Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Monday in Stockholm

On Monday we got up, went to breakfast and all, and then we got ready and left the hotel. We took the subway to central station, where we walked to city hall, which looks really cool because the tower of it is all gold and shiny with these three crowns above it. We wanted to all take a tour of that, but apparently it can only hold 30 people at once, so Mom, Spencer, and Madelyn all went up while the rest of us stayed down. They thought it was really cool, but by the time they told us it was worth it to go up after them, the line was about 40 people long and we didn't want to wait. By the time they got down it was around 11:30 am. We then decided to walk across a bridge and see the Royal Palace. We saw that, and then while we were walking somewhere else, it started to sprinkle. Shortly thereafter, it started to rain. And minutes later, it was pouring down on us and water was rushing down the gutters of Stockholm.
Great day to forget my umbrella.
We sought shelter under the shade-things at some Pakistani-Indian restaraunt, where we stayed for the bulk of the storm. Some of us wanted to eat there, but Dad didn't want to, so when the rain slowed up, we ran down a street to see if we could get anywhere. By mere coincidence, after we had been searching for the Nobel Prize museum a lot of the day, the very edifice of the Nobel Museum rose up in front of us.
We huddled by some of the doors for a minute while Dad went inside to check it out. Then we walked in together, paid the fee, left our soaking jackets in the cloakroom, and started browsing the museum. It was really cool; there were pictures of the winners and models of things they had discovered; really interesting. We stayed there for an hour or so, looking around and watching informational movies and all that interactive museum type of thing.
After that, we walked around Stockholm for a while, looking for a cheap place to eat lunch and somewhere to get an ATM, since we were out of cash. After a lot of walking, we found a junky hamburger place and Dad went to look for an ATM.
We ate lunch and then we walked to the Vasa museum, which is a great big building that houses a boat from the 1600s. The Vasa was commissioned by some Swedish king who gave the boat builders some if not all impossible, then impractical demands. It had two gun decks, loads of gilding and paint all over it, and had insufficient ballast to keep it from tipping over.
On its maiden voyage, the boat was sent into a harbor of Stockholm to parade before the king. Unfortunately, before it ever reached any destination, during a turn, it began to tip onto its side. Due to the redundant gun decks, all open for the showy parade, it filled with water extremely fast, and sunk, standing straight, Swedish flags flying from its masts until it was completely submerged.
Right; this is boring, so why am I telling you all this history crap? Hundreds of years later, the Vasa was brought back out of its tomb in the Stockholm harbor by researchers who were riveted by the story of its remarkable disappearance. With much care and many boats, the Vasa was resurrected from the sea in the 1950s, almost entirely preserved. This is because of the Baltic Sea's negligible salinity; it is more like freshwater, whereas briny water would have rotted the boat more. Because the boat was so perfectly preserved, it gives visitors insight into life in the 1600s.
It's really pretty cool.
We stayed there for about an hour and a half, and we would have stayed longer if the museum hadn't closed. After that, we walked for a while, bought some ice cream and food at a little store and we all had ice cream bars. Then we walked to the subway, rode it to our station (Gardet). Dad and I decided to exit the subway a different way than usual, but we ended up getting really lost and walking a lot more than everyone else. When we got to the hotel, we napped and stuff for a while, and Alec came to the hotel, which we realized when he poked into our room with Dad and asked if "our future Nobel prize winner" was here. (I assume he meant Collin, due to his scientific prowess)
We got up and got ready for dinner and then we all went down to the lobby. We decided to eat at this pizza place at the bottom of the hotel, but Dad and Alec and Mom wanted to go out to eat in Stockholm, so they went after they had ordered us three pizzas to go.
When the pizza was done, we took it up to our room, and, while we were watching T.V., cut them with spoons and ate them. They were kind of gross and salty, but we finished them off and watched T.V. until the adults got home, I think. Then we went to bed.

1 comment:

  1. Im pretty jealous...

    I read your blog at work, and was stuck on thinking about rain. I miss it so much :( Please bring some with you on your way home.

    I shall perish in want of rain.