Boston Blatte

Raised in Boston, remade in Sweden

Archive for May, 2010

In Vasa’s wake: Tracing the warship’s footprint.

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Me and the Vasa (the ship) go way back; way back to our first meeting in 1992. She’s pushing 400 years old so I am still a newbie in her books, but she’s one of my oldest and dearest Swedish friends (though debatable if it’s possible to have a relationship with an inanimate object.)

On this past Saturday, Stockholm’s first official “summer” day…glorious sunshine and warm temps, I had the opportunity/honor of following in the Vasa’s wake (minus the sinking part.) A small group of us were guided by Fred Hocker,  Director of Archeological Research at the Maritime MuseumsFred Hocker, our guide
aboard a decommissioned mine sweeper, M20. M20
We ventured out into the stream of recreational boats, commercial vessels and tourist tugs all soaking in the sunshine glimmering up from Stockholm Harbor. Our mission was to follow the making of the Vasa from making her keel to her fated maiden voyage (WARNING: Spoiler…she sinks)

The Vasa Museum is devising a serious of new and engaging tours and visits for those of us who love the old lady.

And yes, I do love her –again, if you can have love for a ship that is. Our relationship goes way back to the first summer I visited Stockholm as a tourist. I was at the museum the day they had their millionth visitor (wasn’t me.) With all the visitors I’ve brought there and my über geek interest in her fascinating history (she’s a real life reality show celebrity) we’ve had many encounters. Each time I see her it’s like visiting an old buddy.

I know her [updated] story pretty (it’s evolved over the years) well by now (all those tours of the ship plus some additional research.) But it was quite a treat to follow her wake on the bobbing harbor.

She hasn’t traveled far, but she’s endured. Perhaps a lesson for us all.
Below…accidents happen

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Royally stuck: stamps and coins unveiled

Monday, May 10th, 2010

If you ever had the urge to lick the back side of a Swedish princess, now is your chance. The new commemorative stamp of the HRH Victoria and husband-in-waiting Daniel Westling has been unveiled. There’s also a silver and gold coin up for sale at face value (unlimited edition…don’t buy hoping to make a killing on the memorabilia.)
Local article

vicky's stamp

The happy, lickable (and tossable) couple, already clearly stuck on one another are are set to make it official on June 19th.

I’m not a big royalist though I honestly couldn’t care less if Swedes want to hang on to their royal traditions. Actually, Vicky and Danny promote more of the normal side of their lives than the flip side of pompous blue-bloodedness. Daniel is a very common Swede and while Princess Di was thoroughly medically examined to establish her “purity”, the bridal couple will only be wearing white as a tradition rather than as symbolic expression of chastity. They’ve been playing castle for several years now.

Poor Madeleine, the “other” princess and Victoria’s baby sister just had to call off her engagement (TL article). Her fiance, Jonas, never got the memo that affairs were only allowed AFTER the wedding. Maybe Madde and Elin (Tiger’s wife) might be able to comfort one another.

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Driving Flash: Koenigsegg Trevita and Gumball Rally

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Jay Leno got what I nearly owned myself, a Koenigsegg. Well, he bought a Trevita (one of the 3 -yep, just three) and [my] SAAB was nearly bought out by Koenigsegg. Yes, too long a stretch for a comparison, but dang, I gotta make myself feel better about having a plonky family car (albeit a turbo) when there are three Swedish Koenignsegg Trevitas out there and Leno just got his delivered…by Christian von Koenignsegg himself.

koenigsegg trevita

The name is constructed using the Swedish words for ‘three’ (tre) and ‘white’ (vit). And in this case, the name accurately describes the production number and the colors on offer. And while white sounds lackluster the finish apparently sparkles. The wow factor to the white color is that the finish is carbon fiber which to the rest of us is available in a wide selection of “any color so long that it’s black.”

If Sweden is going to only have one car brand that is purely Swedish, it sure don’t hurt that it’s this smokin’ sexy!

While we’re on the topic of snazzy cars and Sweden the Gumball 3000 Rally just passed through. In fact, I was a part of it for a few exits as I drove up the E4 north of Stockholm this evening. I was wondering why there were people hanging out on the embankments and overpasses looking down on me (well, probably not specifically my not-quite-a-koenignsegg SAAB.)

gumball 3000 rally 2010

The cars will be flown from Stockholm (Arlanda) to Boston…now don’t that just neatly tie in the Stockholm/Boston connection of this blog.

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