This morning we catch the train into the city which takes about 15 minutes and we walk from the station to the old city – Gamla Stan across a bridge and past the old Parliament building.
The streets of Gamla Stan are narrow & made from cobble stones with lovely old multi coloured buildings. It is very quaint and one of the things I like to take photos of are the different interesting man hole covers that I’ve seen around the world. Perhaps I’ll make a coffee table book one day of Man Hole covers of the world!
Through the streets of the old city of Gamla Stan we walk to the Royal Palace that has a guard out the front who is very casual compared to the guards of Buckingham Palace, as they talk to the public. The Palace is still used for ceremonies and dinners and oozes opulence.
We catch a ferry from the palace to the Vassa museum and see the city from the water and it’s a beautiful city.
The Vasa museum contains a 17th century Viking ship that sank after 20 minutes of of it’s maiden voyage in 1628, just 120 meters from shore. It was discovered in 1956 and the recovery of the ship took from 1958 until 1961 when it was raised from the bottom of the harbour using pontoons on either side and cables underneath the vessel. All of the iron nails in the boards of the ship had rusted away and needed to be replaced with wooden plugs before the raising. There are a number of reasons that the ship sank:
- it was unstable – it was built too high with 2 rows of cannons on the top, so it was top heavy
- it wasn’t wide enough to allow for the height of the vessel
The ship is in amazingly good condition & is stored in a very cool climate with low light.
From Vasa we go to the Viking Museum that describes the everyday living conditions of the Vikings and Michael dresses up as a Viking, it suite him with his red hair! We take a train ride through scenes of life in the times of the Vikings which is really good.
We catch the ferry back to Gamla Stan and pass a beautiful timber yacht in the harbour, one of many.
We walk back past the Palace and the guards on this side have different coloured uniforms. It looks like it’s time for afternoon tea as 2 guards march towards the guard on duty carrying a thermos.
Next we visit the Stockholm Cathedral, that among other things has a globe candelabra, floating ship & a magnificent statue of St George slaying the dragon!
We stay in Gamla Stan for dinner in an outside cafe which is very pleasant before heading home to bed after a full day of sight seeing, weary but satisfied.