Days 252 – 256 — Gone dark

Sorry for not keeping things up here lately. I have been in the U.S. for a wedding and visit to family. I am sure that by the time I return to Sweden I will have some conclusions about having returned to America after 8 months in Sweden. For sure, the driving and traffic in LA seems worse now than it ever did before. Also, people seem more stressed.

For the time being, though, I am posting shots from previous trips around Sweden because there is an awful lot of beautiful and interesting places outside of Halmstad. Today, we visit the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. In the 1600s Sweden was at the height of its military power and influence around the Baltic area and Europe in general. During a war  with Poland, the King ordered a new warship be built. Mid construction he ordered more guns added which threw off the calculations and affected its seaworthiness. Long story short, the entire city turned out for the Vasa’s maiden voyage in the 1620s. The ship pulled away from its berth, a gentle wind came up and . . . the Vasa keeled over and sank.

The redesign to add more cannons made the ship topheavy and the Vasa became a very expensive reminder of the king’s arrogance and pride.

For more than 300 years the Vasa lay at the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor. Fortunately, the waters she lay in were fresh and not salt which prevented worms from eating the ship and so the Vasa was largely preserved. In the 1950s a project began to find the ship and then raise her. Both aims were successful the ship is on display in the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. Here are some blurry pictures from a visit we took in 2007 with friends.

The ship was remarkably well preserved and they even recovered bodies of crew killed during the disaster. Ongoing restoration and research projects continue to improve the ship and learn more about it.

Sorry for the poor quality of the images. It is fairly dark inside the museum and our camera at the time could not handle it well

 The Vasa is probably the biggest single attraction in Stockholm, though the next post will show something with equal historical value.

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