Travels

Stunning Stockholm II

Friday 14 September. Walked through a sunny and breezy Stockholm to the Museum of Modern Art, which is free. It has a collection of great artists from the twentieth century as well as less well known. An eclectic mix, including this from Salvador Dali, drawing on the legend of William Tell.

Dali said it was about his difficult relationship with his father; he must have been quite an arse.

Next, after walking through more of the beautiful city, was the Vasa museum. In August 1628, the formidable fighting ship, and symbol of Swedish maritime power, that was the Vasa set out on its maiden voyage after firing a royal salute from its two decks of cannons, 64 guns in total, three times the usual number. 1300 metres from the quay in Stockholm, a side wind caught it, causing the sea to flood into the lower cannon desk because the hatches had not been closed. She sank in minutes. Most on board escaped, about thirty drowned, 15 or so of them were recovered with the ship. The ship remained virtually intact until it was recovered in 1961.

Vasa now sits in its own space, fully reconstructed, 98% original. The scale of the ship is awesome, as it the story of its recovery and renovation. The recovered skeletons are on display, along with detailed analysis of their health at time of death, how they died, and facial reconstructions. It brings you close to the times on a human level. It was a memorable experience and highly recommended.

I spent longer at Vasa than expected and it was time to head home. Cities have seafronts which are usually focal points. Because of its landscape, Stockholm is all seafront, and you get a chance to look across the water to see the seafront you were walking along twenty minutes earlier.

No excuses, visit Stockholm. It could fill a week.

Though I was weary after eight hours on my feet I wanted to have a look around the island I was on. From the hill behind the site there was a good view back to the city.

Between the site and the flyover, I saw this small sculpture.

On researching the inscription it turned out the sculpture marked the place where a jet crashed at an air show in 1993. The pilot ejected safely.

There’s video on YouTube under JAS Gripen crash.

Another full, interesting and thought provoking day.

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