The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Viking Ships

During our trip we visited two major viking ship museums.  The first one was the Vikingskipshuset in Oslo, Norway.  Here are three ships which were found in Viking burial mounds along with a wealth of other burial goods.  The burials are believed to be those of very important individuals.

This ship (known as the Oseberg Ship) was used for the burial of a high ranking woman.

  This ship is believed to be coastal pleasure craft (notice how low the sides are above the oar holes).

The ship has very ornate carvings along the bow.

This ship is know as the Gokstad Ship and is 79 feet long and nearly 17 feet wide.  The ship contained a timber burial chamber containing an important viking chieftain or king.  This had been a very seaworthy ship used in open seas (notice the extra amount of planking on the sides above the oar holes).

This was the burial chamber found on the ship.

This ship is known as the Tune ship.  It was not nearly as well preserved as the other two ships.  It also had been robbed of nearly all of the grave goods.

This is an example of the intricately carved objects which were commonly used to decorate the viking vessels.

Later we visited the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark.  This museum houses the remains of 5 ships that were intentionally sunk to restrict access to Roskilde which was the Danish capital at the time.

This ship is a replica of a viking warship excavated by the museum.  This ship was built using traditional material and tools.  In the summer of 2007 the ship was sailed from Denmark to Dublin, Ireland and in the summer of 2008 it made the return voyage to Denmark.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stockholm Sweden

We decided to experience the Scandinavian Midsummer (summer solstice) celebration in Stockholm, Sweden.  In Sweden, Midsummer is a national holiday which is celebrated on the nearest Friday to the actual summer solstice.

We spent our first day exploring Stockholm's Gamla Stan (Old Town).  Gamla Stan is the well preserved center of medieval Stockholm.


Saint George killing the dragon.

A mix of very old and very new technology.

The Gamla Stan waterfront.

On the Friday that was Sweden's official Midsummer holiday, we celebrated the day at Stockholm's Skansen Park, along with many thousand Swedes.

And at least one Peacock.

Raising of the Midsummer May Pole.

The following day we visited the Vasa Ship Museum.  The Vasa was a warship built for Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus from 1626-1628.  About 20 minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, it capsized and sank.  It was found and recovered, largely intact, in 1961.

The amount and detail of the wood sculpturing decorating the ship was absolutely amazing.

This image of the stern tries to show how narrow and tall the ship was.

One of the ornate canons found.

A scale model of the ship painted in the colors that they found evidence it had been pained with.

My family name has been traced back to Hans Berggren,  a member of the Stockholm comb maker's guild in the late 1700s.  This is the Katarina Church where most of his children were baptised.  Unfortunately, the church dating back to his time burned down in 1990 and was rebuilt by 1995.

A nearby building that did survive from his time.