Another bright sunny day to start out with - 9 am. But you guessed it, it will rain on our way back to the hotel at 4 pm.
Today we took the tram/trolley car to another island to see several museums. The main one was the Vasa Museum. When we first walked into the building, we just stopped and said WOW. The Vasa is a great ship that sunk, and 300 years later, raised from the depths. Stockholm turned a titanic flop into one of Europe's great sight-seeing attractions. The glamorous but unseaworthy warship Vasa - was top-heavy with an extra cannon deck. It sank 40 minutes into her maiden voyage in 1628. A breeze came up and blew her over with all the dignitaries and visitors. Only 30 out of over 400 people died. After 333 years at the bottom of Stockholm's harbor, she rose again from the deep with the help of marine archaeologists. Rediscovered in 1956 and raised in 1961, this is the best-preserved ship of its age anywhere. In 1990, it was housed in a brilliant museum. It is 98 percent original and was splendidly adorned with hundreds of carved sculptures. The museum includes the ship of course, a full-scale model of the upper gun deck, a history of naval warfare in the 17th century, a display showing how the ship was found, explored by divers, and salvaged, shows the ship's sculptures in their historical context with the reconstructed colors, a display explaining women's part in the ship and women's roles in the 17th century, and of course there is a beautiful garden behind the museum. They found several sets of skeletons in the bottom on the ship. Thirty people were unable to escape. Their faces have been re-created and stories have been developed around how they probably lived and ate and dressed. They are doing DNA studies also to try to find their descendants.
Then we visited the ABBA Museum. ABBA is one of the world's most successful pop music groups with more than 380 million albums sold. It was chronological, starting with each of the 4 members, their childhood and how they grew up in music and continued through their successes and their final breakup. Their beautiful costumes were displayed; the famous star guitar; and other memorabilia, including their gold records. Of course each display played the appropriate song. I guess you could call it an interactive museum because you could get up on stage with the group (they were digital images); sing with them in the karaoke booths; and dance in an ABBA music video. Now that was a cultural experience!!!
Other museums that we had no time for (since we were enjoying "The Dancing Queen", etc) were "Skansen": an open-air museum of traditional architecture (homes, churches, shops and schoolhouses), animals, vegetable gardens, showing the old way of life.
"Nordic Museum" - offering a look at 500 years of traditional Swedish lifestyles.
We passed up a water tour of the whole Archipelago since we had a short sail on it yesterday. There's just not enough time to see everything!!
Today was the last day of our Scandinavian adventure. We have a farewell dinner tonight in the hotel; then we all leave in the morning on our various flights.
Another great trip!!!