We headed northeast out of Oslo and crossed the border into Sweden (Road 239). I was
surprised to see that the border between the two countries is uncontrolled - no border
guards, no gates, or kiosk to check passports. There was just this sign, which translates to
"Border Sweden". I expected controls similar to what the US has with Canada and Mexico.

We turned northeast at Torsby onto E45 and drove through heavily wooded forest land into the
Dalarna Lake District on Lake Siljan, headed toward the village of Tallberg. On our way,
we stopped in Nusnas at the Olsson workshop where the famous Dala (Dalecarlian) wooden horses
are carved. We toured the workshop (small factory) and we did buy a souvenir horse.

A hand-carver demonstrates his craftsmanship for the tourists
as he shows how a Dala horse is carved out of a block of pine.

Our tour guide shows how each horse is ... well, not exactly hand carved,
but is "individually made" using a band saw. He still had all of his fingers, too!

The production of Dala horses is quite a significant business these days!

Each horse is hand painted by an artist who developed this skill over many years.

The gift shop ... plenty of opportunity to take home a Swedish treasure.

At our hotel in Tallberg, on the shores of Lake Siljan, a few of us got together
for a little cocktail party before dinner. It's OK, we're on vacation!

After dinner we took a walk to view the lake and to just relax after a long day of vacationing!

I tried to be open minded about food selection while in Scandinavia ... but I just couldn't do this.

Somewhere along the road to Uppsala, we pass through a small town that
has its own ski jump. Winter sports are VERY popular in Scandinavia.

Next we visited the home of 19th-century Swedish artist Carl Larsson.
For some reason, we all seemed to get a little silly that day.

Just a bunch of crazy American tourists!

We have arrived at the city of Uppsala and we tour the 13-century Uppsala Cathedral.

This cathedral is the coronation site of Swedish monarchs.

The cathedral's organ along with several beautiful stained glass windows
impressed us all as we enjoyed touring the inside of the cathedral.

We're near our final destination now on our tour of Scandinavia.

A shot of the harbor in Stockholm features an old brewery among its residents.

Stockholm's city hall is where the dinner is held for all of the Nobel Prize recipients.

There are those tourists again ... along with that pesky bear.

A new hotel and conference facility stand out among the older buildings on the waterfront.

The older area of the harbor - not much extra space for new buildings here.

Tourists Loraine and Pat discover new things all around themselves!

Let's see, I should be able to squeeze my bus through here ... no problem!

A harbor view showing the cruise ship "The World" traveling past us. It is the largest
privately owned cruise ship in the world and boasts 165 private residences on board. The
ship has continuously circumnavigated the globe since its launch in 2002. Who lives like this? :-)

We visited the museum of the ship "Vasa", which sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 after sailing
less than one nautical mile. It was raised virtually intact in 1961. The Vasa was built top-heavy
and had insufficient ballast to make it seaworthy, but after an investigation into the fiasco,
nobody was punished for the outcome (many were to blame, including the King).

The Vasa's ornamentation was re-created using colors thought to have been representative of the originals.

The Vasa is one of Sweden's most popular attractions, having been seen by more than 29 million visitors since 1961.

The Grand Hotel is a 5-star hotel in Stockholm, opened in 1874. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize laureates
and their families have all been guests at the hotel. The 368-room hotel is privately owned by the
wealthy Swedish Wallenberg family.

Mary and I visited the Nobel Museum and had a short, guided tour. The stories and lives of the
recipients were told using various forms of media and we found it very interesting and informative.

Norman Ramsey is my own connection to the Nobel Prize. He received the prize in physics for the
discovery of the physical principles and theories allowing development of atomic clocks, which is
what Hewlett-Packard Co. brought into production in the 1960's. I was on the project team that
developed HP's last atomic clock, released in 1991.

Each Prize recipient has a laminated poster that travels around the main lobby on a track. There
are also computer screens where you can type in a recipient's name and read his story (photo above).

One of the quotations on display in the museum. This was one of my favorites.

Our hotel (Hilton) in Stockholm, walking distance from Gamla Stan, the medieval old town.

Walking through Gamla Stan on our last night in Stockholm. What a great tour this has been!

A few in our group gather for our grand finale ... we walk the narrow streets of old town one last time.

Amazingly, we end up in a bar! Back at the Hilton Hotel, we raise our glasses to a very successful trip.

Boys will be boys ... I'll drink to that!

A bunch of happy travelers ...

The ladies have their own little celebration on our last night in town!

One last picture of Stockholm during breakfast the morning we left for home.

Here is our entire, fun group! Thank you for viewing our Scandinavian vacation
and Mary and I hope to bring you the story of a future journey to another fun destination!
Thanks to our guide, Arvid, for a fun, informative, and very enjoyable vacation!

For a few more pix of the "vacationers", please click on the link below.

Click to view the Vacationers.

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