Around the traps at Malmo
Trip Start Jun 29, 2005
235Trip End Nov 30, 2009
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So this time I did and despite the winter weather and thick fog that descended across the region as I headed south on the Swebus, it was a great short stay that I have to thank him profusely for.
The next time I come back, and I will, it shall be in summer when some truly beautiful landscape and natural attractions can be enjoyed to their fullest. Watch out mate!
Malmo is at the extreme south of Sweden, facing Denmark across a pretty narrow stretch of water that separates the Baltic and North Seas. No doubt a busy waterway both past and present. To survey the local sights, we initially headed through rolling and frost-blasted farmlands to the high ground where the 59 megaliths of Ales Stenar lay in wait.
This is a bizarre place sitting atop one of the higher points on the southern coastline. It also another example of how clever the ancient people of the world were. Intended mainly to resemble a large and frightening boat when viewed from the surrounding waters, it also apparently worked as a sophisticated timepiece and calendar. Lord knows how but it did. Unfortunately the only time it was telling us the the wind whistled through the stones was that it was time to head back down the hill - it's frigidly cold up there!
Next stop was the 100% official most southerly point in Sweden, 5km from Goran's home at a place called Smygehuk (the marketers better get onto that). A sign conveniently lets you know how far from various places it is and there's also a large storehouse building constructed during Napoleon's time, that has also been frequented by smugglers at various times as well as by more legitimate concerns. Finally you can also find a 19th century Lime Kiln and a 3,000+ year old burial mound called Balhog just alongside the marina. The waterfront would be nice in summer and there's certainly stuff to see, making this a popular holiday place when the sun shines bright.
Onwards and westwards to Trelleborg and Falsterbo - upmarket places that attract the moneyed of Malmo wanting to settle outside the city limits. The beach here is a must visit in summer - apparently the sands are incredibly white and stretch for kilometres with classy houses as far as the eye can see. The only downside is that the water is a little chilly even in summer if you want to take a dip.
The cutest part of a stop here is the bathing houses. These little changing shacks stretch as far as the beaches do apparently, hidden behind the dunes to separate them from the bathing area. Most are brightly decorated and are generally well maintained, which is not surprising considering that they trade like parking spaces or housing and some cost upwards of $40,000! This is how the Swedish yuppies live...
In the neighbouring village to Falsterbo I caught my first maypole and windmill of the trip, as well as the only Goose Crossing I think I've ever seen. Yep, pretty sure about that. Coincidentally, there's a restaurant just out of photo that offers tasty goose meals at special times of the year. Hmmm, funny that...
Malmo itself is an old town with a variety of interesting architecture that I won't bore the uninterested with, excepting the brand new and very controversial Turning Torso building designed by world famous architect Santiago Calatrava Valls (not sure if that's the guy or the company). Anyway, it is one odd building indeed, looking precariously top-heavy from some angles and definitely twisted enough to have earned the nickname 'The Twisted Dick'. Fog engulfed its heights that day but I did get a look at it in all its glory one night and I tell you I wouldn't want to be living up there, which was it's originally planned function (it's now for corporate rental).
The final stop of the day was a castle quite close to Goran's place - a working residence and restaurant these days but still pretty spectacular all the same. Swedish castles are quite unconventional in shape (from what I picture a castle to be anyway) but they dot the countryside in this region and no doubt played an important role in defense of the country during less neutral and more trying times.
Frost encrusted trees, not a common sight here in winter (as they require specific weather conditions to get that way), will be my final impressions of a wintry Sweden and northern Europe. Even in winter it is a strikingly beautiful place, but I must admit I'm having second thoughts about settling here after my travels - months and months of darkness and cold certainly take their toll...
A quick thanks once again to Goran the Terrible and his lovely wife Britt for taking care of me down here. Hope the bowling team does well this season and next time I visit we'll golf too - I'm looking forward to trying out some of the links courses you have down here.
Next entry -> Red lights in Copenhagen
Words from the Wise #50
"You are only as young as your fears and as old as your confidence."