National Geographic : 1952 May
687 National Geographic Photographer Volkmar Wentzel Town Hall Tower Holds Aloft a Star Small boats, warehouses, and trucks bring the his toric setting up to date. Stockholm is Sweden's capital and royal residence. With 753,500 population, it is the kingdom's largest city and its second port, after Giteborg. Famous for its modern apartment build ings, Stockholm is a blend of old and new. water-front mission played "Fight the Good Fight" to 19th-century emigrant ships putting England behind them, vessels outward bound today take on a pilot to guide them past the sand shoals of the Thames estuary. The fast launch sheered alongside us, and the pilot leaped to the Anglia's ladder with perfect timing. Do they ever miss, I wonder? After one taste of the Anglia's version of Swedish food, I haunted the galley. But although he let me help peel potatoes, few were the recipes I wheedled out of the pro fessionally jealous cook. The captain, however, was happy to talk. Anchovies on shirred eggs-ah! And smoked salmon flecked with black pepper! He con fessed he had to follow a Spartan diet ashore to offset the effects of Svenska Lloyd's table on his figure. It was dark the second day as we entered tideless Gota Alv, signaling "good luck" to the Anglia's sister ship putting out to sea. As we came on in, Erica and I caught a rapid preview of G6teborg's great shipyards to port.* On a ridge to starboard lay the city, its meandering arm of cliff-top neon signs re minding me of the Palisades along the New Jersey shore of the Hudson. From the bridge the captain shouted down to us the bearings of a fish restaurant he could highly recommend. He and our shipmates were considerate to the last. Swedish Window to the West Giteborg lay cupped in the hills on one side of the Gota Alv, and a forest of shipyard cranes tries unsuccessfully to hide the slopes of the far shore. The city's tall modern apartment houses looked down from the perimeter ridges on broad canals running between Dutch-gabled houses in the town center. Old G6teborg was laid out by Dutchmen imported by the Swed ish king Gustavus Adolphus when he founded the settlement in 1619 with an eye on trade westward to America. From Gota Alv, then a wild estuary empty ing into the Kattegat, sailed the Kalmar Nyckel in 1637 to establish a Swedish colony on the banks of the Delaware River. The wonder of Swedish cooking was to remind me of my sixth-grade history's incredulous description of that colony's governor, Johan Printz: It is said-my book could hardly believe it-that he weighed four hundred pounds, ate four meals a day, and had three drinks with each meal. We walked at random down green avenues bejeweled by the only rain on our trip. And what did we come to but the statue of Swedish born John Ericsson, designer of the ironclad Monitor, the "cheesebox on a raft" of Civil War fame! Goteborg is indeed Sweden's window to the west, linked to the Atlantic community with so many English and Scottish connections as to be appropriately called "little London." City of oceanic enterprise, G6teborg is par ticularly associated with mapping of the ocean floor. The 18th-century scientist and philos opher Emanuel Swedenborg, one of the first oceanographers, began his research here; in 1947-48 private citizens of the port made pos sible a 44,000-nautical mile circumnavigation * See "Baltic Cruise of the Caribbee," by Carleton Mitchell, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, Novem ber, 1950.