Vasa – A lesson in history
July 21, 2017
“Wow! It really amazes me how massive ships like that can float.” I said, wide-eyed, as I entered the Vasa museum. “It didn’t,” Carla replied, “it sank.”
Goes to show how much I knew, eh? Have you heard of The Vasa? The Swedish warship that was built between 1626 and 1628 that made it all of 1300 meters before sinking, tragically, into the depths outside Stockholm harbour. I hadn’t. But it’s incredible.
The ship had been silently sat at the bottom of the sea for 333 years, and now you can see it 98% (NINETY EIGHT) restored in the Vasa museum in Stockholm. How amazing is that? That’s the Scandi way. They don’t do things by half.
The Vasa is the only preserved 17th century ship in the entire world, and even though it was pretty shitty at its job, I think that’s splendid.
I wandered around the museum on my first full day in Stockholm, after meeting up with my friends Maree and Alasdair, that I met on the slow boat from Thailand to Laos. I met their Aussie family, and we all decided to split off and peruse at our leisure, meeting up later. The museum is huge, and, as I was soon to find out is common practice in most of the country, is cash free. Being smug about getting commission free currency exchange at the airport didn’t last long.
That being said, I was pretty impressed with Sweden’s eco mindset. Did you know that Stockholm won the first European Green Capital? Pretty swell, don’t you think?
In all, the Vasa Museum is definitely a place to add to your list, should you be visiting this Scandinavian capital. Give yourself an hour or two, wander around, put yourself in the 17th century and explore, enjoy, and get wonderfully lost.