Kulturen

This open-air museum (the White House) in the heart of historic Lund is a collection of Swedish architecture from all eras. Some structures remain on their original sites while others were relocated and restored using authentic materials and techniques. The project began in 1882 at a time when the City was modernizing sewers etc, and so includes artifacts uncovered, dating from the Middle Ages. The indoor/ outdoor living museum now exhibits Swedish culture up to 1930.

While the indoor exhibits are closed, the grounds are open, so an area which is normally crowded with tourists is now easily accessible! I’ve been taking full advantage of the opportunity to walk there most days. The first building, known as Locus Peccatorum, was the site of an infamous murder.

Each building has an exhibit related to its time and place in history, such as the printing museum. The Deanery is one of the most interesting, with its medieval elements and historic moments that are attached to the place. It reminds me of visiting the Columbus house in Spain and seeing the actual furnishings used by his family. I’m really looking forward to the Elsa Beskow exhibit.

Exploring Kulturen has been a nice distraction while we wait for things to reopen. Hilary’s grade starts back to in-person next week. Covid rates locally fell by 40% over the last 2 weeks and Sweden tightened up borders, hoping to stop the UK strain. Waiting for Spring!

Ice on the streets (and in my heart)

With temperatures hovering just around freezing, and rain overnight, we skipped this morning’s walk. By the time I headed out on errands (pain meds and new toothbrush to assist Lily with her braces, poor kid), the sun was out and most ice had melted. Before sun up we heard lawn-mower-like sounds and assumed the city was de-icing streets. I think it was the machines that put down this nifty pattern of ice melt. I walked 2 miles and didn’t notice more than a couple of slippery patches. They were very thorough.

Lily walked to school because of the ice but it appears she would’ve been fine biking.

The pond ice must have melted in the rain yesterday and it wasn’t quite cold enough to refreeze. The swans seemed happy!

And some roses just won’t admit it’s winter!

This might be the last visit from Little Robin Redbreast because the condo association says we shouldn’t feed the birds anymore. We don’t think it’s worth the energy to pursue the matter, but it pisses me off.

I’m feeling quite anti- Sweden lately. They also moved forward with a plan to require Swedish language testing for citizenship. And this is under center left leadership. I hope they take note of what happens when fascist bullies go unchecked. It’s a slippery slope!

Winter

35 degrees today but with quite a strong wind at Lomma. It must have been pretty cold for the kite surfers!

In spite of the clouds, we could see the Turning Torso in Malmö pretty clearly and even a bit of the Oresund bridge. There were several ships visible as well.

Bryant will likely add some of his photos. It was so cold that I didn’t have my phone out for long! We walked out on the pier where we had an excellent view of the kite surfing. I was amazed at their speed and how high they could soar above the water.

I think we had some effects from Filomena. Mostly rain and some flakes that didn’t accumulate, unlike the unusual snow in Spain! Here are Laura and Marina, making the most of being stuck in Portillo due to dangerous roads.

And the swans at Stadsparken make channels through the ice. The sound is interesting, especially as they swim away at the beginning of the second video.https://www.minnesotanoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/img_6236.mov

https://www.minnesotanoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/img_6241.mov

Dinner and the castle grounds

After a few anxious minutes waiting outside, not quite sure if we were in the right place, we great doors opened and we were treated to warm glögg, live music and a self guided tour of the mansion. It featured a room built to accommodate a very large painting the owners had commissioned, which ended up being too big for their home in Gothenburg.

Then we were seated in the dining room and the traditional julbord buffet was served at our table as a covid precaution. I’m sure we tasted more dishes than we would have in a buffet- I wouldn’t have tried much herring. I liked the creamy horseradish version ok, but the smoked salmon was by far the best of that course!

We liked the lingonberry parfait best, but the the kids were tired and didn’t want us to take the option of a stroll around the grounds before dessert, so we were too full to properly appreciate dessert.

The next day we walked around the estate, which was filled with amazing naturalistic landscaping that felt natural but featured convenient hardscape. Benches, steps, statues and interesting rock formations led us to the best vistas and sheltered nooks. It was windy and muddy in the off season but wildly beautiful.

The bird migration station, where we saw swans and a few herons from a distance.

Tjolöholms Slott

Built by the wife of a British-Swedish aristocrat, who died just after building began, this castle has a relatively short history. The Dickson’s wanted a horse farm close to their Gothenburg home. They hired an architect and began construction in 1894, on a stretch of rugged coast just south of Gothenburg. It was a working port and farm which employed over 100 people. Today the “workers village” accommodates visitors. This is where we stayed in Mor Amanda’s Stuga. Just below the estate’s church, conveniently located to make sure the villagers had no excuse for lack of attendance.

More soon about dinner at the castle and exploring the grounds!

Vinterpromenade

No wind today so we drove to Lomma, just a few miles west, to enjoy a change of scenery. The shallow water with exposed sand bars means easy walking and lots to look at along the shore, with strips of sand that extend out into the water.

Yesterday we explored the outskirts of Lund and found yet another tiny community, knästorps, built around a church yard. The bishops garden has self pick kale still in season. We found a more pleasant route to the Hoje river and a bridge that crosses over the highway behind Tetra Pak which makes for a nicer walk to the å (also the word for river!)

Some gardens still have roses blooming! 40 degrees without wind makes for a very nice nearly vinter promenade.

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!