundeck but the Vasa was built with two gundecks. There is more information about the ship at their web site.

Also, the Vasa was not a Viking ship. It was built about 600-650 years after the age of the Vikings.

Hans imitates a Vasa crewman at an exhibit demonstrating conditions on board.

Could this be a sculpture of Katborg Grayson, a Feline Viking ancestor of Graylyn Rockford, esq? No wait, the Vasa isn't a Viking ship. This must be one of Rocky's distant cousins, another of Katborg Grayson and Katrina Rockdotter's descendants.

In addition, there are two early 20th century ships moored behind the Vasa Museum. These ships are now museum ships and can be reached directly from the Vasa Museum. They are The Icebreaker Sankt Erik and The Lightship Finngrundet.

You can probably guess from the photo that this is the Sankt Erik.

David strides across the deck of the Finngrundet.

This is a nice view (courtesy of Diana) of the Finngrundet. You can climb the tower up to the light.

After leaving the Vasa Museum, we're interested in lunch. We find a restaurant with outdoor seating near Gröna Lunds Tivoli, an amusement park near the Vasa Museum. (The web page is in Swedish but the animation is amusing.) At first, we think the menu lists a variety of fish. It turns out they mean three different herring dishes. We all order the mozzarella burger. We're expecting something like an American hamburger with mozzarella cheese. That's not quite what we got. We got a piece of toasted bread, a very nice hamburger patty with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, onions, several types of sauces on the side, and homemade style french fries. It was different, but very good.

On the way back to Hans' apartment, we stop by downtown Stockholm to look for a place to exchange travelers checks. Near Åhléns City, we see this gourgeous fountain at Sergels Torg (Sergel's Square).

Back at Hans & Anette's apartment in the evening, we mull over possible activities for Monday. What looks interesting are boat excursions on Strömma Kanalbolaget. One trip that has possibilities is going to the Viking town of Birka on Björkö island in Lake Mälaren. The other interesting possibility is a trip to Sandhamn Island in the outer archipelago. It is east of Stockholm, nearly in the Baltic Sea.

Both trips leave at 10:00 am the next morning. The Sandhamn cruise is 3 hours each way with 2 hours on the island and gets back at 6:00 pm. The Birka cruise is 1 hour and 45 minutes each way with 4 hours on the island. It gets back at 5:30 pm. The Birka cruise also specifies guided tours in English. We decide on the Birka trip.

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David & Diana's Excellent Vacation In Sweden

Copyright 1999 David Jones & Diana Hartman
Last revised: November 05, 2005.