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We’re Stuck In Prison!

Can you believe the accommodations these days in Swedish jails?!

  • Free WiFi access
  • Ability to use your laptop in your cell
  • Wear your own clothes
  • Flat screen TV’s in each cell
  • Nearby pubs
  • Heated towel racks
  • and keys so you can come and go as you please!

OK, so it’s not exactly an ACTIVE prison anymore, but it WAS a women’s prison back in 1724. After the last prisoner was released in 1972, it was converted into a hotel and museum.

Each of the former prison cells now function as the hotel rooms.

Yeah the rooms are small (about 8’x12′), but you pay for the experience. Complete with prison style bunk beds, bars on all the windows, and faux newspaper clippings on the walls to simulate how a former prisoner might have decorated their cell. Checking into your room even requires slinking past the old guard tower.

In a way, it’s sorta like The Bates Motel in that you can check in, but you can’t check out. Instead, you have to escape!

Stockholms Kulturfestival – Det Löser Sej

Similarly to the Galway Races and the Edinburgh International Festival in the last two counties, we stumbled into Stockholm just in time for the 2008 Kulturfestival. After a slow start this morning due to overindulging in Swedish spirits at F12 last night, we found some food to replenish our energy. After we digested the falafel & fries we followed the sounds of a low pitch bass guitar that was echoing through the city streets. The narrow streets opened up into a plaza where we found some random Swedish hip-hop band playing a free outdoor concert. The beats were funky and the lyrics, well… they were in Swedish, but the Sweeds in the crowd were bobbing their heads along to the flows so it must have been good. We later found out that the artists was Chords and during one song he brought a surprise guest on stage and the crowd went wild when they found out it was Timbuktu. They then performed together Det Löser sej and the crowd nearly lost it.

Cultural side note: “Slut” in Swedish means “End”

Swedish Babes

Have I mentioned how pretty the women are here yet? No? Well let me take a moment to just say they are ridiculously hott! Jay found a real keeper.

I’m jealous.

Ship Outta Luck

Did you know that the city of Stockholm is comprised of fourteen islands all joined by bridges? It’s true, and today we passed by, over and under quite a few of those bridges.

We stumbled across the Royal Palace of Stockholm…

..and this guy showed us the way to find the Royal Apartments…

…where we snipped off a few photos of the royal crib.

Then we walked down to the edge of the water and hopped on a “Hop On – Hop Off” boat that took us to various other islands.

Past the National Museum

And the Nordic Museum.

Until we arrived at our first stop just outside the Vasa Museum.

The Vasa is a colossal nautical failure in Swedish history. Built in 1626, the Vasa war ship sank after traveling less than 1 nautical mile on her maiden voyage due to being built too top heavy with insufficient ballast! DOH!

In 1961 recovery efforts raised the ship from her murky grave after more than 1,300 dangerous dives. On the bright side, the waters of Sweden were so polluted at the time of her demise that most bacteria that normally eats away at sunken wood ships couldn’t survive! WOO HOO! So the Vasa was actually in fairly good condition despite being underwater for 333 years. If you ever make a trip to Stockholm, this is a MUST SEE sight. The enormity of the ship is mind boggling, and the various exhibits around the giant boat really give you a sense of what it must have been like back then — or for a Pirate in the Caribbean for that matter.

On the ground floor of the museum they have used modern technologies to reconstruct the lives of some of the deckhands…

and captain…

based on their remains…

OOPS! Sorry, that’s not the right photo. Here are some of their actual remains:

Those other “remains” were actually from our next stop on the H.O.H.O. boat, Tivoli Gröna Lund

which is Sweden’s largest amusement park. It was very reminiscent of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with roller coasters…

…haunted house rides…

…and yummy yummy ice cream!

Before we had a chance to ride any of the rides, it was time to go…

… before we got carried away.

New Website Design Is (Finally) Up!

Woo Hoo! The new “official” HYSUL site design is now up. It’s actually been a work in progress for some time now and I had hoped to have it up prior to our departure. Oh well, better late than never. There are still a few minor loose ends to clean up, but overall I think it turned out great! A special shout out to Stacey for helping to bring my vision to reality. She rocks my PS socks!

I’ve got to catch up on some previous days of blogging, but that will have to wait for later. We are currently in Stockholm Sweden and about to check out Hotellet Bar one of the World’s Best Bars.

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