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:
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The day when we weren’t supposed to stay with any relatives came and… we had no plan. We only had one general idea: to avoid taking the train and stay in Skurup, keeping it relaxed. But what is there to do and see in a small town of barely 8,000 inhabitants?
I did a quick search on Google from my phone but it’s difficult to find any information in English. I found out there were a couple of museums. The first one was Johanna Museet, showcasing vintage stuff. It wasn’t too far from the house but the way to take seemed complicated, involving crossing a busy road. About the second one, I discovered that we had walked in front of it everyday on our way to the train station but it seemed like a regular old home to me, I could not understand if it was really a museum or not. The only other option left was to visit Svaneholm, right at the outskirts. We checked the bus schedule and planned on leaving around noon.
Having decided to go for a short walk around town before catching the bus, we left the house after our late breakfast and went along the usual pathway. The weather was beautiful once again, even better than on Tuesday. There was a pattern: rainy days alternating with amazing sunny days. I was hopeful that this was going to be a great day.
After reaching the town’s Systembolaget (where people buy their booze from), we took a different street from usual called Kyrkogatan. It’s a long street which leads to the town’s church (kyrka in Swedish, hence the street’s name). Along this street I saw a closed vintage shop with some amazing retro items in its windows. Too bad that it seemed to be closed for good. We walked on until we reached the railway and crossing on the other side, we stopped at a cafeteria called Conditori Centrum. We thought it would be nice to stop for a fika before leaving on our trip.
Matt wanted me to try a particular pastry called semla, a sweet bun cut from the top and filled with cream. It looked oh-so-delicious so I immediately accepted. We sat at a table in a nicely decorated corner and I tasted the semla. Oh my, the sweetness! It was better than the fancy pastries I’ve had in Malta. How do the Swedes manage to stay healthy with this thing around? I devoured it.
There wasn’t much time left for the bus to come. I managed to check the town’s library but we had no time to walk down to the church. So we turned back, reached the bus terminus and waited. And waited. I started to grow suspicious because I was expecting the bus to come before the scheduled time. This was Sweden after all, not Malta! We checked the schedule on the board. We got the correct time, alright, but there was a small logo directing to a small print which we had already read on the web but couldn’t quite understand. It seemed like you had to phone and book this kind of bus trip beforehand. I found it hard to believe. Was this a public transport or a taxi? However, with the bus still not in sight, it dawned on us that this was how it worked… at least for the bus to Svaneholm.
So we were stranded. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to give up. I checked Google Maps again. The way to follow seemed pretty easy and with a steady pace, we could reach our destination on foot in 30 minutes max. Given the nice weather and the energy that we still had, we went for it. We left the station and followed the route marked on Google. We took to a main street which had some nice houses. The air felt cool and crisp. I was really enjoying the walk. Eventually we reached the area of the ICA supermarket, meaning that as soon as we passed it, we would be on our way out of Skurup. Walking on and on, we saw an underpass and I understood that behind it was a curve leading to the road to Svaneholm. A road sign confirmed my thoughts too. We walked under the bridge and… the pavement stopped. There was nothing to walk on: only the road with cars whizzing by from both directions and fields on the side.
Where on earth had we ended up? We weren’t certainly lost, we were on the right track as indicated on Google Maps. But the app obviously did not show street pavements. There was a road sign warning against bicycles taking the road so Matt assumed that we also could not walk to the side. I tried to come up with solutions – like walking over the soil in the adjacent fields – but Matt refused. Thus we turned our tails and headed back home.
I was so disappointed and angry. It was the perfect day to spend in a forest. I missed the chance and thought that I wouldn’t get another one. We arrived home and rested in bed – by that point, we were definitely exhausted. After 5pm we went back out to look for a place for dinner. There was a kiosk close to a main road, facing a gas station, which we were always curious about so we headed there. Being a small kiosk, there was nothing fancy, just regular set menus of junk food. Matt went for the kebab and I opted for a sausage with fries and Boston gurka, a relish of pickled gherkins and red bell pepper. It might have been nothing out of this world but this kind of food is what I needed after such a disappointing day. While eating, Matt also taught me how to say it in Swedish: korv med senap, ketchup, bostongurka och pommes. Yum!
By the time we finished it was already dark. Back home, our hostess greeted us and as usual asked about our day. When we told her about our failed trip to Svaneholm, she refuted our theory and said that we could have kept walking on, as long as we faced the oncoming traffic. The debate ended with her saying that we might all go together to Svaneholm by car on Sunday morning.
That put me in a good mood. All there was left then was to keep my fingers crossed and hope for good weather!
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Friday was back to black, or rather to grey and rainy. Since our only plans for the day were to go to Malmö for Matt to get a haircut and then to visit Matt’s godfather for dinner, I thought that we would have the occasion to go to a park or somewhere else. However Matt definitely did not want to walk around in the rain and in his flimsy jacket. So we stayed inside all morning and only went out when it was time to leave Skurup.
Malmö was rainy as well and we tried to rush to the hair salon, which was situated in an area that we had already passed by on our way to Farmor’s earlier in the week. Amazingly, the hairdresser started working on Matt’s hair straight away. Such a difference from my experiences in Maltese salons, where I waste more than half of the time waiting. This time I only had to wait for Matt to be ready. Such an awkward wait. One of the hairdressers had a dog, a wire-haired dachshund named Link, who was aimlessly roaming the room. He came near me but barely gave me any attention; apparently he had just been to the vet. He was so cute.
When Matt was ready, we waited outside – under the canopy of a jewellery shop to shelter ourselves from the raindrops – for our hosts to pick us up. After the long ride back home, we did not have much time to relax until Matt’s godfather came to take us to his house, not too far away. He lives with his wife and young daughter in a secluded house in the middle of fields. Unfortunately it was completely dark at that moment, so instead of admiring the nature, I felt a little creeped out by the total darkness of the area. The modern decor of their house seemed like a huge contrast with the external ambience. The little one, just a toddler, was so cute. I was surprised that she seemed to like me as she kept coming to me, babbling happily. I wished I could understand her.
After a delicious dinner off the grill and some chill time, we were driven back to the house. I went to bed in a good mood, still thinking about the sweet blonde kid. Meeting her was probably the only highlight of my day. Too bad that the time spent together was so short. However we needed an early night because the day after would be a hectic one as we were going to be taken to Denmark by car. That meant that I was going to visit a new country (outside its airport). It was much more than I had expected from my stay in Sweden!
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Read the next post: