This blog post was written and shared by Friend, Jim Scott.
The weather forecast leading up to our visit to Stockholm painted a bleak picture for the start of our trip. High of 60, low of 40 with showers. We packed some warmer clothes then we wanted to for the end of May. Much to our surprise, when we got off the plane, it was sunny and in the low 70’s. Perfect weather for Sweden in May.
With our weather luck, we had no choice but to get out and see the city. The Baltic Sea and Lake Maren made for terrific sea and landscapes, so the natural beauty of the city was inherent. Stockholm also had many green areas with parks, fountains and flowers around every corner, for a Scandinavian city, it felt very warm.
Gramla Stan (old city) and the surrounding areas were very easy to navigate, and we set out to see a few of the sites and try to get a good feel for the culture. A long walk along the seaway and through some parks led us to a small ferry which took us over to Grona Lund, an amusement park with lots of high- flying rides, that sits on a peninsula overlooking the Baltic inlet where cruise ships and tour boats dot the water. After departing the ferry, we walked pass Grona Lund and headed to see the most famous Swedish Rock Band in History…. well their museum.
The ABBA Museum is a must for any 70’s Disco style, Mamma Mia-loving rocker. Good Friend, Terry Hall is an avid ABBA fan, and I felt like it was my duty to go check it out. The museum did not disappoint, it had interactive displays, where you could sing your favorite ABBA song while the group sang with you on a green screen. Many of their wild outfits were on display, as was a wing devoted to the movie “Mamma Mia” starring Meryl Streep, with ABBA songs providing the background music for the movie. If you like ABBA, it is a must see stop in Stockholm.
The Vasa Museum is nearby also, unfortunately, we misread the closing times and arrived too late to see the great warship. The Vasa was built in the 1620’s for King Gustav Adolphus who ordered the greatest warship to date to be built with a second tier of cannons. Sweden was in a war with Poland at the time and Gustav, one of the greatest military commanders of all time wanted this powerful warship to defeat the Poles. Unfortunately, the Swedish ship builders at the time had not perfected the engineering to handle the second tier and the weight of the extra cannons, making the ship top heavy, and they were all too scared to tell Gustav this. So, on its maiden voyage, after just 20 minute,s it floundered and sunk. The ship was discovered and raised in the late 1980’s and because the Baltic Sea in this area has a low salt content, and because it sunk in the mud, it was well preserved and is the most representative war ship of its era. Thus, they created the Vasa Museum for all to see this great ship from the 1600’s.
I really wanted to see the Vasa, but we missed out, I recommend for any others going to Stockholm to check the closing times but make The Vasa a part of your trip.
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