Thursday, August 14, 2014

Impressions of Sweden: Musems, part 3

After our visit to Växjö, Tim and I took the train back to Stockholm for the last 2-1/2 days of our trip to Sweden.

Feeling more familiar with where things were and how to get there, we purchased two Stockholm cards, each good for 48 hours from the time of activation. I had already made a list of various museums that we might go to, and the number of metro trips we might be taking. We decided it was worth the investment, and this did prove to be true — even more so than I anticipated. In addition to giving us free admission to enough museums to make it worth the price, we ended up using it more than planned for public transportation.

The cards were activated with our first T-bana ride to Södermalm at about 2:30 pm, to the room we'd reserved.

If we thought the first hotel room was small, this one was even smaller.

Calling it a "hotel" is being generous. I'd describe it more as a low-budget hostel. But it was perfectly adequate for the two nights we were there. All we really needed was a place to sleep.

After checking in, we backtracked to Gamla Stan to go to the Royal Armory. This turned out to have a greater variety of exhibits than I would have guessed. In addition to arms and weapons, it included carriages, clothes, and various information about Swedish royalty and history.

After dinner, we went to Fotografiska, a photography museum. The main exhibit there was one we had seen featured in many posters around Stockholm, "Genesis" by Sebastião Salgado. His photographs were stunning and amazing — and numerous. As I mentioned in a previous post, Swedish museums seem to like to make their exhibits exhaustively inclusive — which can make them somewhat exhausting to view.

 The next day, Tuesday, July 8, we visited the Nordic Museum, the Abba Museum, the Outdoor History Museum, and the Modern Art Museum.

At the Nordic Museum, there were — once again — many, many exhibits with many, many things to see — clothes, home furnishings, textiles, an exhibit about the Sami (formerly known as the Lapps) to list but four. Museum fatigue, indeed.

The Nordic Museum

Statue of Gustav Vasa in main hall at Nordic Museum
The ceiling of the main hall
The floor of the main hall
There was an English translation, something along the lines of "Why are you not on Facebook?"
I believe we ate lunch at the museum cafe, to re-fortify ourselves before heading to our next destination, the ABBA museum, which was a good respite from all the high-minded, public museums.

Being a privately-owned museum, admission was not included as part of the Stockholm Card, nor was photography allowed inside. Good, kitschy fun, nonetheless.

Next, we briefly visited the Outdoor History Museum, but were less than impressed. It was also a rather warm afternoon to being walking around a lot outside.

Last for the day, the Modern Art Museum, featuring an exhibit of painting by Nils Dardel. Many paintings, interesting to look at, but the class I took in modern art, I still haven't really developed a liking for much of it.

The next day, Wednesday, July 9, we had until 2:00 or so before our Stockholm cards expired. Before even checking out of our "hotel," we took our suitcases to the Central Station and stowed them in lockers. Then back to Södermalm to check out.

Our first stop of the day was to the Sky View, something Tim had found. Think the Space Needle, but round.

Starting up
The other "car" coming down
Passing in the middle
The view from the top of the world's largest spherical building.
Heading back down
Then back to Gamla Stan to tour the Royal Palace (former royal residence, now used only on formal state occasions), the Treasury (crown jewels), and the Tre Kronor (what's left of the original castle, located underground). You would think there is a connection between the name of the castle and the fact that the official emblem of Sweden is three crowns, but it seems to be coincidental.

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