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“Stench, Tedium and Disease”

Greetings from Sweden, country 28 of my life long tour de world. Got in Saturday afternoon and so only had time for a local walk about before I joined Yejide for dinner at the Pelikan. I had reindeer which was amazing and she had roast duck that was equally amazing. Hope to get back to try their bacon in onion cream sauce–yes, an entree… Quite expensive here but for a short time what the heck.

Today I joined J and T in old town Stockholm and when you get tired of old European charm, you can go to Geronimo’s. And yes, the sign is real and facing the street. The third photo is the Vasa, a ship built around 1624 that sank on its maiden voyage. (Betting somebody over at the ship builders’ guild had a really, really bad last day at work that day.) In 1951 the wreckage was found, relatively intact and over a number of years it was raised from the harbor and conserved. As you can see, it’s a fine-looking vessel, just not wide and deep enough to hold sufficient ballast to stay upright in a squall.

Look at the Vasa photo and notice the guy taking a picture. He is standing on the ground floor of the museum. The ship fills one floor below him and I’m taking the photo from one floor above and the masts extend yet another floor above me. A wooden ship four stories tall–impressive. Life aboard, not so much, as sailors signed on for a life of “stench, tedium and disease.” Just imagine the applications pouring in for that job description. Since only one in ten sailors were conscripts, 90% of the workforce actually did apply! Makes me wonder how bad other jobs were back then.

Stockholm was wonderful indeed. As with most places, I’d like to return as a tourist, especially in season when the dinner boats are running. Water defines the city and so it would be a delight to ply the inner waterways. Walking near out hotel, Y and I stumbled on a lovely park. She stopped abruptly and said, “Wow, that is random.”

And if you were wondering, yes, I did have the bacon in onion cream sauce and it is exactly as advertised. I went from “good cholesterol levels” to “Do you have a will?” in two hours flat. Bacon, it’s what’s for dinner.

Thursday afternoon, we had a little tourist time. J, T and I went to old town and toured the museums in the palace. While the Swedes have their fair share of gold, jewels and well, just good old excess, they are a moderate and sober lot compared to the French and Russians. J and T had just come from St. Petersburg and so were underwhelmed by the Swedes.

That evening as Y and I walked to the “Flying Elk” for dinner, the Swedish chef from the Muppets suddenly popped into my head. Couldn’t get the image out of my head and now you can’t either. I’m truly evil 😏

 

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