Friday, May 5, 2017

You Meet the Most Interesting People in Stockholm

Friday, Cinco de Mayo, 2017:

Out of the house early this morning as I wanted to board the 565 bus for Stockholm in time to see a few new sights before meeting some old friends at the Royal Opera House at 12:30 p.m.

The first thing that I ran into was this sign on a hotel window.

Depeche Mode
Fan Hotel Experience?


To me, this would come under the heading "Whatever makes your boat float."

Spanish Culture Center
in Stockholm

Who knew?

 Sharing the same building
as the Spanish Cultural Center

Somehow, in my mind, this seemed much more congruous to my way of thinking.

Ever vigilant lion

More tributes to the fallen
of last month's terrorist attack

My morning goal was to view four more of the sites listed in my book,  111 Places in Stockholm That You Must Not Miss.

If you recall, I saw my first two of these 111 places earlier in the week.

 Sight #32
The Fox

Facing the Swedish Royal Parliament building since 2008, The Fox is an homage reminding people that an estimated 3,000 of Stockholm's 180,000 people live on the streets.

 Stockholm was BEAUTIFUL
on this warm, Spring day!

The River was flowing and men
were fishing off of these banks

King Gustaf II Adolf 
Sweden's Monarch
from 1611-1632

" . . . everybody's crazy
'bout a sharp dressed man . . ."

 The Riksdagshuset
or Royal Parliament

Nice statuary atop
the Riksdagshuset

Small, long courtyard between
the two buildings that make
up the Riksdagshuset

 The Riddarholmskyrkan,
a church

Sight #91
The Sun Boat

It is the work of Swedish sculptor Christian Berg and has been on this spot at the Evert Taubes Terries since 1966.

 What is it?

A first baseman's mitt?

A boxing glove?

Or just a fun way to frame a distant church?

Your call.

Stockholm's City Hall

It is also the scene of the annual Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony.

Evert Taubes himself!

He was a famous Swedish singer and composer. His statue has been here near the Sun Boat sculpture since 1980.

Nobleman Guarding the City

Love these early morning
shots in Gamla Stan

Wake Up Stockholm!

Aim Small, Miss Small


 Sight #77
The Sea God

This work by famed Swedish sculptor Carl Milles is found near the ferry docks.

Made from red granite, it is a bold statement by Milles proclaiming the fat, bald men always get the best looking women.

At least that's how I interpreted it.

Besides, it's my blog, so I get final say on all artistic interpretations and that is final!

I love the way you think Carl Milles.

Stockholm's famous
Grönalund Amusement Park

Getting ready for lunch in
Gamla Stan

Rumor on the streets had it that a brand spanking new Viking Cruise Line ship was docking in the harbor at noon with over 900 rampaging tourists aboard.

They might want a beer or two

Sight #46
The House of Nobility
or Riddarhuset

I had been past this interesting building several times last Spring but it was never open.

This was the final of the four places on my agenda for the morning from my book 111 Places in Stockholm That You Must Not Miss. 

My book informed me that it only opened one hour per day (11:00 a.m. to Noon) Mondays through Fridays, closed on weekends. It is only open when all save one member of the House's working staff is on their daily lunch break.

Their Theme is
Art and War

The House of Nobility has, since 1626, been the headquarters of the official organization of Swedish and Finnish noble families.

From 1668 to 1866 this building used to be the scene for the meetings of what was then known as the Diet of the Estates.

With the dissolution of the Estates in 1866, the nobility lost its privileged status and no more regular sessions took place in the House of Nobility.

In these times, the Swedish noblesse still comprise 700 family dynasties. They convene a meeting of these dynasties in the House once every three years to discuss issues of shared current importance to them.

At these new meetings, each family can only send one representative and said representative must be a male.

Welcome back to 1626 everybody!

Let's tour the House of Nobility. 

The Blue Room

On display in the Blue Room,
lots of China and . . .

. . . signet stamps

Now it was on to the Great Hall where the noble families meet every three years.

The Lord Marshall's Chair
carved in the 1620s in Germany

Part of the 2330 Coats of Arms
that decorate all of
the Great Hall's walls

As stated earlier, of these 2330 families, only about 700 of theses noble bloodlines still survive today.

These Coats of Arms are all hand painted onto copper plates.

Since I love heraldry, I was in Hog Heaven!

I found these Coats of Arms of interest . . .

Fish Hooks?

Who doesn't love
boar's heads?

 Swan playing horseshoes?

Suns must mean that
Koreen FitzGerald family
is somehow represented

 Joe Mollica's
signature owl

Manly Men

Beats me?

Coat of Arms
taken literally

San Diego, err,
Los Angeles Charger fans

Animal lovers

Triple X rating

Navy family

My Dad was a medical doctor

So many,
so much fun

The Great Hall
just HAD to have a gigantic
ceiling painting 

The Lord Marshall's Cabinets

Originally these rooms were used for secret sessions in the 18th century. Today they host private parties for the members of the nobility and have portraits of previous Lord Marshall's of the Diet of the Estates proudly displayed.

Hey, if one of the Wäsby Warriors' families are of noble standing, the maybe we could move our upcoming Spring Party here!

Hugo H. von Saltza
Lord Marshall 1778-1779

 Claes Fleming
Born 1592 - Died 1644

After a good visit to the House of Nobility, it was time to work my way back to the Royal Opera House to meet my friends.

 Back through the Riksdagshuset

 Near Jakobs Kyrka

 And there they were!

Laurie's sister Gayle and husband Dr. David Hicks were part of the 900 marauding Viking Cruise Line tourists that arrived in Stockholm at Noon!

This was there last stop on a three week, 11 country cruise all over the European continent.


They both wanted to see the Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old town and David wanted to see the Vasa Museum on Djurgården island.

They both had on good walking shoes, so away we went.

After a quick tour of the Gamla Stan, we paused for a nice lunch on an outdoor table of a little café on a warm square.

St. George slaying the Dragon

Beyond question, everyones favorite saint!

 Nice horse

 The Nordic Museum

The Vasa Museum is located just behind this ornate building.

 The remains of the good ship Vasa

On August 10, 1628, this mega-war ship set sail on its maiden voyage. It had been commissioned by King Gustaf Vasa himself.

It sailed about a half a mile in Stockholm's harbor before capsizing in calm waters due to being way too top heavy.

Apparently the King's demand for a never been done before second tier of heavy armament on the ship was ill advised.

The Vasa remained on the harbor's muddy bottom for 333 years until new technology was able to raise it in 1961 in an amazing state of natural preservation.

A model of the Vasa

The Vasa was colorful

"Oh my God, it's capsizing!"

Gayle joining in a local
songfest to the Vasa

 The Vasa was one tall ship

Recreations of the Vasa's
original artwork

 What is that man spitting out?

I think David and Gayle thoroughly enjoyed the Vasa Museum, I know I did.

Meanwhile, back at Kungsträdgården Park . . .

 . . . Sun Worshippers

 A fond farewell after some
Swedish Fika

I really enjoyed our time together but it was time to head back to the Stockholm Central train station as I had a 6:30 p.m. U15 practice to conduct.

I saw this on the walk to
Stockholm Central Station

 Only 11 at practice tonight

Again, disheartening but these 11 Warriors worked hard during agility drills, 7-on-7 (as best we could) and punting/long snapping drills.

Setting up for the Texas Two-Step

More bodies would be pleasurable at practice in the future.

After practice I was invited to Lotta's home for a delicious dinner with her and her son Jesper. They can both cook really well and are fun conversationalists which made for some good times indeed.

Good people, tack så mycket!

I gave myself an A++
on my Physical Fitness
Report Card today

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