Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sweden (Part 2)

June 5, 2013 5:00 PM—Stockholm

We finally arrived in Stockholm last night at around 6:30 and the long journey was totally worth it and then some. This morning we got up and out to explore the city by around 9AM. We started at the Nobel Prize Museum. This museum was really small but they packed in a lot of information. They actually pay tribute to all the Nobel Prize laureates, which is now over 800 people. We also got a lot of information about Alfred Nobel himself. Did you know that all the money used to keep the Nobel Prize running comes from the original money (and the interest earned on that money) that Alfred Nobel earned from his success in making dynamite?

All the pictures of the Nobel Prize Laureates went around the
ceiling of the museum much like shirts in a dry cleaners

After the Nobel Prize Museum we went just down the street to the Stockholm Cathedral. Once we saw that we made our way just a little further to the Royal Palace. When we got there we wandered around and waited for a few minutes so we could see the changing of the guard at 12:15.

While we were waiting for the changing of the guard we went down to the water and made the decision to buy tickets for a sightseeing boat that you can hop on and off of at different stops. This was very helpful, because the city of Stockholm is made up of 14 different islands. So after the changing of the guard we hopped on the boat and went to the Vasa Museum. This museum was a maritime museum dedicated to one ship, the Vasa. This ship sank in the Stockholm harbor in 1628 and it stayed underwater until 1961. The thing that is so amazing about this ship is that it didn't deteriorate from being under water. The reason for this was that the water is salty but not too salty. So now they have this whole ship, mostly intact, in this museum. They also have many artifacts from the ship that were also recovered from the wreck in the museum.

Once we were done exploring the Vasa Museum, we walked down the water to the Abba museum. And despite the fact that I really wanted to go in this brand new museum dedicated to Sweden's most famous singing group, we didn't go in because the price was outrageous. Instead we just got back on the boat and went back towards our hostel. On the way we stopped at the German Church, which happens to be right down the street from our hostel.

Our hostel is right in the middle of Galma Stan, which is the oldest part of Stockholm and one of the oldest medieval towns in the world. In fact, many of the city's best attractions are only a few minutes walk from our hostel.

Tonight we are planning on walking back down to the water to get some dinner, because for once we are having amazing weather. And tomorrow is actually a national holiday here in Sweden. It is Sweden's National Day and it seems that there will be events happening all over the city, so I'm kind of glad we got to most of the museums today and tomorrow we can simply join in the celebrations.

So far, I love Stockholm! It is just such an amazing city on the water. Like I said before it is made up of 14 islands, but everything is connected with bridges and boats. This city also just seems so clean and environmentally friendly. On the flip side, everything here is very expensive, but sometimes you pay for what you get and I'm really liking what we got.

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