Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Church and a Warship

We only had one full day left in Stockholm, so we decided to make the most of it and start it off with a run.

 This was the view from just outside our hotel. We ran off to the side, then crossed a different bridge to get to Gamla Stan. It must have been rush hour because there were people everywhere!

 We just made up the route as we went along...

...and eventually ran back through Gamla Stan before making our way back to the hotel to get cleaned up.

 We found some coffee and waffles for breakfast. The strawberry jelly really made it.  :)

We wandered around for a little while. The leaves were all changing and starting to fall; the colors were great.

We eventually wound up at Storkyrkan. It was built sometime in the 1200's. I really love European cathedrals.   :)

The church is somewhat known for the statue of Saint George and the Dragon from the late 1400's. It was huge! The dragon represents the Danish King and the princess Saint George is saving represents Sweden.

I especially liked the floor of the cathedral. It was covered in carved stones; some of the dates went back into the 1600's.

We walked around for a little while longer...

...and I lit a little candle in the back of the cathedral before we left.

We took the metro out of Gamla Stan, then walked a little further to our next stop. This was the view along the way...I feel like it should be a puzzle or something.   :)

Next up: the Vasa Museum! The Vasa was a Swedish warship built in the early 1600's; it sank less than a mile into its maiden voyage but was salvaged in 1961. It was in impressively good shape, considering its age, and they're still actively restoring it.

The museum has different levels that completely surround the ship, so you can get a really good view from various angles and heights. There were several areas that had displays of artifacts found with the ship, too.

The ship sank because it was very top heavy, and it's no wonder! The king ordered it ornately decorated, so the upper structure of the ship must have weighed an insane amount.

It was neat to see the rigging, too; while the lines have all been replaced, a lot of the hardware was original.

I liked being able to look into the cannon holes.   :)

We eventually finished wandering around the museum, then took a ferry back to Gamla Stan. We grabbed some curry for lunch, stopped in a few more stores (including a cool antique map store where I found a neat bird print), then walked around a bit more before heading back to the hotel.

We walked past the Stockholm Palace along the way and looked across the water to Helgeandsholmen. We hung out for a few minutes, but it was getting cold so we went to get our jackets.

This was the view from our hotel room. Not bad! Unfortunately, the view and the location were about the only good things about our stay, You'd think that a Hilton hotel would have some standard of quality, but apparently this one didn't. The drain in the shower was poorly designed, so it didn't fully drain and smelled gross, the bed was rock-hard, and they didn't even clean our rinsed-out coffee mugs in our room; they just put the dirty mugs back next to the coffee maker. The whole place looked nice from a distance but was pretty gross up close. If we come back to Stockholm, we'll most likely be staying somewhere else.

Anyway, rant over! We dropped our stuff off in the room, grabbed our jackets, and went to Akkurat to check out one last whiskey bar.

They had a pretty impressive selection; we tried a few things that made it onto Mark's wish list.

We had a pretty tasty dinner in Gamla Stan at a medieval-style restaurant we'd seen earlier that day. I had moose meatballs and Mark had a reindeer steak and it was all really tasty. We spent the rest of the night hanging out in the hotel room, packing and watching TV before heading to bed.

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