Wednesday, September 7, 2011

STOCKHOLM!...and pirate ships...

Hello from Scandinavia! (or, as they like to say, "Hej"!)

Blogging about Europe is probably one of the hardest things for me because, well, THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT!

I love Europe. I love everything about it - the cultures, the languages, the history, THE FOOD. So I've decided to organize my blog posts by country. That way you aren't overwhelmed and I'm not exhausted, or is it the other way around? I don't know. I'm tired. And I'm not in my normal timezone.

Stockholm, Sweden. Okay, so that's a little more specific than the whole country, but you get the idea :)

I LOVED Stockholm! Much of that was finally meeting our wonderful extended family (see earlier post...), but Stockholm was so beautiful! The air was like a beautiful autumn morning, the kind where the sun warms your skin but the shade makes you shiver so that you never quite know how to feel. Puffy grey clouds filled the big blue sky. The sky seemed larger there, somehow. And all the various architecture - from Dutch to Swedish to Italian to French to German to MODERN - kept me distracted most all the time (...I also ended up tripping on the cobblestone streets. In flats...)

Here, see for yourselves (abbreviated version...seriously, I'm not posting all 100 photos of Stockholm.):











We stayed right in Gamla Stan (old district) at a really nice boat hotel (really, it rocked at night) with a name longer than anything I'd ever seen (Malardrottningen). Every street in Stockholm reminded me of Middle Earth. Stromgatan. Riddarholmen. I'd use the right vowels if I had the right keys...



Despite all the Italian restaurants (seriously, they were EVER-Y-WHERE!), we ate things like Swedish meatballs and Toastkagen. Now I'm assuming most of you know about Swedish Meatballs or at least can deduce what they are. Toastkagen is toast with shrimp salad on top (sorta like chicken salad...but with shrimp) and lots of dill (YUM!).

Swedish meatballs, potatoes, pickled cucumber (yes, pickles...)
and lingonberries (kinda like cranberries)

















Toastkagen


















We walked and walked and walked (that's what we do), took boat rides and photos, but my FAVORITE part was the Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet), located on the island of Djurgarden. 

The Vasa Museum opened in 1990 and houses the only existing 17th-century ship. On August 10, 1628, the Vasa set sail on her maiden voyage. Twenty - TWENTY! - minutes later, she sank in the Stockholm Harbor. With two decks of cannons positioned too high and insufficient ballast, the Vasa was top heavy! There it lay for 333 years, until 1961, when an archaeologist found it. Through a series of lifts, they brought the Vasa above water and pieced her back together.(<----a link to more details...)

The Vasa
From Stockholm, we took the train to Copenhagen. I'd hoped to get some blogging/writing/reading/emailing done whilst admiring the Swedish countryside - but lo! The train rattled my equilibrium, and I spent half the trip trying to sleep off nausea. O_o 

Up next, Copenhagen, and until then...Hejda :)  (bye)

15 comments:

  1. I agree with everything you said about Europe. It is hard, for me, to describe it to someone who has not been there. I have not been to Sweden, would love to go but content to see it though your eyes! So! Feel free to post those 100 pictures, I will look at them!:)

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  2. Beautiful pictures! And I love the story of the Vasa. Sounds like you are having a great time. I'm envious! : )

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  3. amazing pictures. and i thought my trip to boston was cool/historic.

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  4. Norma - I know, there is just so much to write about! And just so you know, I will be posting all those photos on Facebook, once I get back to the States :)

    Cynthia - Thank you!!!

    Chris - Thanks! And, hey, I've never been to Boston. I loved seeing/reading about your trip.

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  5. Great pics. I especially like the Vasa. I'm going to have to research that now. I'd love to see these places myself, if only I could there without getting on an airplane...

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  6. Jamie - Thanks! So, it the "not getting on an airplane" from fear or motion sickness??? (they make me sick. i have to take Dramamine)

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  7. It's from a bad experience. I was on a flight to Vegas. I didn't realize I had a case of pneumonia until we were in the air. At that point, it's too late to change your mind. Fortunately it was only a two hour flight, but it was two hours of struggling to breathe and feeling like I as going to pass out the whole time. I think it had to do with the change in air pressure, or the cabin pressurization.

    The return flight home was my last flight. I was medicated by then but still pretty miserable. I can't stand the thought of being stuck on a plane for a long flight now.

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  8. I love it, keep it coming… thx for sharing your trip—it’s awesome!

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  9. Jamie - Oh, that's HORRIBLE! Ugh. No wonder you aren't flying! So, maybe you can build yourself up to be able to go over sees. Start with a really short flight (take a beta blocker? lol), and keep doing that until you feel confident again about flying? But really, that experience sounds pretty terrible...

    Jeff - I'm so glad you enjoy them! Thank you, and I'll post about Copenhagen in the next day or so :)

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  10. We were in Stockholm this summer on a cruise. Loved the Vasa museum and the changing of the guard, and I took a photo of Swedish meatballs too!

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  11. Beth - Ha! Don't you love it...changing of the GUARD (no plural...) What a wonderful cruise that must've been.

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  12. Wow, I saw my friend gave you a blog award and came to check it out. I LOVE these pictures (and Pirates ships)!! Really really cool! Looks like a great trip. Can't wait to follow along!

    P.S. Your book shelf could double for mine. Great taste!

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  13. S.L. - Oh, thanks so much and I can't wait to go check out YOUR bookshelf (reader soul mates) - my internet is intermittent...I'll head over as soon as I have some time!!!

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  14. That ship is amazing! Wow, and when I'm feeling like a faiilure, I can think of the Vasa's maiden voyage... all that work gone in to building that beautiful ship and it sinks!!! Holy crap!!
    WHat a great trip! I would love it there.

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