First snow

It seems that winter is coming, even though it will be milder than MN.

My basil gave up and even the mints aren’t looking great.

The grassy areas, trees, shrubs and cars were coated this morning, though it did not stick to pavement.

Only a trace remained by afternoon. Thought I’d document the change in the south esplanade, my route to the park and the border of the old part of Lund Central.

Here’s where I often park my bike before the narrow cobblestone streets begin. We live .5 mile south of the esplanade, which is usually a main artery, with flea markets and lots of pedestrians.

The lights are making it more pleasant to get out for a walk. This is Bantorget, near the train station and Grand Hotel. Lily is looking forward to trying out the mini skating rink which is open through February this year. Unfortunately the main rink is closed for COVID.

This is part of Vinterlund, the municipality winter programming. More on that in December, I suppose!

Måkläppen

Today’s outing was to a nature reserve near Falsterbo, where birds and seals are protected. It’s an island/ peninsula only accesible November through January, so in spite of the 25 mph winds, we headed out.

Starting at the light house, it takes about an hour trekking along the shore line to reach the end of the peninsula.

We enjoyed the fresh air and ocean views but didn’t get to see any seals today. A flock of swans in the tidal pools allowed us to get quite close!We’ll watch the weather and hope for a clear day without so much wind, then try to go earlier in hopes of seeing gray and harbor seals. The area has remains from hunter gatherers, including 8,000 year old stone tools from the Kongemose culture.

Ales Stenar och Ystad

Started my 50th birthday with breakfast at the Grand Hotel, a Lund landmark from 1899.

Then off to the coastal town of Ystad and nearby Ales Stones, like Stone Henge but not so big or ancient.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ale%27s_Stones

The village, Kåseberga, is adorable and we’ll try to go back another time. It’s a nice walk with beautiful views, though it was cloudy so we couldn’t see far.

Did a bit of Outlander reenactment since I was dressed for the part!

Had a delicious lunch at a local seafood spot, and then headed to Ystad where we walked on the beach. Saw some unusual mushrooms up on the headland.

We even had some sun while at the beach! Found smooth stones for painting and enjoyed the scenery. Made it back before dark for my virtual parties with friends and family. There was even enough time to unwrap my 50!!! gifts from Cobber friends plus more 🎁 from family. I couldn’t ask for a better day. 🥰

Mårtensgås

November 11 (or evening of the 10th) southern Sweden celebrates the goose harvest with a feast.

The kids had the day off from school so we decided to celebrate in memory of my Swedish/Danish Grandpa Augeson, who loved roasted goose, potatoes and vinegar cream cabbage.

The most interesting part of the story, and the reason for the “gås” of Sankt Mårten, is that the geese are slaughtered for their betrayal -exposing Martin’s hiding place in the goose pen with their crazy cackling! Martin was trying to avoid being made the new bishop because he preferred a solitary, monastic life, but the miracles he was rumored to have performed made him in demand. And the geese pay the price for his unwise choice of hiding place! The feast also marks the start of a 40 day pre-Christmas fast, which later became Advent. This is when people begin decorating for the Holidays. Lund will have 3 large trees like this one in the aptly named Mårtenstorget.

Several of Bryant’s coworkers said that this year is the first time they’ve ever cooked a goose; due to covid they weren’t able to go out for the traditional dinner at a restaurant.

We also made the traditional Apple Charlotte, which is a European version of crisp, using bread as the crust. It had a pound of butter and is served with whipped cream. The little jar and the Pyrex measuring cup are both filled with fat rendered from the goose. The recipe says I now have enough to last through winter. Bryant says this dinner might cause gout!

Día de los Muertos i Lund

Much local excitement this past weekend of All Saints and Souls, when construction workers made a discovery while working on a project to improve drainage around Lund Cathedral. It’s been rainy and gloomy, so this story does seem to fit. It’s not quite as dark as my view of humanity after nearly half the US voted to allow a tyrant and his cronies to continue their assault against democracy. Anyway…

Here is the front of the Dom Kyrka from sunnier days, my tour in September.

And here is the work site at the back. The potential for water damage has been an issue since the beginning (there are various theories about why this spot was chosen, since it’s in the path of rains running toward the river out to sea) and many efforts have been made over the centuries to keep water away from the foundations. Archeologists are on site whenever they dig since there are often important finds to document. Local candlelight ceremonies for All Souls were cancelled due to Coronavirus.

