November 22, 2008 - Stockholm

After Skansen, we go to a nice, local restaurant.

Ulla Winbladh - great place.
I have deer medallions.
Jill have what translated to "moose cassarole" that was like a very tasty stroganoff.

We headed to the Vasa museum, the place with the masts on the roof.
The centerpiece of the museum (its raison d'etre) is the Vasa, a huge ship that sank just minutes into its maiden voyage in 1629 to be raised in 1961.

A model of the Vasa, in all her glory, capsizing.

Basically all of the wood you can see in this picture is original, submerged in Stockholm's not-terribly-salty and relatively calm waters for 333 years, preserving it nicely.

Some of the Vasa's 64 cannon ports.

Her stern is almost 7 stories high.

The smooth wood (and lines) are all new.

The colored area was a reconstruction of what it used to look like.
A bit tacky by today's standards, eh?

Close-up of the Swedish royal seal on the back. The craftmanship was amazing.
The Swedes weren't as good with wood, so they contracted Germans to do the work.

You can see some of the new wood here, too, like above the left lion and right of the right lion.
They intentionally used different color wood to make it obvious what was reconstructed. (It was more obvious in person.)

This is what she would look like.

One of the original sails. They found it in a chest. It had never been flown.

And she was long - 230 feet long!

I don't know what you call these bay window looking things, but they're probably my favorite part of old ships. I find it impressively cartoony how they're always at angles - even compared to the angles of the deck. That must have been so hard to do!

Crazy-looking bow - and crazier nest up front for some brave soul to stand watch.

Every part of her was ornate...

Can you imagine how it looked to have the new flagship sink minutes into her first voyage?
They believe she was built too top-heavy. The 260k lb of stones in her hull were insufficent for how tall she was. They think as she listed, some of the stones may have moved a bit, making her lean more or less permanent, and sealed her fate.
The next gust of wind would push her over.

Tomorrow: old town, Stockholm