Thursday, July 26, 2018

EuRoad Trip 2018: Sightseeing in Stockholm and Vaxholm

Breakfast at the Downtown Camper by Scandic was pretty solid.

They had a massive cereal and yogurt bar.

Rosehip soup and blueberry soup. I found it odd that these were referred to as soups.

I was trying to right my life after having massive buffets the last two days. I went for some pickles, some smoked salmon, and a little bread.

We joined a free tour of Stockholm. I know I talk about tours in like every blog post but they are just the best. Not only do you get to see and learn about all of the standard tourist spots but you can ask questions about where to eat or where to shop that are much more tailored to the individual.

We checked out Stockholm's old town of Gamla stan.

I think that this was outside the parliament building.

We about got run over by some soldiers marching.

I'll let Wikipedia handle this one: "Järnpojke or Iron Boy, in English known as the "little boy who looks at the moon" is a sculpture in Gamla stan (Old Town) of Stockholm by Liss Eriksson, which is only 15 centimetres (5.9 in) high and therefore is the smallest public monument of Stockholm."

Europe hasn't discovered public water fountains so when someone offers a drink out of a gargoyle's face you say yes.

We were lead down a narrow street. Ripe for an ambush.

I'd seen this Bröd & Salt chain a few places already. I want to say our tour guide said they had a good representation of the ubiquitous Swedish cinnamon bun, so we popped in.

Yesterday's giant dinner at the best hotel in town also put a dent in the ol' wallet so eating a flatbread on the sidewalk seemed like just the thing to get our lives back in equilibrium.

The city of Stockholm is situated on top of fourteen islands, and so boat is often the smartest way to get to a place.

I was sad that we didn't have time to see the sights in this theme park we passed but I knew we had some good theme parks planned for the days to come. Foreshadowing, foreshadowing.

It only took a few of these signs for us to say "no parkering" to each other the rest of the trip.

The line at the Vasa Museum was a beast. You don't hear too many complaints about standing in the blistering Swedish sun but it was an issue. Thanks Obama.

The Vasa was a ship that was built very large and ornate. So large and ornate that on her maiden voyage in 1628 she had barely left the harbor when she sank. Sad! The ship was so big that the masts were still above water and so they chopped them off because they were so embarrassed by their mistake.

The near perfect 64-gun warship was pulled up in the 1960s in preparation for my visit today. Thanks Sweden.

We did a little walking tour. Our guide's small stature and haircut strongly reminded me of Anne Frank.

We all agreed that this was one of our favorite 350 year old ships.

They had a good short film of them digging everything up.

There was a model of what the ship probably looked like all painted up and fancy.

I feel like Scandinavian institutions are much more comfortable displaying human bones than museums in America.

People delicately attempting to tell the king that his fancy ship died was amusing. I guess they ultimately blamed the debacle on a guy that was already dead, so that way they didn't have to punish anyone. Feels right.

"The Council's letter to the king, 12 August

until it slowly went to the bottom with standing sails, flags and all, although the topsail sheets were loose. There came immediately many boats out there, but there was nothing to do to help. Those who were there and had responsibility as officers, have immediately been arrested and put in detention for interrogation, Captain Sofring is here at the Palace, Erik Jonsson lies near death, as he was full of water and badly struck by hatch covers, after he had gone below when the ship began to heel, to pull the cannon from the side that was sinking to the other, so that the ship could right herself again. Old Hans Jonsson is left there. How many more people remain there we cannot know until the muster has been held; Of the other party that was there, almost all are dead."

Paper made out of ancient ships. The Swedes have this capitalism thing down.

Lydia mailing some postcards.

We bought tickets for a slightly more serious journey to the town of Vaxholm.

Some likely horrible liquorices were being sold near the port. Nice try Stockholm.

Luckily I had my boat shirt on for all of the boat activity that we'd been doing today so that everyone knew I was boat-friendly.

Vaxholm was a quaint little village. We had a good time just walking around.

I really like the little strips of cloth they sometimes used as flags around here.

Vaxholm gets its name from Vaxholm Fortress, built in 1544. I was especially impressed by the orange cable ferry that was taking people to the island. I couldn't figure out how a giant cable stretched across the water wouldn't clothesline other ships trying to cross. I guess the cable is so slack that it sinks down to the bottom when not in use. Very strange.

Most importantly Vaxholm Fortress was a filming location for the 1970 Swedish film Pippi in the South Seas.

We had a nice relaxing dinner near the water at the Lilla Strand restaurant in the Waxholms Hotell.

I started off with a nice Waxholms Bryggeri Lovart lager. I pretty much bought it because it had a cool label with a picture of Vaxholm on it. I wasn't disappointed.

I went with "Swedish Duroc pork chop with pickled chantarelles and deep fried new potatoes".

I couldn't help eyeballing the people sitting at the table next to ours. My guess is that they are Finnish Kale, which is a group of Romani people that live in Sweden and Finland. They wear super traditional clothing. The men's clothes especially reminds me of Mennonite garb.

No, tack you.

Our mission was essentially complete at this point but we did a bit more strolling around until the next ferry arrived.

Back on the ship we did some more beer tasting. It was tasty.

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