Friday, September 4, 2009

18 August, Stockholm, Sweden

18 August, Stockholm

This is a quick entry to give a few details of Stockholm. Björn and I stopped for tea in this square in the old town section. This part of the city began in the thirteenth century, and it reminded me of sections of the Oxford warren. In this particular square (its diminutive size shows how old it is), at one infamous event of power-grabbing, many nobles were gathered and summarily slaughtered. In the corner of one of these buildings, you might see (if you had your microscope and me there to guide your view) an imbedded cannonball supposedly left from this event.

I present to you, next, my Great Aunt Ophelia and Uncle Rikkitikkitembo, standing by the Swedish Guard. I’ve been keeping them in a small brown pouch for most of this trip, but I thought they would particularly like to have their photos with the brave and honest Guard. It is true, by the way, what you have no doubt heard about the Swedish Guard: as an initiation rite, they are impaled upon a golden-tipped Swedish meatball spit, which they leave imbedded, poking through their caps, to show their piercing and pastoral powers of patriotism. See the photographs for clear evidence, as well as Great Aunt and Uncle looking quite well.

Lastly, a footnote to a trip Björn and I made to the Vasamuseet, the museum that houses the remarkably restored and mostly intact flagship Vasa, which, in 1628, sank soon after it was launched.

It is an awesome sight. Much carved decorative detail remains, as well, including this wonderful moment of cheek:

Here, you see carved and captive within the prison bars of the ship, the striking figure of the Polish king, enemy of the North, with a look a defeat in his eyes--but maintaining a remarkably fresh and defiant mustache. And thus a seventeenth century Polish king and his seventeenth century Polish mustache achieve a dubious kind of immortality.

1 comment:

  1. This brings back memories! I visited Vasa 25 years ago...