This year’s vacation was in Europe – Sweden, Denmark, Hamburg, England, and France – then a trans-Atlantic crossing to New York on the Queen Mary 2. That was in September and October; it’s taken me awhile to get the photos all sorted out.
It was way over-the-top, so if it turns out to by my last trip, I can say I went out on a high note. I flew from Houston to Frankfurt on a Lufthansa A380. First class. It was unbelievable. I took advantage of Lufthansa’s carbon-neutral donation program, so I didn’t feel quite as guilty.
From Frankfurt, it was on to Stockholm. This was my first time to Sweden. Very beautiful and the very friendly people. We stayed at the Grand Hotel, which I was told hosts the Nobel Prize winners.
The first stop in Stockholm was definitely kitschy. I did not buy anything in the gift shop.
From there, it was on to the Vasa Museum. The Vasa was a war ship built by King Gustavus Adolphus in 1626 – 1628 for his war with Poland-Lithuania. The king directed its construction, which turned out to be a bad thing since he knew absolutely nothing about naval architecture. It turned out it was top-heavy. On its maiden voyage on 10 August 1628, it pulled away from the dock, sailed about 1,500 yards, capsized, and promptly sank to the bottom of the harbor. In the 1950s and 60s, it was raised from water and restored. It’s now a museum.
After The Vasa, I walked around the old town; very 18th and 19th century feel.
I had a great meal that I was assured was traditionally Swedish.
The next day was a tour of the Stockholm City Hall where the Nobel Prize ceremony is. It’s a modern building – 1923 – in a piazza style. It is very reminiscent of St. Mark’s in Venice.
After the city hall tour, it was on to Drottningholm Palace, the residence of the Swedish royal family. Apparently it’s not uncommon to happen upon the king walking his dog around the lake.
After Drottningholm, it was on to the city of Uppsala. Uppsala University is the oldest in Scandinavia, founded in 1477.
On the way back to Stockholm, we stopped at a runestone from the late Viking period. This is an actual stone that has been stored.
The next day, it was on to Göteborg (Gothenburg), home of Volvo. It was a quick city tour.
I particularly liked the sculpture dedicated to ending gun violence.
I really enjoyed the Göteborg botanical gardens.
It happened to be a “Climate Strike” protest, spurred by the movement started by Greta Thunberg.
The tour ended with the Masthuggskyrkan, a church built in 1914. It has a very unique architectural style called “National Romantic.” It was certainly the most unique Lutheran church I’ve ever been in. Gothenburg has a large sailing history, which the church recognizes.
This macabre little vignette was in the corner where they do the children’s sermon.
After Göteborg, it’s on to Denmark.