Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Venice of the North"...

is a moniker often assigned to Stockholm, Sweden, carrying with it high expectations, but it went mostly unappreciated on this wet and gloomy day of our visit:
Our touring commenced at Stockholm City Hall, best known as the home of the annual Nobel Prize award banquet.  The relatively stark external brick face of the massive structure (at the base of the large tower in the image above) belied the nature of the truly exquisite rooms within.  Here's an image of the oddly-named Blue Hall:
The archeological highlight of this Baltic voyage was seen today, the fully preserved and restored Swedish sailing ship, the Vasa.  The scale of the maritime disaster that befell the enormous wooden warship in the 1620s was fully explained in this museum, when the Vasa sank no more than 20 minutes into her maiden voyage (top heavy and improperly ballasted), within sight of her launch:
Unfortunately the rain persisted throughout much of the day, dampening spirits of most travelers to take an afternoon Zodiac tour through the scenic canals in Old Town Stockholm:

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