Saturday, June 14, 2014

Holiday in Sweden - Day 2 (Malmo and Beyond)

I slept like I’d been drugged! Almost 11 hours sleep for me is unusual, so it’s either the fresh Swedish air or that funny tasting night-cap last night :)

The weather forecast here for today is warm rather than hot - but at least it’s dry!

BBC Weather forecast for Malmo 14 June 2014
Scorchio! (ish)

As far as the planned boat-trip is concerned, mentioned yesterday, we might leave it until later today - or even tomorrow, depending on how we get on with today’s attractions. After a lightish breakfast we headed off to the Station. We found a different route there today, and it DID feel more like the advertised 150 metres!!

First on the itinerary is going to be Helsingborg, then Landskrona and finally Lund. Off we go then!

They were all easily accessible by train, so all we had to do was master the rail-ticket machine again. Trying to buy a return ticket back to Malmo, seemed to be an impossible option, so we settled for buying the tickets in stages - and then repeated the process for the return journey. Sorted!

The train was on time and we were treated to very wide and scrupulously clean carriages with free wi-fi for everyone (are you listening Midland Mainline?)

Spotless!

We were soon in Helsingborg, and soaking-up the local sights and sounds. It was turning into a beautifully warm day, although the place wasn’t particularly busy for a Saturday.









Scenes around Helsingborg

..and then our first physical challenge for the day was walking to the Castle. It was quite a yomp from the station, and the summit sat at the top of (what seemed like) a gazillion steps - still, it was worth it, just for the view alone!


The View from the Top (Phew!)

Then it was back down the steps and to the harbour where we took a pit-stop in a local coffee shop. Convinced that we’d now walked-off breakfast, we treated ourselves to a mini-muffin and a latte each - and soaked up the sun for half-an-hour or so.

Then, it was back on the train and off to our next stop - Landskrona. On arrival, we weren’t entirely sure where the centre of town was, but we took a guess on the general direction and decided to walk all the way in, rather than grab a cab! It was a pretty walk too - most of the kerbside was carpeted with cornflowers and poppies - Nice!


Fifteen minutes later, and feeling rather smug that we’d actually WALKED the whole way, we took a look round the town. It was very pretty and there were now more people wandering around. A vibrant place with plenty going on!



Scenes around Landskrona

The highlight of the town was the Castle - one of the few MOATED castles in Sweden. We attempted to join a guided tour but the Guide spotted us as the hangers-on, and encouraged us not to follow any further! Drat!!!!










The Castle at Landskrona

We were now all ‘cultured-out’ and having soaked up so much of the local surroundings, it was time to soak-up something more liquid! We found a nice Bar in the town and fed and watered ourselves accordingly.




Note the Salad and the Water! - my contribution to a healthier diet!

Suitably stuffed, we headed back to the Station - and in order to ensure we felt even more righteous, we WALKED all the way back too. Best of all, we weren’t passed by any bus at all, so, by the time we arrived, we were feeling pretty smug!!

Back on the train again for our last call of the day, the university town of  Lund, and by now, our feet were telling us it was nearly ‘game over’ - but we persevered and WALKED in search of the Cathedral (our main reason for visiting the town). Luckily, with its two towers it was east to spot from a distance - but when we got there, it was closed for a wedding!! Doh!!




The Cathedral in Lund

We assumed that the wedding wouldn’t go on for too much longer, so we wandered around the town, looking at this and that, killing time admiring the architecture.



Scenes around Lund

We found a nice Square and settled down for some more sun-worshipping before we both had a hankering for an ice-cream. Luckily, in the absence of an ice-cream van (I don’t think they exist in Sweden), we spotted a McDonalds with a big poster for their McFlurries. In keeping with local tradition, and sampling local foods, we attacked our McFlurry Ballerinas (no, I’ve no idea why they’re called that either!) with some vigour. The day was now even hotter, so the ice-cream went down a treat!

We wandered back to the Cathedral, to find it now fully open - and the extra bonus of a choir practising near the altar.
 
Inside the Cathedral at Lund

The other attraction of the Cathedral was its Astronomical Clock. Some 10 foot tall and full of detail that unfortunately was impossible to bring-out in the dimly lit Cathedral.


The Astronomical Clock

With our visit to the Cathedral over, our feet were now telling us it was time for home. We arrived back at the Station, bought our return ticket - and then found that the whole place was in chaos, with most trains cancelled due to engineering works - a stark reminder that the UK doesn’t have the monopoly on this sort of disruption. Luckily we did find ONE train going back to Malmo - and it looked like half the population of Sweden had the same idea as us! The train was heaving! Still, it was only a short journey and we were soon hobbling our way back to the hotel.

It’s been a great day. We’ve done more walking today that we would normally do in a month - and excluding our feets’ opinion - it felt great, if somewhat knackering! The weather has been FAB! Contrary to the forecast, it must have hit 24-25 in the afternoon, and with a gentle breeze, it was perfect for sight-seeing and walking! (honest!)

We’re planning a lazier day tomorrow, so maybe we’ll squeeze in that boat-trip after all!!!