We accomplished a great deal today. The day started off at 5:30am, when I got up to go running. I enjoy running when we travel, it allows me to explore cities in a unique way, giving perspective on the recreational infrastructure too. I ran along the water 2 miles out about to the TV tower, then a bridge allowed me to cross and run 2 miles back. It was a cool morning my DC standards, 64 degrees. With the sun rising at 4:25am here, it’s difficult to run in the dark!
After breakfast, we walked over to the Vasa Museum. A fascinating story, the Vasa sailed on it’s maiden voyage in 1628, which lasted about 20 minutes before it listed and sank. It stayed 30 meters deep in the channel until 1961 when it was raised. It has been restored, with 98% still original. The detail of the carvings, the size of the ship, the 2 levels of cannons are incredible. To have a 17th century warship still around could only happen because it sank. I have a bunch of pictures, none that really do the ship justice.
It’s an impressive ship, the archeological work and restoration have also been extraordinary. It’s a required visit in Stockholm.
The newest museum is also required in my book: the ABBA Museum! The museum just opened in May and features the whole story of the sensation known as ABBA, We had bought our tickets in advance, so scooted in at 10 when it opened. We opted for the audio guides, which had many recordings of the band members themselves recounting the history. There were costumes, their recording studio, and lots of video of shrieking fans. They may have just been a short-lived pop sensation, but who doesn’t know much of their music. Mama Mia! I only took a few pictures, they wouldn’t have done the experience justice. If you come to Stockholm, you gotta go!
Our next visit was almost as interesting to me. The Spirtmuseum tells the story of alcohol in Sweden, but most interestingly, the history of the Absolut brand. For a country with a difficult relationship with alcohol, the decision to market a brand of Swedish vodka outside the country was controversial. As a marketing professional, the creation of the brand, the bottle, the image was nothing short of spectacular. Much of the original art is in the museum, including the Warhol that started it all.
We then walked back into town and had lunch at a fancy food market, the Saluhall. I had veal patties that I was told I had to dip into the lingonberries. With potatoes, it was a hefty lunch.
We took advantage of a free canal ride that was available with the Stockholm card and got a good look at more of the city. We stopped for an afternoon coffee/tea, something we enjoy immensely in Europe and wonder why we rarely slow down to enjoy things in the US. Finally, we walked past the Raoul Wallenberg memorial.
We had dinner nearby at Teatergrillen, strolled through town, sat by the water to watch the sunset, then came back to the room to pack. We leave Stockholm tomorrow, rent a car and head to smaller towns in southern Sweden. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Stockholm and are looking forward to seeing more of Sweden.