Europe Photoblogging, Part 16: Stockholm
By Dwip September 23, 2014, 2:32 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

This is the Nordiska Museet or Nordic Museum, a building that looks cool but which I did not go into when I was in Stockholm 6/17 to 6/20/04. I was there to visit a friend from my then-current Tonto days, who went by Toast/toasty here on the blog and whose family lived in Stockholm. I chronicle the experience here.

I didn’t really need a lot of excuses to check the place out, you know?

This was my first time on a plane since my flight from the US, and while the Ryanair experience wasn’t bad, the bus from the airport to Stockholm and the Stockholm bus station were pretty wild.

The craziest thing about Sweden coming off a week in solidly Francophone countries was how solidly American the whole place felt. After a week with people with heavy accents, getting off a plane in a place where everyone speaks English better than I do and who have 7-Eleven of all things was actually more of a culture shock than arriving in Brussels in the first place.

That seems strange – I mean, it was only a week, but it was very noticable and I probably made a fool of myself remarking on it.

This is the Vasa, a warship which sank in 1628 on her maiden voyage (this was shockingly more common than you might imagine), and was then salvaged mostly intact in 1961. Although it’s hard to tell in the dark atmosphere of the museum, she’s remarkably well preserved considering her age, though some degree of conservation and restoration has gone on.

This is the stern, featuring some heavily ornate carvings. Originally these were all painted in various bright colors, which must have been quite a sight. You can also see how very tall and narrow she was, which helped contribute to the capsizing.

This is some of the detail from the lower stern, which again was painted back when gaudily painted ships were the done thing. There are supposedly about 500 distinct sculptures covering the entire ship which took on order of two years to do.

This dramatic shot of Stockholm harbor is extremely dramatic. It rained a bit while I was there, but overall the weather wasn’t too bad. We ate at McDonald’s not too far from here, and the 7-Eleven is in the same general vicinity, as well as a boat covered in Harley-Davidson logos. The sense of being in bizzaro America was strong.

But seriously, how much are these amazing clouds helping my mediocre abilities as a photographer?

This is the Riksdagshuset, the Parliament building of Sweden. You’ll notice a whole bunch of these sorts of pictures in the collection. I’ve probably got half the parliaments in Europe in my camera somewhere.

This is the Obelisk at Slottsbacken, erected in 1800 and proving that even if you couldn’t get a real Egyptian obelisk, obelisks were still cool. The giant building next to it is the Kungliga slottet, which we’ll get to in a moment.

This is one side of the Kungliga slottet, the royal palace that’s supposed to be the official home of the monarch. It’s absolutely massive at over 1,400 rooms, some of which are open to the public and showcase Sweden’s Enlightenment-era opulance from the time when it was one of the major powers in Europe.

Alas, this too was one of the places where no pictures were allowed.

This is one of the many cows of CowParade, a public art event that’s been going on for quite some time. Stockholm had one in 2004, and there were all sorts of cows in various styles of decoration all over the city.

This is a row of bronze cannons in front of the Armemuseum, which as you might guess is devoted to the Swedish army. There are piles and piles of these things and they’re of some significance, although I can’t recall what now. Fortunately, the museum website is in Swedish.

A large portion of the museum is devoted to these battle dioramas. This is part of one showing the left wing of an army during the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century, when Gustavus Adolphus led Sweden onto the world stage in a big way. There were a ton of these, and they were cool.

As is customary, the various bits of paper one picks up as one travels.

* A flyer such as it is from the Armemuseum.

* My ticket for the Stockholm metro, which is pretty much how we got around places. Stockholm was every so slightly less walkable than the average city.

* A pamphlet from Stockholm Cathedral, which was a nice little place I unfortunately don’t really have any pictures of. For some reason I was extremely lax in my picture taking while in Stockholm.

* My boarding pass and bus ticket from my flight from Brussels to Stockholm.

* A floor plan and flyer from the Historiska Museet, which was a small yet cool museum that I have no pictures from whatsoever. Again, I was wildly lax in my picture taking, though they may not have allowed them.

* A flyer from the Kungliga slottet, the royal palace. I’m very, very sad they didn’t allow picture taking inside.

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