Saturday, June 23, 2007

Stockholm, Sweden

We didn't spend any time touring around Copenhagen. Our goal here was to embark on a Baltic Sea cruise. Our first stop was in Stockholm, Sweden...
a beautiful city built on several islands, part of an archipelago of 24,000 islands!
We wandered around the old town (the Gamla Stan) ...
... and arrived at the royal castle in time for the changing of the guard.
The Swedes had a tradition of having their ships blessed by the clergy, then hanging a small replica of the vessel in the church. Here, the pipe organ and brick arches are visible behind the model ship in Gamla Stan's central sanctuary.
Stockholm is also known for the Nobel prizes. (Only the Nobel Peace Prize is decided and awarded outside Sweden. No one really knows why Alfred Nobel chose to delegate this particular prize to a Norwegian committee.) We spent a couple of hours at the Nobel Prize museum, and learned a lot about the prize(s) and recipients. It was quite inspiring.

At the time, the museum was also hosting a display of Winston Churchill's water color paintings. (Churchill received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.) Interspersed with the paintings were quotes from Nobel laureates, captains of industry, statesmen, and other accomplished folk answering the questions, "What do you do with your leisure time? How do you take time to deal with stresses and overload?". It was an interesting display -- perhaps we should have taken notes on those responses.

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