Here I am writing about my impressions on my first trip to Sweden with my boyfriend Matt, which occurred between end of February and beginning of March 2015. We stayed in the county of Skåne (Scania): Malmö, Skurup and the surroundings; while also visiting Copenhagen in Denmark.
Read the previous posts:
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Peeking through the blinds on Tuesday morning revealed the best weather we had witnessed in Skurup since our first day in Sweden. The forecast for the day also looked promising. I went out of the house feeling elated because it meant that I would visit a nature park in Malmö and take nice, sunny pictures of it.
This time, I had the window seat on the train so to take photos of the different scenes we passed by. Most of what I saw was fields, trees and lonely cabins. Naturally, some photos did not come out good while being on the move. But I did manage to take some good ones when nearing the stop at stations and I also took a better look at the IKEA in Malmö Svågertorp (maybe someday I will go inside).
At the Triangeln station, I took photos of the decor and the futuristic installations, before we exited and took the opposite direction of the day before. Our destination was Pildammsparken, just a short walk from the station.
This huge park – the largest in the city – was built around the lake Pildammarna for the Baltic Exhibition in 1914. I was in awe as soon as I stepped in through the entrance. I was greeted by the bright blue lake, with several gulls and ducks around it. I had never seen so many birds all in one place. To the left side, there was the prominent Pildammstoret (Water Tower), which remained my point of reference in photos as we walked idly around the lake. It is the perfect place to have a peaceful stroll or a jog, surrounded by nature.
As we walked around a big part of the lake, we met the separate gangs of ducks and gulls. The gulls actually gave me a creepy feeling, there were too many of them! After passing the gulls, we reached the entrance to the rose garden dedicated to Queen Silvia. We entered through a spiral tunnel adorned with trees and leaves. I felt like I was entering the Secret Garden! On the left side, there was the Margaret Pavillion. We climbed up on a high part to take in the view of the entire garden. The symmetry of it, which kind of reminded me of royal gardens in France, was immensely pleasing to the eye. From our advantageous position, we only had to turn and take a few steps to view the big amphitheatre. A handful of joggers were running up and down the stairs. In the warmer months, there are various musical and cultural activities organised here in the park.
We walked back to the lakeside to see more gulls. One of them was sitting on the snow warning sign and I thought it was funny so I captured him in one of my photos. We kept walking around the lake’s perimeter till we arrived below the water tower, which is now an art gallery. We didn’t go inside but kept walking by the lake, meeting three geese on the way. Almost in the middle of the lake, there is a small island where two beautiful swans took refuge from curious tourists. That was the end of my tour in Pildammsparken. I left with a fluttering heart and a phone with more than a hundred photos (and an alarmingly low battery percentage).
Since it was already afternoon and we were supposed to go to Farmor’s for dinner, we did not have time to visit other parks. I kept my hopes high for a possibility of visiting other parks later in the week. We walked back to Triangeln station, past St. John’s Church – where Matt’s farfar (paternal grandfather) was baptised – and we ended up again at the Triangeln mall. Precisely at the Espresso House where this time I opted for a hot cappucino, while we waited for the time to leave for Farmor’s apartment.
We reached her house at around 3 p.m., after walking by Matt’s old school. She wasn’t there so we sat on the stairs waiting, while hoping not to meet any neighbours (in Sweden, you don’t have to be chummy with neighbours… if you avoid them, it’s better). She came after almost 10 minutes, together with Matt’s cousin who was also invited for dinner. Farmor greeted me with a hug, which is a common way to greet friends and relatives. I was already warming up to this familiarity.
There were long chats in the living room while dinner was cooking. Most of the conversations were in Swedish. The cousin is a really nice girl but unfortunately not very fluent in English. We had stew for dinner, something which I generally avoid but on this occasion I did not mind. I was proud of myself for not being fussy about food! After dinner, we went back to the living for the customary fika time, until it was close to 6 p.m. Farmor then drove us to the train station. Back in Skurup, this time we did not lose our way and we were home after a short while.
I was extremely pleased of the day we had. It was the day that any tourist would want: sunny, with lots of sightseeing and nature. I was falling deeply in love with Malmö. It’s not only a vibrant cosmopolitan city but it also nestles some precious natural spots amongst its urbanness.
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Wednesday was to be a quiet day. The weather was back to gloomy and rainy. Thus visiting other parks in Malmö was out of the question. Our only plan for the day was to meet Matt’s mother and his little brother, but that wouldn’t occur until 5 p.m.
So we stayed at home in Skurup for longer. I admit that I was dismayed because I felt like I was losing an opportunity for more sightseeing. But Matt was tired and he certainly didn’t need to do sightseeing, therefore it was best to relax and take advantage of the day that was not packed with plans like the previous ones.
A little after noon, we left Skurup by train and this time we stepped off at Central station, the one I had visited on Saturday. This station is different from Triangeln. First of all, they were projecting a film on the walls which I thought was cool. The decor in the station is also more traditional. Matt needed the bathroom and I thought it would be better to pay a visit myself. We discover that you need to pay 10kr (a little more than a Euro) to use the toilet. I passed and just waited for Matt outside, where there were some old-looking colorful trains.
We went to check the bus schedule and hopped on the right bus just in time! The bus, like the train, was quiet and immaculate. The complete opposite of the Maltese buses! It took around 10 minutes to reach Mamma‘s neighbourhood. There was still an hour of free time so we went to one of Matt’s favourite places for dinner, Pizzeria Tornet. It’s a very small place, more for take-aways than sit-ins. I had chicken kebab and it was the best thing I ever had! The chicken was so tender and succulent and the salad and fries were fresh and crisp. I wished I could sit there for an hour and enjoy the meal slowly but there wasn’t much time to spare. And anyway, the chicken was so good that I couldn’t help but eat fast!
By the end of the meal there was a heavy shower so we had to walk under the umbrella towards Mamma’s. It was just a couple of minutes away and we also passed by Matt’s old apartment. I saw his little brother smiling through the window before leaving to open the door for us. He is so cute but so shy, he barely talked to me. Mamma is nice, quite a cool ‘girl’ for her age. We stayed there for a while and had fika before we left for the young one’s bandy training.
Bandy is a variation of hockey, usually played on ice. In this case, the kids were playing in an indoor gym, with plastic sticks and a light ball. The training lasted for almost two hours. I enjoyed watching and taking lots of photos and videos, to have a memory of Lil’ Bro. When the training was over, Mamma drove us back to the Central station. It was sad to have had just a short time with them and most of it was taken by the training.
At the station, Matt needed the bathroom again and this time I couldn’t resist. When I entered the toilette, I was shocked. It was the prettiest bathroom I’d ever seen, complete with plants and exotic background music. No wonder they make you pay for it. I could eat and live inside that bathroom!
Thus we went back home, a bit heavy-hearted because of the short time spent with Mamma and Lil’ Bro, and the lack of sightseeing and good weather for me, but I couldn’t complain too much. The day after would be the only one we had without familial obligations! We hoped it would be a great day.
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