Bjärred: Skåneleden trail

Both kids have lots of activities now so it’s hard to travel on the weekends. Luckily we are still finding new places close to home. I convinced the fam to try another section of the Skåneleden trail, the same one I hiked while they were camping. The giant beech tree near the Saltsjöbads (salt lake bath) helped get them excited about the adventure, and they also explored the playground. Climbing stuff is fun! And they tested their balancing skills on a few interesting play structures.

L is very much going to enjoy the Cold Bath House, though she wasn’t up for a spontaneous visit. This one has a sauna and hot tub, plus a nice restaurant. It’s quite a long pier- 600 meters. This apple tree looked out of place growing right by the beach.

We tried to get out as much as possible this weekend to enjoy the lovely weather. I’ve been trying to photograph the sunflowers on a sunny day and finally managed at least a bit of sun! The city of Lund plants some areas of land with sunflowers or fruit trees, berries, grapes and such for residents to gather. This field is down by the highway.

Kanot (Canoe) Camping

The kids and I went on a canoe camping trip this weekend with the Gouldeks. We went to Lake Immeln in Skåne. See the red pin here:

We got there on Friday afternoon, but had a mix-up with communications with the outfitter, who thought we would be there at 11:00, when we got there at 15:30. In the end, it was OK, and we had boats, PFDs, paddles, and a fire pan (since lots of areas really discourage ground fires). We also had to get some firewood. That turned out to be a bit interesting as I needed to run to an ICA to get it, and nobody there spoke english. So, I had to figure it out (but I did), and the woman at the check out just took me in, much to the chagrin of all the elder Swedes standing in line already! In any case, we were off!

We found a nice island with good sites for tents and hammock!

On our middle day, we did some exploration of neighboring islands, but it was really windy and we had some hard paddling to get around and back to camp! I did not take any pictures of that – I was too busy!

And, of course, the day we left was calm, sunny, and pleasant. Why is it always like that?

Bonus Sommar

We tried to squeeze in as much outdoor time as possible during this streak of amazing weather in Skåne.

Here is our hike on a section of Skåneleden Trail near Barsebäck strand, site of a 6,000 year old settlement, now preserved as pastureland, restored with native plants. The 1712 Stenbock’s ramparts were maintained (but never used) so the land wasn’t farmed or developed.

Stenbock’s rampart in the background, built circa 1712 to protect the coastline

Bry had yet another birthday celebration when friends invited us to Malmö for lunch. I didn’t get many photos… but we were treated to some yummy ice cream and had a nice outing together. We also ate out a couple times in Lund now that covid cases are very low. Finally were able to get reservations at the Skissernas Museum restaurant offering a twist on traditional Swedish ingredients. The kids didn’t love it, but they were good sports. It was fun trying new things. Lots of unusual flavors, most of which were a hit. Bry and I loved all of it. Better for date night than a family meal perhaps.

And we went to the Falsterbo Bird Show where I joined the Swedish Ornithological Society and a women’s bird watching group that meets in Lund. We watched Red Kites and Honey Buzzards (up to 1000 per day during this week each year) while an announcer called out tips and sightings (in Swedish) over a loud speaker- it was a blast! They say it’s one of the best places to watch migration in all of Europe. We didn’t know to bring chairs and kaffe, ha!

Then to the apple orchard for lunch…one of my favorite places. And we got our first batch of apples and bottled juices. Finally had my coffee because we could not find a cup anywhere in Falsterbo. All the birders brought their own thermos. We even tried the grocery store (which opens at 8:15) but no luck. Oh yes, L got her glasses and tried special contact lenses which might result in better vision, but she needs another appointment to practice getting them in on her own.


After a summer of R and R plus a confidence boost from her latest theatrical success, Lil returns to ISLK tomorrow, eager for independence and feeling ready to go back to a familiar space with familiar faces.

She says it’s fine with her that Hil graduated from ISLK and will be going to Secondary School (like high school or university prep) at Katedralskolan. This school is also in Lund, a bit closer to our house but in the opposite direction of ISLK.

Though it was founded as the Cathedral school in 1085 by the Danish King Canute the Saint, it is a public school and no longer affiliated with the church. Read more about Katedralskolan here.

There are fewer nerves this year, even for H, because she has several friends who are in the same diploma program.

There are six “schools” housed at Katedralskolan, so even though there are 1500 students, it probably won’t feel too big, especially compared to Central High in Saint Paul which had 3,000 kids.

We are all looking forward to seeing inside these historic buildings, alas, coronavirus restrictions are limiting any unnecessary visits. But I might find a good reason to go over there soon!

A Grave in Grove

Remember when they were replacing the stairs to part of the cathedral and discovered a mysterious corpse last Fall?! The new staircase is finished, and now I’m wondering if archaeologists have learned anything more about the man who was buried beneath. I’m booking a tour of nearby Uppåkra, a major dig near Lund, where I may be able to find out more about it.

Lund translates to Grove, so that is the name that comes up whenever we translate a web page into English. Strangely, it appears in the “L”section of any pull down menu or list, even though it reads “Grove”…Not much new to add to this story, but the construction project on the back of the cathedral finished over the summer so we now have new views to admire sans portable offices and heavy equipment!

We had drinks at the Cathedral Wine Bar just across the street . Fantastic people watching and the traffic noise wasn’t too bad even though it’s on a major bus route. We also discovered fresh currants, which I’ve seen at the farmers market but hadn’t tried yet. They make a nice cocktail!

