Friday, August 05, 2011

SWEDEN Båstad of Skåne

Munson at Nivå 125 gallery cafe

For me, another purely indulgent morning here on the Swedish riviera, taking in the last of the largest towns in this part of Skåne. And because I know I will get email if I don’t do it enough I’ve put a nice big picture of Munson’s indulgent morning on the deck of Nivå 125 gallery/cafe looking over the coastline below:

View from Niva125 cafe
2011-08-04 SWEDEN Bastad

All these coast towns are quite old, usually of the order of a millennium, but Båstad’s modern day fame stems from its hosting of the Swedish Open tennis tournament since 1948.  When we chugged into town about 8.30 this morning, the only thing going on seemed to be young tennis and floorball ( a domestic variety of indoor hockey) players going about their morning training.

The week of the tennis event has brought another form of notoriety to the town: the rich scions of Swedish monied families bring their fabulously expensive cars into town to show-off and park them with fabulously careless abandon wherever they want because they can afford to.

It wasn’t till after 10am when the tourist office opened that I found out where I could buy coffee in town. Despite all these eager beaver tennis players running around, most of the espresso joints don’t open till 11am. ELEVEN!!!! I nearly drove back to Ängleholm for some nuclear-powered espresso.

After 11 we found our way up to a hamlet above the town where Nivå 125 sits, giving you the large territorial views that flat low-lying Skåne is otherwise short on.
Munson car window
Finally, a little shot of the leisure hound in the rear of the car, completely blissed out on the passing smells. I’ve been trying to get a good picture of this for such a long time, but this will do for now. I get a lot of second-hand pleasure from Munson’s innocent joys. He’s my oversized reminder to stop and smell the daisies every day.


Oh yes,  a little postscript on the letter å used in Båstad, Skåne and (for all you physicists and chemists) Ångström units. The Å / å is found in about a dozen languages, but its pronunciation is about as consistent as any vowel across those languages i.e. hardly at all. There’s all sorts of variation even between the Nordic languages of Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. While å is supposed to be a letter in its own right -  theSwedish alphabet is ABC…XYZÅÄÖ - it’s sometimes replaced by aa or simply a in computer/internet usage e.g. www.bastad.se .

I’m not going to inexpertly leap into detailing how to pronounce these letters – French vowels still give me enough grief; try instead
Swedish, basically for some tips.

There was an April Fool’s Day prank a few years back when a
newspaper announced that letters like Å, Ä and Ö would be phased out:

Båstad council was also quick to reject the move.

"We already have enough trouble with English-speakers who think the name of our town is amusing. If the Å becomes a regular A it will just make things worse," said Social Democrat councillor Pär Öberg.

"We might as well go the whole hog and include an R."

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