SANTA CLAUS – A LIVING FAIRY TALE

Certainly everybody knows Santa Claus. He is the old good will ambassador that has travelled the world for Centuries, bringing presents people around Christmas. Santa doesn’t tell much about the many secrets of Christmas, but there is something that I can tell You.

Korvatunturi-

 

The original home of Santa Claus was at Korvatunturi, the Ear Fjell, as it is sometimes called and It’s been there for as long as Santa can remember. About a hundred years ago the word spread with the helpof a certain uncle Markus about the whereabouts of this magical place. Soon people from near and far travelled there to look for Santa and his home. This of course was impossible because Santa’s home has always been the most secret place on earth.

 

The old man did not want to dissapoint his friends and thus about a hundred years ago he visited Rovaniemi for the first time to meet his friends. Santa liked the Capital of Lapland and declared: ”Rovaniemi shall be the meeting place for all the friends of Christmas and Santa Claus. At Rovaniemi You can meet me every day at my office.” And so Rovaniemi became the Official hometown of Santa Claus.

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Santa has dedicated his life to bringing up kindess and taking care of children’s rights. Enjoying and cherishing nature is very iportant to Santa. Maybe the most recognizible feature of Santa is his skill to evoke happiness.

 

Hundreds of millions of people thoughout the world dream of meeting Santa on Christmas. Through these pages you can start your counter visit to meet the nicest man in the world. Welcome to the Santa Claus Office on any day of the year.

kammari-taivaalta

 

 

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The Locks of Berg (S)

Today we visit Berg in Sweden to take a look at the locks of the Göta Kanal. Its an famous attraction in Sweden. The water has to go down from 90 meters to zero. So there are a lot of locks to deal with. After we have visited Berg we went to Linköping to visit the old city. Here are some pictures……

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Vasa Museum Stockholm

HIS MAJESTY´S SHIP

It took almost two years (1626-1627) to build Vasa. From dawn to dusk, carpenters, sawyers, smiths, ropelayers, sailmakers, painters, carvers, gun carriage makers and other specialists struggled to complete the navy’s great, new ship. The king, Gustav II Adolf, visited the shipyard to inspect the work.

Vasa should be splendid, a hull built of more than a thousand oak trees with 64 cannon, masts over 50 meters high and hundreds of painted and gilded sculptures.

THE SHIPYARD – SKEPPSGÅRDEN

The shipyard where Vasa was built was called Skeppsgården and was located in what is now called Blasieholmen in Stockholm. Skeppsgården was one of the largest workplaces in Sweden at that time, where craftsmen and raw materials from all over Northern Europe met. The workforce was about half Swedish and Finnish, with the rest mostly from Holland. Wood from Swedish and Polish forests was shipped to Stockholm to become ship’s timbers. Iron and copper were mined in Sweden, while hemp for rope, sailcloth and paint were purchased from abroad.

HENRIK HYBERTSSON

The work on Vasa was led by a Dutchman, Henrik Hybertsson, an experienced shipwright. In this period, Dutch ships were not built from drawings, instead the shipwright was given the overall dimensions and used proportions and rules of thumb based on his own experience to produce a ship with good sailing qualities. Hybertsson became ill early on and died in the spring of 1627, so he never saw the ship completed. Responsibility for construction fell to his assistant, Henrik “Hein” Jakobsson, already in 1626.

THE MAIDEN VOYAGE

On Sunday, the 10th of August, 1628, Vasa lay rigged and ready for sea just below the royal palace Tre Kronor. Ballast, guns and ammunition were all on board.

On the quays and shores along Strömmen, an excited public waited to watch the ship leave Stockholm and celebrate her departure.

Over a hundred crewmen were on board, as well as women and children. The crew had permission to take family and guests along for the first part of the passage through the Archipelago.

