Sunday, June 27, 2010

Invasion of Stockholm

We were up bright and early to catch the 7:57 a.m. X2000 train to Stockholm to start our week long cruise vacation to Estonia, Russia and Finland.

The Hotel Rex Petit

The price was right, the room was clean and the bed was comfortable . . . perfect for a one night stay. We more than made up for our lack of space by having extra disposable income for rich Stockholm pastries.

The Slivoskey Family
Eric, Estalita, Kodie, Kamryn

Eric is the second year Head Coach of the Seinäjoki Crocodiles in Finland's Maple League, their top level of American football. We have been corresponding via phone, SKYPE and internet for about two years now and this was our first chance to meet as they were winding up their week of cruising in Stockholm.

Estalita, Kaylin and Ice Cream

We toured the Gamla Stan, old city, together and then ate lunch in this typical outdoor Euro Café. We shared funny stories about, as it turns out, shared experiences coaching our great game in the European setting.

After all is said and done, we still agreed that despite the unique quirks of EuroBall, our time coaching in Europe have created family highlights that will never be forgotten.

Eric pumped me up and got me excited about getting back to work but only after being a tourist for a week.

After lunch, we went our own separate ways as they had been to Stockholm a few times already and we were newbies trying to see the big sights for the first time.

Great family!

Outside Sweden's Royal Palace

Fierce Palace Guard

Palace Guard's view from his post

The Nordic Museum

We'll come back here either Sunday or Friday of this week I'm sure. Our #1 priority today was the Vasa Museum.

The good ship Vasa

Well, maybe it is really the not so good ship Vasa.

You see, when built it was too top heavy because of an extra cannon deck, thus making it unseaworthy. She sank 20 minutes into her maiden voyage in 1628 when a breeze caught her sails and blew her over in Stockholm's harbor!

333 Years Later

She was raised from the bottom in 1961 and is now on permanent display in the Vasa Museum.

But if she only had more ballast she would have been OK, right?


It is calculated today that the amount of ballast needed to keep the Vasa from flipping over would have instead sunk her straight down.

It just wasn't meant to be.

I like blue

A Café

A little coffee, a shared dessert, sunshine, a body of water and Laurie . . . LIFE IS GOOD!!!

A Swedish Pirate Ship?

Sorry, Ian.

Interesting architecture and a cloud

King Gustav III

This king made Stockholm into a great European capital.

The Iron Boy Statue

The smallest of the 600+ statues in Stockholm. Depending on who you talk to, you need to rub his head for either good luck or widom.

I could use a little of both.

The Stortoget, Stockholm's oldest square

The site of the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520. A typical Danish-Swedish thing, the Danes tried to grab power by rounding up Stockholm's movers and shakers and beheading them. On the red building on the left you see white stones in the facade symbolizing the 80+ people who were slaughtered that day.

One who escaped capture and sure death that day was destined to lead a Swedish revolt against the Danes. His name was Gustav Vasa and his heroics got him elected Sweden's first king.

I think they named a mighty boat after him.

Laurie with the Storkyrkan Cathedral
to her right

This is the Cathedral where the Swedish Royal Wedding took place last Saturday.

We weren't invited.

Suddenly, a Military Band Concert broke out

John Philip Souza, eat your heart out!

Kaiser Sozé, you too!

You just HAVE to march to the music

Fire Insurance

This emblem on your house in Gamla Stan meant that you had paid your fire insurance, thus the fire fighters would protect your home.

The things we take for granted.

Hey, that's our starting center's name!

Johan is letting me borrow his camera, which I used to take this picture, on this trip to help convince Laurie that for my upcoming birthday and our anniversary, she should let me buy a really good camera.

A Rune Stone

Nice cannon too, the rune says "Torsten and Thorgun erected this stone in memory of their son."

Two legs off the ground,
the rider died in battle

Lutheran Churches are everywhere

Nice Drain Pipe

Sweden's Parliament Building

Note the time, note the blue sky

There are 22 hours of daylight this far north at this time of the year.

Semi-Golden Dome

Another Gorgeous Church

Harbor Scene

Unknown building but Laurie liked it

It is about 9:30 p.m., we were tired from walking, the early wake-up and the after effects of yesterday's Mid Sommar revelry so we decided to call it a night.

Stockholm is a truly beautiful city, the best of the Scandanavian capitals in my opinion.

Enjoy some "Military" music


Michael Contreras said...

The pictures look wonderful. If Laurie allows you to buy a new camera, don't put it in your pocket!

c.gustaf.h.hallgren said...

"Unknown building but Laurie liked it" is called Riddarhuset, roughly translated into "The House of Knights". It's the seat of the Swedish nobility.

Eric Slivoskey said...

It looks like the two of you had a great day in Stockholm. It was great to finally meet you guys, and share some of our experiences. I guess we're going to have to figure out how to meet up again because I still owe you a beer - that's what kids asking for ice cream etc does to a guy's brain!!! Hope you're having a great cruise, and we'll be waiting for those St. Petersburg pictures since we missed out last year.