11. Mai 2013

Sun and Ships on a Saturday in Stockholm

Stockholm shows its finest side whenever it is sunny. By coincidence, a particular Saturday in spring this year was a lot about ships — ships and their stories.

Saturday, early morning. I took the Roslagsbanan in order to help a friend with the logistics of moving a motorboat from its winter parking space to its place in a marina during summer. I heard from my friend that the MS Queen Elizabeth was on her way to Stockholm. After the deeds with the motorboat were done, and after returning from short furniture shopping trip to Kungshamra on late Saturday morning, I left with a small travel group to Djurgården, passed the Wasa museum without entering (even though the Wasa is a ship with a fascinating history) – and then we saw her.

Being a giant of a ship, the MS Queen Elisabeth made the regular Viking line ships look like dwarves. The name of the ship ringed some bells, even though I could not remember exactly why. A later Wikipedia lookup revealed that there existed another ship of the Cunard line with the name RMS Queen Elizabeth, a ship that was sold and about to be turned into a floating university in Hong Kong but finally sunk in Victoria Harbour 1972 due to a fire. I consider this an interesting link given my background in Hong Kong. Luckily, we also saw the MS Queen Elisabeth majestatically leaving Stockholm.

We saw a couple of other ferries such as the Silja Line ferry from the terminal at Värtahamnen or the Åland cruiser MS Viking Cinderella, but after seeing the gigantic Queen, all of them looked rather smallish in comparison. Stockholm, sun, ships, Saturday. A welcome combination.