THE DISASTER

For the first few hundred meters, Vasa was warped along the waterfront with cables from the shore. The ship did not begin to sail until she reached what is now Slussen. Sailors climbed the rigging to set four of Vasa’s ten sails. A salute was fired, and Vasa slowly began her maiden voyage.

Once Vasa came out from under the lee of the Södermalm cliffs, the sails could catch the wind, but the ship was tender and heeled over to port, then heeled again, even farther. Water rushed in through the open gunports and the ship’s fate was decided. Vasa sank, after sailing barely 1300 meters.

The crew threw themselves into the water or clung to the rigging until rescued, but not all managed to save themselves. Eyewitnesses differ on the exact numbers, but perhaps 30 of approximately 150 people on board died in the loss. After the ship was raised in 1961, the remains of at least 16 people were found.

WHY DID VASA SINK?

The news of the sinking reached the Swedish king, who was in Prussia, after two weeks. The disaster had to be the result of “foolishness and incompetence,” and the guilty must be punished, he wrote to the Royal Council in Stockholm. What exactly lay behind the loss could not be determined with certainty in the inquest held in the palace, but the ship’s lack of stability was a fact: the underwater part of the hull was too small and the ballast insufficient in relation to the rig and cannon. The leaders of the inquest believed that the ship was well built but incorrectly proportioned. After Vasa, many successful ships with two or even three gundecks were built, so something must have been learned from the disaster.

WHOSE FAULT WAS IT?

Vice Admiral Klas Fleming, partly. He had been present before the ship sailed, when the captain demonstrated how crank the ship was by having 30 men run back and forth across the upper deck. On their third pass, the ship was ready to capsize at the quay. The admiral was heard to say that he wished the king were there.

King Gustav II Adolf, partly. He ordered a large ship with so many heavy-calibre cannon, and approved the ship’s dimensions.

Master shipwright Henrik Hybertsson, partly. He was a talented shipbuilder who had delivered several successful ships to the navy, but he had too little experience with building ships with two gundecks.

Captain Söfring Hansson, ultimately. Vasa’s sinking can also be blamed on the captain. It would have been safer to sail the ship with the lower gunports closed, since he knew the ship was unstable. It might have been possible to redistribute weight in the ship or even rebuild it. If the inquest were held today, the captain would probably be held responsible.

 

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Nordkapp trip, day 6

Today we made it to the Nordkapp. Its was an amazing journey. We did in total 3.756 km and saw the better part of Norway. Many people to thank for this wonderful experience. I am not mentioning them but if they are reading this they know who I mean. Thanks.

This trip that led us over the national road 50 to the Laerdal tunnel and the national 55 to Trondheim. The roads and the tunnel were amazing. We drove the better part of the E6 and close to Alta we saw the first snow. After we passed E6 onto the E69 towards the Nordkapp.

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Today we have seen the snow, rain and sun. Everything on our way to the top of the world. The center should be closed at 15:00 hours but thanks to a busload of Japanese people they stayed open a little longer and so we could experience the complete adventure of the Nordkapp. I can advise everyone on this planet to make the trip to the Nordkapp it is amazing over there. Even the small road to the Nordkapp is amazing. Well here are the pictures and tomorrow we drive to Rovanimie to have a night in the Arctice Igloo Hotel.

 

 

 

 

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The Nordkapp

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Nordkapp trip, day 5

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So today we past the Artic Circle  As you can see perfect sunshine but very cold. We have still 700 km to go and than we are on the Nordkapp. We will have a early start in the morning and will try to be on the Nordkapp in the afternoon tomorrow. We will sleep there also and hope to see the Nordic Light. If we do you will see the pictures the day after……

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Nordkapp trip, day 4

We had a sleep inn morning this morning. :-) But we made great progress even with the first snow, lots of rain and a little sun we are now in Mosjoen. Some old hotel across the railway station. Tomorrow we drive on to Narvik. We hope to get to the Nordkapp on Wednesday afternoon but it could also be that it will be a day later. But who cares we have time :-) :-)

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