Magnificent Swede Invades London!

By Craigie_B Last edited 125 months ago
Magnificent Swede Invades London!
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No, this is not a Touch Up London entry involving a giant root vegetable or a cross-looking Stefan Edberg (whimper).

The magnificent Swede in question is the rather stunning Götheborg, a full-scale replica of an 18th century merchant trading ship that this weekend popped to visit the capital and have a bit of a face-off with a modern-day warship. It's not entirely an accurate replica - the deck is 10cm higher as seamen are apparently taller than they were 280 years ago. And there may be more health and safety considerations to contend with these days too when building a big wooden ship - like where do you put toilets for the seawomen, maybe?

Arriving through Tower Bridge on Saturday afternoon, the rather beautiful visitor fired her cannon at London - but we think she missed anything of much importance. Our very own steely 20th century battle cruiser HMS Belfast saluted right back by firing some hefty guns at her, which really ought to beat the crap out of anything an old wooden boat could muster. The Götheborg then slunk away and finally berthed at West India Docks to be greeted by, erm, a jazz band.

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A shooting and a bit of jazz is really a bit pap compared to the welcome proffered by the other thirteen countries visited by the Götheborg in the last two years as she's busily recreated the Old East India trading routes (see the pic from Hong Kong's greeting over there on the right.)

She is here until 2 June if you fancy popping to say "Hej!" before she heads home. She is clearly much missed - the King and Queen of Sweden popped to see her on Sunday. Perhaps they were suspicious, as the last time the original Götheborg was in London in 1745 she set off with an incredibly rich bounty on board and later mysteriously sank. This was widely believed to be an insurance fraud, as the captain later sold all the goods around London 'off the back of a ship' hoping no one would notice. Perhaps we should all pop to London's markets over the next few weeks just in case?

Pics from stuandgravy's flickrstream and morgan ommer's gallery.

Last Updated 21 May 2007

Jon

I watched the festivities from London Bridge, and unless there was a sudden change in the wind direction, I thought HMS Belfast's salute was somewhat disappointing! Ho hum, can't exepect it to really let rip I suppose!

I took some pictures and video myself, if anyone's interested: www dot jonsanger dot co dot uk