Sunday, November 20, 2011

On the Road: Stockholm

Our first stop in Stockholm was the Stadshuset, the seat of the capital's government. It's also the venue for annual Nobel Prize festivities. We're in the courtyard of the impressive building, which opened in 1923 and reportedly has over 8 million red bricks and 19 million chips of gilt mosaic.

Rooms decorated with gilt mosaic provide an elaborate backdrop for the annual Nobel Prize banquet; Doug took my picture in front of the Statue of Liberty/U.S. flag.

This display at City Hall shows the china, silverware and crystal used at the Nobel Prize annual banquet.

During a tour of Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan), the guide stopped at the Iron Boy, the tiniest public statue (of about 600 statues) in the city. It is said to honor the orphans who had to transfer cargo from sea ships to lake ships before Stockholm's locks were built.

Stockholm's oldest square - Stortorget -features colorful historic buildings, cafes and shops.

The Vasamuseet complex is quite large, but the highlight is the 3-floor museum housing the warship Vasa, which has been meticulously restored after capsizing on its maiden voyage in 1628. It was top-heavy because of an extra cannon deck and sank in 20 minutes. (The replica of the complex is outside the entrance to the Vasa museum.)

Fortunately, we had beautiful weather for an afternoon visit to Skansen, the world's first open-air museum. It was founded in 1891 and showcases Swedish life and customs of bygone days.

(blog posts by Heidi Hutson)

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