19.06.2011 - 19.06.2011 15 °C
Had a very poor sleep last night.. the rest of the dorm was filled up with about 7 American students who had been out all night and decided to come in around 2am! Anyway by 7am I knew that I couldn't sleep anymore so decided to get going for the day.
It was raining outside so I thought I'd go find a Maccas to warm me up with a cup of coffee (by now it is about 9am). I swear it is colder here in Stockholm than it could possibly be at home.. its raining, windy and therefore cold! No wonder people who live in the northern hemisphere are always wanting to come live in AU.. This summer of there's is colder than our winter!! (well at least the winter we have in Brissie). Today I was wearing a long sleeved t-shirt (I had to go buy some in Finland because my wooly ones that I brought are too warm but my t-shirts are too cold... its a tough life when your daily dillemna is whether to invest in some long sleeved t's!!) my jacket, scarf, jeans.. its just nuts!
Anyway, it is Sunday here in Stockholm so unbelievably nothing was open at 9am! Even Maccas!!!!!! I just could not believe it! Nothing here opens until 11am, too bad if you are like me and like to get things going early in the day.. you can get going but do nothing for a couple of hours! (mental note to self: sleep in tomorrow!)
11am finally rolled around so I went trudging for about a km in the pouring rain to the Swedish National Museum. The history of Sweden is really interesting.. there is recorded history going back to before William the Conqueror (about 800AD) and they have found archelogical skeletons from about 2000 BC! Its incredible to be in a country that has such a rich and long history!
The most interesting thing I discovered in the museum is about the Vikings.. The viking age in Sweden is considered from about 1100 AD to about 1300 AD. One of the things I had always read about vikings (before coming to Scandanavia) is that they were ravaging barbarians who sailed the oceans as a kind of pirate who invaded lands, took booty and women and savaged the locals! They had different gods and beliefs, wore skins, funny conical shaped hats with horns and were definately dangerous.. Hagar the Horrible style!
Well let me tell you that all of my illusions have been destroyed! Yes they did go and conquer new lands (the Swedes conquered much of the coast line of Russia, all of Finland and many of the old Soviet states, Lithuania, Estonia etc) and they most likely wore skins etc but they certainly didn't have conical shaped hats with horns! They had metal, conical shaped hats without horns and wore chain mail! They did not have any other gods! Sweden was converted to Christianity in the early 1000s so it is highly unlikely they had pagan beliefs.. All of the images we have of Vikings has largely been created over the past 200 yrs as the Scandanavian countries have tried to create their own national ideals.. Most of the Viking stories are just that, stories! They have been made up to glorify the Scandanavian countries! In particular the Viking ideals etc have been romantacised to help the different governments and kings in the past couple of centuries "sell their policies" etc!!
It never ceases to amaze me how much of the world's history is biased depending on the leading people or the government's views of the times!
I'd had such an interesting time in the museum that I unfortunatley had lost track of time and therefore was unable to make it to another museum I wanted to go to (the Stockholm Medieval Museum) as it had closed! Yep office hours for most museums here in Stockholm are 11am til 4pm! Love the lifestyle here in Sweden!
Oh well, better try and do better tomorrow with the Swedish Palace, Museums and of course the House of Nobility!