And here is a photo from the newspaper, which says the sandstone coffin with an intact skeleton is from the Middle Ages. Two graves have been found under the staircase when it was removed.

Gothenburg

Autumn break for school and work so we headed to Göteborg for 2 nights, to see the Lights of Alingsås and whatever else caught our attention. It wasn’t our best trip- weather was crummy, places were busy, so we didn’t feel comfortable being inside. No museums. Just a few quick meals at off hours. Mostly we walked around in the rain. The kids bailed after only a few of the light exhibits! We previewed some places we’d like to see post covid and in better weather, including a castle en route, where we have “traditional Christmas dinner” reservations for Dec 20th.

Mysa, the Swedish Hygge

I’m starting to get ready for our first winter in Sweden. The kitchen window needed something, and I think these stickers did the trick- they give the feeling of real plants! The autumn planter is filling in nicely and should tolerate winter temps. While the ginkgo survived transplanting, it’s not turning gold.

There are so many little streets and pathways that I’m still finding lots of interesting views of Lund. Here are a few new places.

Found a grocery store in the neighborhood that opens earlier. It’s inside a courtyard and off the beaten path, so I bet it will be less crowded. It might be worth walking/biking a bit farther.

Kanelbullens Dag

Stores are mostly closed on Sunday but our new favorite bakery opened especially for the occasion. In spite of the rain, I headed out at dawn to fetch fresh buns. It was surprisingly pleasant, very quiet, with no wind.

We’re into the rainy season so we tested Hilary’s back up plan for getting to her horseback riding class by taking the city bus. It was pretty crowded- I’m hoping we don’t have to use that option much. She really likes the class so far but didn’t want her family to go in with her 😢

Also tried a new coffee shop across from the Krognoshuset -oldest house in Lund.https://www.guidebook-sweden.com/en/guidebook/destination/krognoshuset-oldest-house-lund

We think the bricked-over windows might be due to the wealth tax on windows. But it’s just a guess. It houses a gallery/ museum but isn’t open during covid times.

I’ve been trying to get the blue tits to feed at our yard without attracting the sparrows, magpies and jackdaws. Above is the one decent photo I got of a juvenile blue tit. Its plumage gets brighter with age. Also took Hillary to look for “senior” photo locations since she graduates from Comprehensive school next June. They don’t make a big deal of it though, since it’s followed by 3 years at upper secondary school (Diploma Program) She likes the horse park, of course!

Sölvesborg

While Bryant and kids have been canoe camping, I explored a tourist town nearby. The season ends with the start of school so I mostly enjoyed the scenery. 30,000 steps worth!

Magpie Inkcap fungus, a few of the many kinds of mushrooms I saw in the beech forest.

The ruins of a 13th century castle made for an interesting morning.

And the new sheriff’s residence, built beside the one that was destroyed to prevent invaders from making use of it.

There’s even a moat, formal gardens and “modern” outbuildings from the early 1800’s. The king would have had a fantastic view of the bridge!

Only parts of the church remain from medieval times.

And I checked on the moon jellies before heading back to Hotell Edgar.

Quite a fancy train station, still very much in use. Trains are frequent and I found myself with groups of pedestrians waiting to cross the tracks several times.

This photo is from the stairs that cross above the tracks. We had lovely fall weather and the campers are star gazing tonight.

I’ve been trying to block out news but the hotel owner is from Canada, and he wanted to express his sympathy for America’s great loss. He is a big RBG fan so there was no avoiding the sad news.

This was one of my favorite photos from our visit to the National Portrait Gallery.

Hiding in the Hedges

Hedges are a big deal here in Sweden. They are everywhere. Formed from almost any plant you can think of and in a huge variety of shapes! Some are free-form, but most are trimmed and shaped to some degree. Hedges are often shaped to accommodate mailboxes, trash and recycling bins, doorways, light posts etc.

And today I spent a long while in the meditation maze hedge at Stadsparken. It’s a massive wall of thick green hedge from the back side. It doesn’t look so impressive, but inside it’s quite calming and more elaborate than it appears.

One of Hillary’s classmates tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday. So I was pondering our options.

And last night Bryant saw an actual wild hedgehog on his way home from the train station! No photo, but I’m on the hunt.