Kings Park

Spent the day in Malmö while Bryant took his driving hazards test. He’ll post about that interesting experience sometime!

Cloudy but warm, 53 degrees. A nice day to roam around, but the kids stayed home to clean their rooms

Malmö castle as it used to be…

And how it is today, with restorations

“Diana” sculpture (meant to look magical by moonlight) Some trees remain in Kungsparken from 1872 when it became the first public park in Malmö

Man and Pegasus (there is a copy in Iowa, too!)

Birds have been on the move lately. Saw a flock of about 10 trumpeter swans flying in a V formation. So cool to watch the swans land on ice!

These gray herons seem to have a nest near the windmill and they were staying close by.

And here are the old and new libraries just across from the park.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hardware Stores (and masks)

Yes, I have abandoned the “day count”. There’s a lot of them now (days) and they are starting to be a reminder of how long I have been away from the fam. Speaking of the fam, I have a ticket to go to the US on May 9, spend 2 weeks there getting ready for our move (since the house sold) and then we all come to Sweden on May 23. Hopefully. If the planes are flying.

Anyway, in order to prep for this (essential) travel, I needed to get set up with some kind of mask, both for myself and others. I looked all around for where some might be, and ended up finding hardware stores. So I went to one today. Swedol is a really big hardware store. It is kind of like a Northern Tool (for those in the upper mid-west). It was clean, had a huge selection of tools and stuff, and was nicely organized. It looked like all the tools were high-end brands, but seemed pretty reasonably priced. It was outside of the center of town, in a more industrial-y area, but it was still a short bike ride. Basically everything is a short bike ride here. I took some snaps of Swedol.

I found the masks, but they only had one kind of lightweight FFP2 or FFP3 mask left, and they were valved. Valved masks are more comfortable for the wearer because they let the moisture from your breath escape while blocking particles from entering. BUT, they do nothing to protect others from you as your (basically unfiltered) breath goes right out. Then I realized I was in a hardware store, and thought, “hell, I can MacGyver something here”. So I got some FFP3 filter inserts and some white electrical tape. I can tape over the valve, or tape an insert over the valve. I can also use the insert inside a t-shirt mask (which might be more comfortable). In any case, I think I am OK, and here is my Swedol haul:

Now I just hope the planes are flying.

Day 11 – Lördag

Nice clear, sunny Saturday today. So I decided to take a little trip out to Lomma. Lomma is a little seaside town about 10 km (6 miles) from Lund. I was going to bike it, and then decided I was lazy, so I took the bus.

But first I had to get to the bus stop, and that took me past Broder Jakob. Oh, darn.

The 139 shuttles between Lund Central and Lomma Central, with some local stops along the way. Total ride was about 15 min on the same Skånetrafiken app-based ticket that I use for the train. The bus was actually quite nice! Dropped me of in the center of Lomma, which is by the Library and the marina.

A short walk takes you past the marina and all the little shops that face it to the beach. Yup – “beach”. White sand that is shallow out for 100s of feet. Cool little breakwater and other stuff. I walked the whole beach north half way to Bjärred, and back. There’s a great little trail that runs along the whole south coast of Sweden, and this is a segment of it. You can also see Malmö from the beach pretty clearly, as well as the Öresund bridge that connects to Denmark. Here’s a small selection of pics.

Yes, I did stick my hand in the water. It was not as cold as I thought it would be, and also was not salty. Like, almost at all. Weird.

After checking out out the beach and watching a small regatta get set up, I got some coffee at this cafe and sat in the sun. Right where the arrow says so. Which was amaze-balls. Just saying. Also, you can sail up to the back of the library. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Bus back to Lund. At the hotel basically by noon, and I tipped over 16k steps. By noon. Now I’m going to sit on my butt and do some work.