A chronicle of the whimsical jaunts of this guy as he goes around some foreign places looking for food.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Playing catch-up, full of mustard

Time to bring things up to speed. Since Cameron joined me in Europe, everything has been put into overdrive. Having another person along with your certainly increases the amount of sights you are motivated to see in a day.

Sweden came and went. Stockholm is a large and beautiful city. It certainly geared itself well for masses of shoppers. The main drag of what used to be the Old Town, Hotorget, is now a franchised-out, busting-at-the-seems shopping street. It is built on three levels, all cross-crossing one another, over and under and disappearing into the side of a hill. The topography of the 'center' of the city is a tiny archipelago squashed between two land masses to it's north and south. The north part is by far the most modernized, where the south it's much quieter and more residential.

When Cameron arrived we move to Langholmen, a former Swedish prison to the south of the city. The room was small, but modern. The mirror in the main room is tall and thin, and it looks to be shaped like a guillotine. They have a whole museum tracing the history of the prison, up to it's closing in the 70s in favor of a larger prison. If my memory serves, it had to have been 300 years old. For a good portion of it's existance, the prison was turned into a textile factory, whereby the state and the prison guards, got extremely wealthy from the profits. The small harbor surrounding the prison is actually quite beautiful, and it houses a good number of small boats from the residents surrounding.

We stayed back in the city for the last night. We tried to catch a few museums to make the tourist experience a valid one. We took a ferry out to one of the Islands in the harbor separating the north and south. I believe it was called Djurgarden, and it is home to an aquarium, a zoo and a few other museums. Most of interest was the Vasamuseum, chronicling the construction and subsequent destruction of 17th Century Scandanavia's most elaborate and expensive warships. Unfortunately, it's maiden voyage lasted only 40 minutes as there was not enough ballast in the bottom of the boat. A few gusts of wind blew is over, it capsized and sank, killing 50 people.

It wasn't until the 1950s that the ship was lifted back up from the bottom of the sea floor. It was remarkably well preserved as the restoration process took almost 25 years. More than 90% of the ship is intact, the rest being reconstructed using methods similar to the era. On the whole it was quite fascinating, and nigh intimidating to stand at the bow and look up. One also got the distinct impression that living on board a ship such as that would be horrific. Quite remarkable.

After that, back to Copenhagen, which is where I am now.

But, enough with the kibitzing, it's time to catch the train to Berlin (and to cheaper beer). More on the way.



Anonymous B R A D said...

Your travels are impressive, nigh, epic! Savvy?

Your Subaru has a full tank of gas, clean windows, and...drum roll...a new piece of reflective glass just outside the driver-side door. :)

You may rest assured that your significant other, Miss Fuller, will travel in safety and marginal style in your green chariot upon her arrival in the sunny province of Los Angeles.

Fair travels dear friend,

Bradley G. Jones, Esquire

7/20/2005 8:24 PM  
Anonymous "The old ones" said...

Glad to hear from you again.....we were beginning to get a little concerned. It does seem to appear that you have made the best of your time which is more joyfully done with another to share the moments. Its a given that you couldn't have selected another companion and we all hope that you have sucessfully made up for lost time. Onward and upward to you both. Love you.........

7/20/2005 9:59 PM  
Blogger John the Apostate said...

Dear Fellow Restorator,
It's quite a thrill to see someone else take interest in what boils down to reverse engineering; restoring things (be they cars, ships, carousels...) reflects one's own personal philosophy. Should I remake the original better than it actually was, or should I adhere to the time-tested methods of the ancients? It's the choice of a new generation.
Fight the good fight,
John the Apostate

7/21/2005 12:39 AM  
Anonymous joy beth said...

brad's a lawyer?

7/21/2005 4:09 PM  
Anonymous dictionary.com said...

es·quire     P   Pronunciation Key  (skwr, -skwr)
A man or boy who is a member of the gentry in England ranking directly below a knight.

7/23/2005 12:35 PM  

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