July 27, 2009

Vasa Muse & Skansen

Back to Stockholm for a day of sunshine and touring.
Our first stop was the Vasa Muse. The Vasa was a ship commissioned by the king to be built in the 1600's, showing off Sweden's stature. The king wanted an ornately carved and painted boat with several cannon ball turrets. He wanted to show off Sweden's strength - both physical and financial. The entire boat was carved with lions, historical figured, and great symbolism. Many of the carvings were painted in brilliant colors - golds, reds, blues. The ship was certainly a majestic site. The Vasa set sail and was nearly tipped by a slight breeze, she righted herself only to be struck by another slight breeze, which ultimately made her sink. 20 minutes into her maiden voyage, the Vasa sank, just off the shores of Stockholm. For 333 years, she sat in the harbour, until she was successfuly rescued from the merky depths of the Baltic Sea. The mix of salt and fresh water preserved the ship almost perfectly. The Vasa was a beautiful ship. Our tour of the museum, although freezing cold, proved educational. The museum was rather dimly lit, so I don't have much in the way of photos.
After touring the Vasa, we gathered lunch items and headed to Skansen, a park showing the different time period and geographic regions of Sweden. There were houses to tour from different time periods and locations throughout Sweden, showing the rich history of the country. Skansen also has a zoo area. Including a Lemur cage, where you can go inside (but can't touch the Lemurs). Our picnic in Skansen overlooked the city of Stockholm, from a beautiful rose garden. After touring a few of the houses, we watch a glass blower make a glass cat. Heading off to the zoo area, Alaina & Carole went into the Lemur cage. Lemurs are funny little animals, playful like monkeys, curious like cats. We had a photo shoot by the Dalla Horse, laughing hysterically at ourselves. On our tour through the Skansen zoo area, we encountered a Peacock. He happily sat on the fence, looking around. I snuck in for a picture, although scared to get too close, for fear he would peck my face. We also caught a glimps of the King, Queen, and Prime Minister of Sweden, who were at Skansen for a ceremony. After our touring and fun at Skansen, we opted to head home for dinner. We didn't plan ahead very well, speed walking a good mile or more towards the train station. Nervous we wouldn't make the train and would have to wait another hour for the next one, Carole and I broke into a run. We wove through pedestrians, racing towards the train station. As we ran into the building, my foot caught on an up-turned brike. In slow motion, my arms flew out, in an attempt to regain my balance. Too late. I started falling face first to the floor. At the last second, I tucked myself into a ball and rolled. I managed barely a scrape, and no major injuries. I popped back up, astonished and laughing, just in time to get our train tickets. I couldn't believe my clumsiness (except that running in sandals and a skirt is not the best of ideas). Luckily, we made the train home, and once everyone saw that I was ok, we had a good laugh about my tumble, tuck and roll. Then I remembered that my glass-blown Christmas ornament from Skansen was in my bag (which I rolled over in my acrobatic move), luckily it somehow survived, in-tact.


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