Stockholm, Sweden – July 9 & 10

Posted by smr on July 9th, 2010

We arrived (about 2 minutes ago) and have a whole day ahead of us.   (and when we are off the boat).More news when we have a faster internet connection.

Finally (2 days later) we have internet again.  We had a great tour of Stockholm!  First was a visit to the Vasa (the ship that was salvaged from the harbor) and what a museum they have for it!  95% of the ship is intact and their restoration is incredible.  Enjoy those photos!

Our concert in the afternoon was in the courtyard of the Finnish Church just outside the Swedish Royal Palace.  We rang around the block to start the concert and attract an audience and had a fun concert. 

YouTube video from the concert: Day of the Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf7nv8oePRQ

Then off to our retreat center for the next 2 nights.  It is the retreat center for the Finnish Church in Sweden.  Here are the photos from the first day:

Some of us wanted to stay at the retreat center and others wanted a day in town, thus, we had lots of choices for a free Saturday.  Stockholm was warm, but beautiful.  All returned to the retreat center by evening for some games and dinner – and, of course, sauna.  Enjoy some of our sights…

Notes from Pat Carr:

We arrived in Stockholm and drove quickly through the sleeping city to the museum housing the Vasa. Do look it up on line. It was a war ship built in the 1620s that sank within 15 minutes of its launch. It was raised only in the last 30 years or so and not only is it huge but it is incredibly ornate. We spent two hours looking at it.

From there we went, with the Finns, to set up for a concert in a tiny square near the royal palace. Rich set up so that the kids could be seen and therefore heard from outside the square while the Finns tucked themselves back in the corner where the ground was flat. While we played Kelly and I stood outside the square to hand out programs and encourage people to come in to listen. We passed out over 200 programs. At one point where Rich was directing both groups he stood in the fountain so the Finns could see him better! Once again people were so welcoming. The lady who kept track of the concerts played in the square and had something to do with the church at the square told us that she would be glad to be our Stockholm connection for as long as she lives. She had phoned the organist for the church located in the Palace to have her run over to the concert but she was out of town so we gave her a CD.

Stockholm old town is beautiful and is a narrow street walking only, no vehicle, area. After the concert we were off on our own. Essi, Rich, Jim and I watched the changing of the guard at the Palace. Their royal guards are a bit more informal than what one sees in other places. When you look at the guard it looks as tho they are not exactly at attention but were more in an “I’m bored” posture with their gun over their shoulder and slouched on one foot with the opposite hip relaxed. Jim and I found a tiny restaurant just in back of the Palace that had its seating across the walkway and the tables were just lined up single file. We had a delightful waitress who brought out some barely cooked salmon with potato salad and a dill sauce. Yum. We sat, ate, had a coffee and managed to see most of the kids stroll by. We were told of places to buy this and that plus where to get ice cream where they make the waffle cones in front of you. It is such fun to sit there and see all of the ringers enjoying themselves so. One lady walked by with a stroller that had a small platform on two wheels attached to the axel so a child could stand on the platform between mom’s arms as the baby and toddler were pushed.

Our over night was at a Finnish retreat center and located about 20 miles from Stockholm. It was on a lake, offered sauna, volley ball, etc. We drove on a four lane highway, then, three lane, then two lane then a one lane supposed to be a two lane and finally on a dirt lane to get to this remote, silent, relaxing location. As we drove we passed a Lindgren car dealership. That was my mom’s family name; they came to America from Sweden in the late 1800s.

The next morning, July 10, we had a choice. We could stay at the retreat for the day to sauna, canoe, etc or we could go into Stockholm for the day. Jim and I chose Stockholm and it turns out that everyone made the right choice for everyone felt that their day was best. Jim and I chose Stockholm where we were dropped off in new town and told to be back at the bus stop at 5:15. Rich went with Jim and me. We were dropped off near a huge fountain so, once again, we opted for people watching with coffee while Rich completed an errand. I went into a bookstore to get a map of Stockholm and was waited on by Heidi from Iowa who took me outside and pointed out where we could buy a book on the Vasa and she even mapped out the route we should take for the day. So off we went across the bridge onto the old town island and then around and about, into shops, into churches with a lunch at the same spot we ate in yesterday. We just did not see anything that looked as good let alone better. I had mushroom crepes. Wow. We continued to wander, found the waffle cone place the kids told us about yesterday and finally walked across another bridge to the new town. On that side we went into Clara Cathedral which was built as a Lutheran Church and was highly ornate. Every surface was painted, there was a royal box a huge organ and a sitting area to the right of the alter where they hold baptisms. We walked back to the bus stop and met the Finn’s bus. Our 45 minute drive took about an hour and a half. So we returned to the retreat, ate dinner and then the girls had sauna time and this time I joined them. At one point I looked to the dock and there were three cute little bottoms diving into the lake. The Finnish girls scrubbed themselves with sand and several girls brought shampoo to do their hair in a clean, clean lake. I have no idea what the boys did.

2 Responses to “Stockholm, Sweden – July 9 & 10”

  1. Hello all! It has been so absolutely exciting viewing the pics from all your adventures! You all look so happy! Even Rich! Em – we rented out your room. All your stuff is at CVS!

  2. Jennifer Cooney

    It looks like you’re all having a great trip but I have to say that I’m missing all of you, and one of you in particular. Enjoy your last days there and have a safe trip home.

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