Ana Raab


During the summer of 2016, I traveled overseas completely on my own for the first time. Over the course of seven weeks, I wandered through Scandinavia exploring the Swedish heritage of my grandmother, made my way to Berlin by train, and confronted the stark beauty of Iceland—stretching myself along the way.

Follow my past and current journeys here.

Vasa Museum

The Vasa Museum is more than a museum, it's an experience in which you come face to face with the world's oldest, fully-preserved warship in existence. It really is like nothing I've ever seen before in my life.

A bit of history: In 1625, Sweden's king commissioned the building of the Vasa, ordering it to be the largest, grandest warship of the day. When the stunning Vasa set sail in 1628, the ship immediately sunk in Stockholm's harbor after only 20 minutes. Quite an embarrassment for Sweden at the time! But had the Vasa sailed any further out into the sea, she would not have sunk in the brackish water of the harbor, therefore allowing for optimal preservation. Yay for mistakes of shipbuilders from 300 years ago! Hundreds of years passed as the Vasa sat at the bottom of the harbor, until she was salvaged in 1961. Archeologists spent the next 17 years painstakingly restoring the ship (including multiple coats of special wax to preserve the water-logged wood) until it opened to the public in 1980's.

The details and artifacts still perfectly in tact are really a sight to see. If you are in Stockholm, don't miss it.