Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The province of Skåne was once part of Denmark, but it was one of several that was handed over to Sweden a few centuries before my ancestor Sven was born in Malmö in c.1857. On previous occasions whe I have mentioned my Swedish heritage to Swedes, they would ask where exactly ... Malmö ... (roll of eyes) ugh, practically Danish!!
Prior to landing in Malmö we had some short business in Helsingborg, an attractive city within sight of Denmark and Hamlet's Elsinore.
It was quite a warm day, the warmest that I can recall since we were in Warsaw in April. The city centre is perched between the harbour and a high fort with a park overlooking it all.

Bondi and I crashed out beneath a tree, until a trio of very young girls came over to inspect us. One of them was very determined to communicate and wasn't going to let her small English vocabulary (grass, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, ...) and my doubly meagre Swedish interfere with that!

Once she had established (1) that I was an idiot; and (2) Bondi was probably safer to deal with than me, she patted him a few times then asked us to move away so that she and her partners could climb the tree we were lying under. Yes miss, three bags full miss!
Prince of (H)elsin(gb)or(g)
Shortly after our eviction, it was time to meet a far mellower local, Camilla, reporting on our travels for Hundsport, magazine of the Swedish Kennel Club, with whom we had a lovely 3 hour conversation, interspersed with some photo shoots by the harbour.

Malmö was only 40 minutes drive further on, and our hotel was well placed near the central pedestrianised zone.  Having expected to find a modernised herring port, I was more than gratified to discover an amiable small city full of cafes, design centres, a really good CD store and many surprising little flourishes of sculpture, art-nouveau architecture rounded out with lots of greenery.

This was the city where Ingmar Bergman was director of the local theatre and discovered much of the talent (Max von Sydow et al) who were to populate his films in coming decades.

I loved this set of scultpures, it reminds me of Krazy Kat.
At last! An Oddfellows building that actually looks the part.
Lilla Torget

In the evening, squares such as Lilla Torget come alive as bars and restaurants fill. I am often reminded of Amsterdam, particularly with the swarms of bicycles used by all.





Lilla Torget (looking in opposite direction) around 11pm

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