Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Summer days in Stockholm...

... I was taking photos in the deserted old town district at 07:30 after waking up very early this morning. Worked out very well, because I was at the door for the extraordinary Vasa Museum an hour later, just as it opened, to beat the crowds. As it was I had it pretty much to myself for the first hour, and it is an unmissable experience - it is quite breathtaking to find a whole ship from 1628, 90% of it original, hanging in the dim lights in the huge hall. They have done an excellent job in presenting the artifacts and the ship itself, which is so heavily carved that the first thing I was reminded of was the Geiger spaceship created for the original Alien movie, the one that the doomed crew of the Nostromo board before John Hurt gets a squid attached to his face.

After a long look at scarily realistic reconstructions of the faces of various members of the crew who were trapped in the narrow hull when the newly-launched ship turned over and sank, I watched a very good film explaining how the ship was raised in the early 1960's and subsequently preserved. It is in a better state than our own HMS Victory at Portsmouth in the UK, and was even more gaudily painted when it was new.

Spent the afternoon at the equally good Skansen Museum, which houses a vast number of buildings moved to the site from all over Sweden in the last 200 years. There's enough for several trips, I couldn't have seen it all, but what surprised me most was that the commercial side of it was so restrained. I was expecting fast food stands and the greasy smell of burgers, instead I found staff teaching groups of visitors to do the Swedish equivalent of a Morris Dance. I loved the buildings most; each has a member of staff in the costume associated with the period of the dwelling, very helpfully explaining what the various artefacts on display were used for - they are very keen on people joining in and trying various things out too.

Tonight I have packed everything for an early ride towards Uppsala (sic) tomorrow morning on Swedish Cycle Route #15, which seems to head roughly towards Oslo and promised to give me a reasonable sample of what the countryside here has to offer. I am very excited by the prospect!


Cycletourer said...

Hi Jerry,

Been great reading your blogg so far, sounds like your are enjoying yourself. I'm writing this sitting in my cycling gear waiting for the taxi at 9.00am to take us to Stansted for our flight to Rekjavik. It has been a bit hectic over the last few days and we nearly had to cancel the trip.

I spent Sat & Sun in bed with a temperature of 102º due to a UTI infection. Saw the Doc on Monday at it turns out I have a chest infection as well, so I'm on my second lot of antibiotics!

I don't feel too bad this morning and in fact I'm quite raring to go, although I think we will be taking it a bit easy over the next few days!

I may get a chance to get on the internet although there aren't many internet cafes in Iceland, some campsites have internet access, so I'll try and keep a look at your blogg from time to time while we are away.

So enjoy the rest of your trip and let's hope the weather stays fine.

Jon :-)

Søren said...

Hey up pal!

I arrived home yesterday evening and went straight to work to collect a colleague for a few homecoming beers, so I only found my place at 2am this morning – and my desk at 9am. But hey, that's vacation, right? You can chill at work, which I'm doing presently, cuddling the e-mail backlog and sorting through photos.

Thankfully I have an escape route to Munich for the weekend, so the traveling isn't quite over yet!

It's good to hear you're still enjoying the trip despite SAS and their understanding of customer service. A lengthy city trip to Sthlm is still on my list, maybe I'll look into it for September.. oh, and I'm booked for Norwegian classes. Let's see how that works out.

Have fun, take care and post more pictures :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jerry, its been fascinating reading your blog every day. Sounds like an amazing experience. Im leaving Logica tomorrow, but I'll continue to read your blog with interest.

Stephen A

Stan said...

Looks like you are still having fun. We're six days into our trip having just hit Voss. Over the top to Haukeli and then Roldalsfjellet were amazing, whizzed through Odda and stayed last night in Lofthus. The lower part of National Cycle Route 3 is lovely, and the bikes performed very well on the extended off road sections.

Tomorrow up the 13 to Vikoyri and Balestrand/Dragsvik. When does your trip end and are you finishing in Oslo?

Cheers from sunny Voss,


Anonymous said...

Hi Jerry,

An alternative way home perhaps?

Regards, James

Jerry said...

Ummm, Stephen, when you say "leaving Logica" ... that's for a holiday, right? Someone reassure me that Stephen is coming back in a week or two, please!!!

Jerry said...

Stan, I will be in the Oslo area between 12-17 August, if there's any chance of meeting up I'll catch a bus or train towards you both.

In the meantime, I hope you have fine weather for the climb up the Gualarfjell and if not, I can recommend Ottar's cabins at Hov Hyttegrend,which I think are the first you come to? It'll be interesting to find out how you found the climb, I would have texted some words of encouragement if I'd found this wifi connection sooner and read your comment earlier!!