Sunday, August 13, 2017

Europe 2017: Trip Notes # 11

 Europe 2017 Trip Notes # 11

It's 4:30 AM. Everyone is sleeping and we're wide awake.

Our ship quietly and slowly, glides its way into Stockholm's harbor. 

The islands that we passed, large and small...

the magnificent shoreline views...

reflections in the water...

the small coves...
and the serene experience was a special moment for us.

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Stockholm was an interesting escape from the hustle and bustle of Zagreb, Copenhagen, and St. Petersburg. Even though there were many tourists, still the city had a quiet feeling about it. 

Even in the city squares, everyone seemed relaxed. The town center's city skyline (like other northern European towns) had the same uplifting pastel colors to minimize depression from the 300 days of no sunlight, rain, snow and coldness.

There was not the same rushing around. The city seemed clean. 
Is this trash can clean or what?

Typical, old world architectural designs took us back into a previous century.
Busy and sometimes quiet as well as narrow walkways had a sense of charm. 

An offshoot of the pedestrian zone was this walkway.

Sometimes, we would find the unexpected - the world's smallest statue

                Toss a few coins and make a wish

Look up and see the way that old world establishments advertised

Plenty of interesting buildings

It seems that bikes, like in most of the other northern towns and cities have the right of way. 

Cannons were placed at corners so that carriages (the horse type) would not bang into the buildings. (Notice the viking plaque). 

Time for lunch? Much better than a Subway sandwich!

Or how about something more special?

It's hot. Time to fill up with water from the fountain and listen to some local music.

Want a waffle? There are over 10 different toppings.

How about a language lesson?

Lots of building going on in Stockholm. Pedestrian safety is better at home.

                 Crane Delivers Material Over Pedestrians

Old Streets Are Very Narrow. Cars Need To Drive Under Crane

More street art... sewer covers

The many lakes, waterways and plenty of green vegetation translate into continual peacefulness.

It seems that everyone has a boat. 

Large government buildings sit quietly by waterways. 

It's time to reflect...

On our own! We were lucky to get a tour of the parliament.

View from the parliament building. The prime minister lives across the street. We asked how he gets to work. Does he walk across the street, use an underground tunnel, etc? The answer was - "No answer!"

Below are older sections of the parliament building
Enjoying life...A bit windy!

We've travel a lot. Over the years, we have had wonderful experiences and there are good memories. This was a great trip. Of all our trips, one of the experiences that stood out the most (besides St. Petersburg's The Night Of The Tzars in Catherine's Palace) happened to occur in Stockholm.

In 1628, a brand new Swedish (wooden) battleship cast off for its inauguration voyage. It was built at a typical shipyard.

The ship was called "Vasa." A hundred or so sailors and guests were on board. The king and all of the towns people came out to celebrate. Within a 1000 yards of launching, the boat sunk with most on board drowning. Top heavy, gun ports open in a choppy sea and bad design quickly ended the ship's life!

Recently, the boat was found, brought up with 95% of it intact. The bay (where it sunk) was primarily fresh water at that point. Ocean worms and other marine animal life were not in abundance enough to eat away at the wood.

This ship was so large that a museum was built around and over it much like President Reagan's "Air Force One" plane at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. 

 Beautiful carvings! 

Lots of activities on the below decks.

 Even after (almost) 400 years, the crew's clothing was found intact.

Even skeleton's were found.

With the latest forensic technology, the skeletons were turned into "real life" crew.

This was truly stepping back into time. 

Sharing a little bit of surprising history... 
The day was finished with a few shots of vodka at the...

It was a wee bit cold: 15 F. 

Our Last Breakfast On The Ship's Rear Deck 

As the sun begins to set on this building - nearing midnight, it's time to say "Good Night" and "Good Bye" to this fabulous trip.

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We spent the last evening of our trip at a Charles De Gaul airport hotel. Very relaxing. No early morning rushing from Paris city center to the airport.

Jerry was in his glory. Our hotel room overlooked the train station and the runway. 
Train Station Clock 

View From Our Hotel Room 

An Easy 10 Minute Walk To The Gate With Paul's Yummy Pastries - our favorite!

Whoops! Jerry did not understand the signage. He assumed that the handicap restroom was to the right. He turned left, right into the women's restroom.

        Jerry Loves The Cathy Pacific Lounge - Great Food, Great Views 

Time To Leave For Home

We can't wait until our next venture...