The ship that met its Waterloo

I am really impressed with Stockholm. It’s a beautiful city, or at least the central area is. And there is a surfeit of sights, both modern and historic.

First comes breakfast and this hotel excels at that. There are too many choices! The hot food may be limited, but there are breads, cold cuts, fruit, cereals, yoghurt, juices and even pancakes and waffles to choose from. It’s little wonder we skipped lunch today.

Afterwards we strolled down to the Gamla Stan with its atmospheric narrow cobblestone streets, the Swedish Parliament building and the royal palace. Yes it’s a bit touristy at times, but it’s also magical and I feel like we don’t spend enough time there.

We do stop at the Nobel Museum. Alex gets into the kids activities, answering questions in return for a prize. A chocolate Nobel prize. There’s a large display on Martin Luther King which Alex selects as his favourite, a good choice. I enjoy viewing various instruments associated with Nobel Prize winning research. It was worth a visit.

We catch a slow ferry across to Djurgarden. It may be the middle of the day, but already it feels like the late afternoon.

It’s a bit of a walk in the snow and chill to the Vasa Museum. This houses the Vasa, a 64 gun vessel that sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628 after sailing around a kilometre out of port.

She was raised from the bottom of Stockholm harbour in the 1960’s, a huge operation, and is the best preserved ship of its era.

The sight of this huge, but poorly designed, wooden vessel is awe-inspiring. The preservation efforts are also interesting, as are the reconstructions of the skeletons of crew that lie on display.

The sun is near the horizon when we finally depart the Vasa and walk to the ABBA Museum.

Whilst I’m not much of an ABBA fan (B is) the museum was nonetheless a lot of fun.

There are plenty of interactive exhibits and some, no doubt embarrassing, video and sound exists waiting for download.

We tried to catch a tram back to the hotel, only it was a bus instead. I don’t know what the deal is with buses replacing trams but I don’t like it!

We’ve run out of clothes and the hotel laundry is prohibitively expensive, so we had to search for additional clothes. Unfortunately finding something other than slim-fit XL t-shirts was tricky. I even went to Uniqlo!

Finding dinner was another tricky affair, unless we wanted fast food. We eventually found a bar in the theatre district that served up reasonably priced Swedish foods.

I had more meatballs.

Tomorrow we leave Stockholm but hopefully not before we’ve had time to explore more of this beautiful city.

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