What did M do Last Summer?
M traveled to Europe. That was my first international trip that I took alone (Journey of 10 hours). Sounds exciting, isn’t it?
Hubby was in Sweden and he invited me over to join him for a ten day trip. I was all glad but reluctant to go. I know I sound foolish but I dread traveling alone. I gave him all excuses to keep away from the trip but he kept alluring me further by promising me a rocking, dreamy, romantic trip from Sweden to Paris and then Switzerland. He also took care of my Schengen visa ( ensures visit to 25 European countries) and medical insurance. The leaves were taken care by my manager. Thus I had no choice but to travel. Europe visit is everyone’s dream and obviously since DDLJ I had been in love with the country of Alps. I work for a Swedish company but above all the fear of traveling alone was marring the charm. However, until you take the plunge, you can never learn to swim.
It began on 22nd May 2012. I checked and rechecked my passport, tickets etc. The journey from the baggage drop counter to the final boarding was hassle-free but I was tensed as if I was going for a war. I think I was badly suffering from Travel-stress. The guy at the immigration desk sensed it was my first time and he treated me quite cheerfully in comparison to others, helping me cross the last hurdle. And finally I heaved a breath of relief, to reach my concerned Gate where the Finnair aircraft was scheduled to take off.
Journey was long. I was to travel to Sweden via Finland and of-course some more immigration formalities at the Helsinki airport awaited me. The 7 hour flight kept me calm and composed and I enjoyed it. In fact I had started enjoying being alone. I observed more be it people, surroundings, their behavior or movements and ate all that was offered. I had overcome some of my fears in just couple of hours and felt much better at the European airport. It was different indeed, the journey has begun and there was so much to eye around. Next, flight from Helsinki to Arlanda, Stockholm was a quickie one, 55 minutes to be exact.
As promised hubby dear was all set with our travel itinerary. There was no time to lose. We stayed at Stay At in Stockholm. I liked the hotel apartment.
If you ever go to Sweden, Do visit VASA MUSEUM. Its one of the most popular attractions in the city. Another not to be missed hot spot is the sparkling, twinkling and wavy view of the Baltic Sea from all angles at Gamla stan.
Vasa Museum in Stockholm
Summers is the best time to be in Europe. The sun does not set before 9 p.m and one is blessed with very early mornings. On day 1, by 8 a.m we were already on our way to the most attractive and talked about museum of the city.
The story of VASA reminds me of Titanic because of its few similarities. The big ship was one of its kinds. It was a magnificent war ship, well crafted, adorned beautifully, but just like titanic it struck tragedy. Due to its in-proportionate balance, it sunk withing 20 minutes of its voyage.
THE FRONT OF THE SHIP, BOW
On 10 August 1628, Vasa set sail on her celebrated and much talked about voyage and the worst happened with the ship, it sank in its maiden voyage in the Stockholm harbor. This museum is dedicated to this massive warship which was truly the pride and joy of Sweden and still remains so. But the most interesting incident that happened was that the wreckage of the ship was salvaged in 1961 after 333 years under the sea. The vessel has been reconstructed as a whole. It has been reorganized and its bits and pieces have been put together amazingly. Years ago also the ship exhibited one of the best craftsmanship and today also when it has been resurrected, 95 percent in its original form, is splendidly adorned with hundreds of carved sculptures.
The Vasa remains the world’s only preserved 17th century ship. When I entered the museum, I had not expected such a huge ship sitting proudly in a large hall and it actually gave me great feeling to see something like this. The ship and all the articles related to it which were found floating or in the sea-bed have been put together very safely in this museum. Basically the aim of preserving it all is to provide exhaustive information to the visitors about the culture of Sweden in the 17th century. Not only that it also talks about the science and discovery that has been involved in reconstructing it. How many times does it happen that we get back a whole sunk ship, with its parts and pieces intact? It was a miracle, a chance and they have made the best use of it. The decorations and furnishings at that time were also very colorful and now as well, this speaks of the grandeur of those times. It provides a unique insight into early 17th century Sweden.
There is more in the museum, adding to the charm of the sunk and found ship. Therein the preservation process have been discussed in detail through pictures, posters, models, writings, left over articles, some skeletons and also an half an hour movie. There is more planned for the future as well. Lots of research has been involved in reliving the old history and is still underway.
I had a great trip and the day was well spent till 4 in the afternoon. I clicked a lot of pictures, dark and hazy because lights were at its minimal low inside the museum, but best I brought from there was memories and experiences. Hope you enjoyed reading about it!!
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