Monday, October 12, 2015
Sept. 9 Stockholm, Sweden
The small rocky harbour of Stockholm (Nynashamn) is the gateway port to the "Capital of Scandinavia" The city began life over 7 centuries ago as a Viking stronghold built on the island of Gamla Stan. Today Stockholm covers 14 separate islands interwoven with bays, channels and inlets.
The city skyline is a sea of copper roofs grown green with patina, towers, spires and graceful cupolas stand sentinel over the historic old town. Nearly 3 million people live here and Stockholm is one of the worlds most beautiful, clean and orderly metropolis'es. This might be the place that my maternal grandparents set sail to Canada and a new life way back in 1890-1900 or there-abouts. Their names were Anna and Peter Nordin, which is pronounced like Nordeen.
Our Regal Princess anchored in the bay of Nynashamn and used tenders to transport us to shore. It was exciting for me to finally get to see the land of my ancestors. It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures that ranged from 9º - 15º according to the read out in the tour bus.
The tour guide and driver were very good at their jobs. The drive into Stockholm took about an hour i think. Along the way in the countryside as well as in the city i noticed many houses that were in the style of the house my parents built soon after they were married so i thought maybe mom had put of some of her Scandinavian heritage into the design.. All five of us kids were raised in that house and mom and dad lived in it until they died. Looking back now i remember that the homes of many of their friends there in Kimberley, B.C. were of similar style and many of them were either Swedes or Norwegians. My dads roots were in Labrador (now known as the Province of Labrador and New Foundland) and his early years were lived in log cabins. But strangely, when his family moved to Edmonton, Alberta the house they built there was of very similar Scandinavian design as well. It seems there must be a connection but i don't get it. Maybe it was the climate and that's the way houses were built at the time for very cold winters everywhere? In any case i liked Stockholm; it's a very beautiful friendly, clean city. However, my gut feeling about where my grandparents may have come from is leaning more to Gothenburg but i don't know if i'll ever find out. I am visiting only two cities in Sweden and i favour Gothenburg for some reason but of course their home may have been in a lot of other cities or towns there as well. I will have to come back and check out more! I haven't really been into family genealogy but my visit to these two cities has peaked my interest. Mom made pickled herring and Swedish cake every year for Christmas, she counted in Swedish and she looked Swedish. I took a picture of three young girls walking along the sidewalk in Stockholm because they all looked like the stereotypical Swede; blond curly hair, blue eyes and familiar features. I felt like a voyeur snapping their pic but i had to as seeing those girls definitely made me feel my roots.
Besides all the street scenes, the historical buildings and monuments i went on a modern thing; the "Skyview" a very scary ride up and back down the outside of a round building. Although it was very high and scary it would have been worse if the floor had been glass too. I don't think anyone could handle it if it had been glass! The Skywalk on the Regal Princess is scary enough for me.