Vandrings i Söderåsen

(Hiking in Söderåsen national park)

Finding myself with a (mostly) free day, I decided to go back to Söderåsen. Jen and I had hiked there last fall, and I wanted to see it in the summer. It was REALLY nice.  For those that want the geographic placement, we live in Lund (blue dot) and the park is the green tree marker in the middle. It is about a 45 min drive from the house.

Last time, Jen and I hiked an easy trail of about 4km, with only a bit of grade. We were rewarded with nice views from Kopparhatten. It was the yellow trail marked below. Today, I took the blue trail up the other side of the valley – about twice the distance at 7,7km.

Full map here.

The trail in the bottom of the valley was very nice – super shady and the sound of water rushing all the time, with a nice boardwalk for most of it.

When the blue trail split off from the yellow, however, I got 500m of this. It was kind of brutal!

I finally got to the top of the valley and stopped to make some lunch at the Liagården camp area (def coming back here for backpacking!). I just had some ramen and crisp bread, but it was nice to get out the kit and boil some water. I am including a selfie in these pics so that Jen does have to look only at landscapes! 😀

That bottom-right pic is a thin finger of land with a steep drop on both sides. It feels a bit like a ships prow, but it does have awesome views at the end!

Island of Ven: Mors Dag 2

We lucked out with one of Sweden’s Top 10 Weather Days of 2021, I’m sure. Sunny and warm with a very light breeze. Caught the 10 a.m. ferry from Landskrona to Ven where we had a little snack at the harbor, then rented 2 tandem bikes and headed out to tour the island.

It was the best mother’s day ever! The riding was pretty easy after a bit of practice. Lily went swimming while I hiked a section of the Skåneleden Trail. We had ice cream, rhubarb cake, sandwiches and delicious pizzas. Next time I’m going to sign up for Alpaca Trekking!!! Enjoyed the Island’s history and the fascinating Tycho Brahe Museum.

The entire island can be covered on 12 km of road/trail. The scenery is spectacular, but I didn’t even get most of the views because it’s impossible to take pictures from a tandem bike! I’d like to go again and stick to hiking. But the kids loved the biking, and I know that a day like today doesn’t come often to the “Isle of Hven”

The ferry is a fun adventure in itself, at least in good weather. It takes about 30 minutes, and it’s possible to see all the way to the Öresund Bridge and Turning Torso in Malmo, Helsingborg and Landskrona up the coast of Sweden plus across to Denmark where even Helsingor and Elsinore Castle are visible. It’s still high on my list once we can travel to Denmark. I chatted briefly with a group of Spaniards from Lund University (heard them mention Minneapolis so I had to say something) Such a great day!

Flowering Raps Fields

The countryside is gorgeous right now, with bright yellow rapeseed in bloom. I didn’t know until recently that raps oil, which is very popular in Sweden, is just canola oil!

The best views seem to be in places that are difficult to access from the highways along the coast, but even around Lund there are some impressive vistas.

American friend, Brandie, and I stopped by an orchard to try traditional äggakaka, a sweet and savory egg bake with bacon and apple. She says sometimes it’s more like a baked pancake, but I didn’t like this version much because it was a sweet quiche. “Lemonade” means juice, and grape lemonade is grapefruit flavored juice.

The photos above are from Råby, just to the east of Lund, bird sanctuary in the foreground.

Brandie and I explored up the coast a bit to a town called Barsebäck and found some places to revisit. Most of the villages are very seasonal. Only open in summer, so I might miss them entirely this year since we’ll be back in MN by then!

Sofiero Castle in Helsingborg

was a summer royal palace, just across the Öresund from Denmark at the narrowest point. In the top picture below, the little darker grey rectangle is the castle at Helsingør Denmark, better known as Elsinore from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

King Oscar collected rhododendron from around the world and took advantage of the brook and ravine to establish unusual varieties.

While Margareta developed the rest of the grounds with many kinds of gardens, including an enchanted forest which made a nice photo op for Jen Jill.

One lovely, wooded section features “sounds” most naturally provided by birds and wind. The blackbirds cooperated astonishingly well by singing near their sign as if on cue.

A magical, musical soundtrack added another element to the sculpture garden. You can hear the violin music in the clip below, just complementing the rushing water of the creek.

Valborgsmässoafton Walpurgis

Lund is employing multiple strategies to stop large gatherings in local parks tonight. Saint Walpurgis night, originally a pagan, equinox (Beltane) festival turned folk fest, with singing and bonfires has in recent decades become a huge party for students who have just completed their Spring exams. Lund has possibly the largest (unsanctioned) party in the country. Authorities have been preparing for weeks. This letter from ISLK seemed unnecessary for an elementary/ middle school, but the kids say staff has been posted on the grounds in shifts all day to prevent gatherings. Maybe they learned the hard way.When I walked through town this morning, there were already big parties starting on the balconies. There are lots of bike cops out and bars close at 8pm so I imagine they will keep students from leaving private housing. Last year’s chicken poop on the grass didn’t seem to be enough, and this year they’ve added more barricades.

The grown ups are certainly hoping for rain!

Imagine 25,000 visitors in Lund (population 91,000) on the same night. The line for alcohol purchases has been around the block all day for the last 3 days. Maybe that means people plan to stay home. If not, I think the local gardens would be at risk!

The May Day parades and big events for organized labor are cancelled, obviously. Glad I made it to the farmers market today just in case!.