Yet another beautiful clear morning so we took the opportunity of taking in the views from the top of the Käknas Observation Tower which is located in Museum Park. Getting there was easy as we took the 69K bus from the city centre which takes passengers to the tower entrance. Another option would be to take the 69 bus which takes a similar route with the nearest stop being about five minutes walk away, just along the road.
The Kaknäs tower was completed in 1967 and is a major hub of Swedish television, radio and satellite broadcasts. The exterior of the tower looks quite ugly as it was not originally intended as an observation tower but was later converted for this additional purpose.
On the ground floor there is a gift shop and ticket booth, tickets cost SEK 70 (£6.00) for the lift to the 115 metre high observation deck on the 30th floor. There are both indoor and outdoor observation decks and as the weather was so nice we headed outdoors. The views were breathtaking, looking west we could see all of the city centre landmarks we had already visited and around the other side of the tower to the east there were superb views of the Stockholm archipelago. I think that the actual viewing area could have been made a little more attractive as it was surrounded in wire netting but I was able to poke my camera lens through the holes to record my visit.
Taking the steps down one floor we enjoyed a morning cup of coffee in the Sky Cafe which doubles as an indoor observation deck. The views were good as were our delicious morning pastries.
Leaving the observation tower it was only about a ten minute walk to a cluster of Stockholm’s smaller museums and as they offered free admission we had a look in a couple of them. The first was the Museum of Ethnography which features objects that were collected during 18th century expeditions and 19th century around the world voyages.
Built on a hillside in the museum garden is the only Japanese Tea House of the Nordic region. Following my Asian travels, I am very interested in tea ceremonies and was keen to look inside but sadly found that it is only open on Wednesdays during the summertime. We peered through the windows but were unable to see very much of its authentic interior.
A few steps further on we passed the Police Museum but decided to bypass this as we had seen the entrance sign to the National Sports Museum of Sweden (website only in Swedish) which was more to our liking.
This free museum contains exhibits on Swedish sports from ancient times up until today. I particularly enjoyed the gallery on the staging of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm and read with interest about the swimming races which were held outdoors. Competitors changed in tents and covered themselves in grease to help them keep warm as it was a long time before wet suits had been invented.
Other galleries included sportswear and equipment with one section focusing on the highs and lows of sporting activity from loss and pain, cheating and doping to the sweet taste of victory. In the Sports Lab we were able to experience competitive activities such as sprinting off the blocks, boxing and gymnastics. I tried the gymnastic rings but only momentarily managed to raise myself from the floor, probably due to a lack of technique and upper body strength!
Leaving the museum we wandered, slowly back through the park towards the Djurgården bridge. As the holiday has progressed this park has become one of my favourite places for a stroll. To one side there there are scenic waterside views through the reed beds and to the other, beautiful large, old villas and overseas embassies.
As we crossed the bridge we were ready for some lunch but rather than go to one of the crowded bars near there we opted to follow a path along the opposite bank to see what we could find. Tucked away in an elevated position overlooking the water we came across a pleasant cafe for some lunch. It was so peaceful sitting under a parasol on the cafe terrace that we stayed quite awhile but eventually raised the energy to move on.
Another ten minutes walk up a steep hill and we came quite by chance to the Rosendal Garden which was an absolute delight. We were in the middle of a park but it felt as if we were deep in the Swedish countryside. There were fields of vegetables, flowers, fruit and herbs as far as the eye could see.
Since 1983 the Rosendal Garden Foundation have run this market garden in order to widen public interest in gardening and landscaping. There’s also a farm shop and attractive greenhouse cafe with outdoor seating under the trees of the orchard. Both the shop and cafe were busy and it seemed a popular spot for locals to spend a Sunday afternoon. It’s definitely a place I’d like to return to someday, too. Following signposts through the park we eventually got back to a tram stop near Skansen and made our way back to our apartment in Solna.
We’d planned to eat in and I’d decided to buy a cooked chicken from the supermarket across the road. Every time I’d been in the shop they had lots of them but of course the only time I actually wanted to buy one, the rotisserie was turned off and empty, so we had to think again!
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