Saturday, April 30, 2016

Day 8 of Youth Squad Tour in Sweden

This morning we slept in, waking up at around 8 am, because we were only going to have one training session. Breakfast was the mince from the previous night warmed up and ladled onto a piece of toast.

After breakfast we traveled on a bus and a train to Hökarängen, south-west of the OK Ravinen Clubhouse in Hellasgården. We had to travel via the train station in Slussen, to the north-west.
We set up a base camp in the centre of the park. We could hear the trains on the Väsby line to the south-west. The park was the smallest area we had run in. It had many hills and knolls, with large gravel paths in between. There were fewer marshes in the park, so we managed to avoid them all.
We were told by Tania to take one kite and find one control feature to set it up by.

There were eight of us (including Tania), so we each took one of the compass points and set out to find a feature. Cliffs were popular, as four were chosen. When we got back to the central point we showed each other where our control was placed, and provided a control description for it. 

We set out in the opposite direction to which we had first set out, and then completed the rest in a clockwise direction (e.g. I set up my control in the west, so I started with Matthew’s control to the east, and continued to Andries’ control to the south-east). We set up the course before 11 am, and collected the kites just after 12 pm.

After the training we set off South-East towards Farsta, following Heather’s directions. We had lunch in the Farsta Centrum shopping centre. Some of us had Reindeer wraps whilst others tried a variety of tapas.

We left Farsta for Gamla Stan, the Old Town, to visit the royal palace on the North-East corner of the island. We circled around the palace clockwise from the East to the South-East to find an entrance. We were unsuccessful, as the palace was closed that day. However, when we finished the circumnavigation by arriving at the main entrance, we were told to step aside, and we were treated to an unannounced departure of the royal family. They were leaving for an unknown function in a black car with a crown on its registration plate, led and followed by three other black cars filled with security personnel. We were told by a Swedish bystander that we were very lucky to see them.

We decided to head for the palace armoury, which had been converted into a museum in the 70s and 80s. Inside there were three levels of exhibitions. The top floor was a temporary exhibition, and presented exhibits relating to the death of a member of the royal family. Crowns, sceptres and keys of previous monarchs were on display, we found the last razor that one of the kings had used before he had died, and attire from the funeral procession was worn by plastic figures. There were pictures and video clips that showing the exhuming and autopsy of the royal corpses, whose names were predominately Eric, Gustav, Magnus, Karl or Carl. They were found to have met their end in numerous ways, from strokes and cancer to a bullet wound to the head. At the far end of the floor we found a few costumes which King Carl and Guardsman Andries put on.

The ground floor was a permanent exhibition, and it displayed various royal outfits for special functions. There was set of clothes worn by Carl XI when he became king before his fourth birthday, and a military uniform of a more recent king. Suits of plate armour for infantry and cavalry were displayed alongside maces, rapiers, great swords and almost every conceivable weapon from medieval times.
The cellar housed the royal carriages, along with lifelike horses. A child sized carriage and an Austrian sled was shown in the cellar. Information and images relating to the raw silk trade route was shown behind them. After the museum we popped into the Cathedral with its impressive organ.

We then headed for the train station, but we were distracted by an enticing sign advertising Exit Games ( ). The seven of us went inside to try rescue Grandma, while Tania and Bev stayed outside to drink some coffee. We had sixty minutes to complete all the puzzles, which mainly consisted of working out the permutations to padlocks through codes, patterns and helpful hints. The lady at the counter described the puzzles as similar to ones in 80's video games. We managed to free Grandma two minutes past the deadline.

We headed home, and while Carl, Bev and Tania refilled their SIM cards with data, we found a geocache under a bridge south of the clubhouse, played cards.

Written by Rory Ellis

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