Saturday, 20 July 2019

On the Road - Skywatch Friday

On the road towards Varberg on the west coast (Monday July 8 - the first day of our holiday). The grey&black striped plastic around the hay bales in the fields (first photo) made them look like giant pieces of licorice candy. 

Kallbadhuset (the "cold bath house") at the seaside resort Varberg in the province of Halland Sweden: The present building is from 1903, but there have been similar bathhouses here ever since 1866. 

SkyWatch Friday

Friday, 19 July 2019

The Third Day

Third Day - Lund & Malmö
(The distance between the two cities is only about 20 km)
On the third day, there was less driving involved: Only from Lund to Malmö (and back) in the afternoon.

The morning we spent walking around in Lund. We started by visiting Lund Cathedral, because that opened early. It's not an easy building to fit into your camera, though...

Lund Cathedral

There was a cathedral in Lund even before 1085 but it is not known whether it was in exactly the same place as this one, which dates back to 1104 and was originally built as a Romanesque basilica, constructed from blocks of sandstone. Only the apse has remained unchanged throughout the centuries. 

Gothic altarpiece dating from 1398

Beneath the church there is a large crypt, famous for the sculptures on some of the pillars, and especially one:

Lund Cathedral - the Crypt
Some say that the guy hugging the pillar on the right is Finn the Giant from an Old Norse legend (possibly also connected to a character of the same name in Celtic mythology). Another theory is that the he represents the biblical figure Samson (who sacrificed himself by toppling the pillars of a Philistine temple).

Lund cathedral also has a famous astronomical clock, created around 1425. It has been renovated many times and is still working. In addition to showing the time on a 24-hour dial, it displays things like the moon phases, zodiac signs and a calendar with weekdays and dates. Twice a day, a small built-in organ also plays a tune, while a procession of three kings pass by the Holy Virgin and Child in the middle. We thought that might be worth seeing, so decided to come back for the 12 o'clock "show". (And we did, but I'll save the pictures of that for another post!)

In the meantime, we went to visit Kulturen, which is a combined  indoor and open-air museum, featuring an extensive collection of historical buildings and gardens in the heart of Lund.

Sooo much to see... And I kept my camera busy, so you'll probably get to see more of this too in later posts...

On our way back to the hotel, we had lunch at this restaurant:

After a short rest back at the hotel, we drove the 20 km to Malmö (which is the third largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Göteborg/Gothenburg). There we first visited Malmöhus (Malmö Castle), built in the 1530s by King Christian III of Denmark (replacing an even older fortress). Historically, this was one of the most important strongholds of Denmark. Malmöhus has now been restored in the spirit of the 16th century and is part of the Malmö Museums. The castle is part of Sweden´s cultural heritage and is managed by the National Property Board.  

At Malmöhus Castle

Somewhere inside - facing a mirror wall and wondering where to go next...
That way!!

After having seen the Castle, we got into the car again and drove a little bit closer to the Old Town; where we then also randomly strolled around for a while, before returning "home" to Lund.

Malmö Old Town
The sign in the upper right corner informed us that we had found the entrance to Malmö Stadsteater (Municipal Theatre); which is evidently considered hard to find, as they were aplogizing for that. (We weren't really looking for it, so perhaps that's why we succeeded!) 

We also found St Petri (St Peter's) church. That was not so hard, as the tower rose high above other buildings!

St Petri Church, Malmö

Thursday, 18 July 2019

The Second Day

Second Day
From Ö. Karup to Lund

Skåne (also known as Scania in English) is the southernmost province of Sweden. In the past (on and off), Skåne used to belong to Denmark; but for the last 300 years it has been Swedish. The architecture of many old buildings still reminds of the past connection to Denmark.

Our first stop on the second day of the trip was Ängelholm (in the past spelled Engelholm), founded in 1516 by Christian II of Denmark. 

Old Town Hall, Ängelholm
I knew this town to be famous for its 'clay cuckoos', a kind of ocarina. So on our stroll around there, we kept a lookout for those. Actually we did find the only workshop where they are still made; but it was closed. (We weren't really out to buy one, though - just to have a look!)

Our next stop was Höganäs, another town renowned for its ceramics. Nowadays, production has been moved elsewhere; and the museum was not open yet when we were there. 

Höganäs Museum

We had to take a few turns by car through the town to find any pottery at all; but at last we found this workshop, specializing in big garden pots. (I did not buy one of those, but I bought one of those ornamental sticks with ceramic heads that you see in the top right picture.)

Höganäs Pottery

Our next major stop was Sofiero Palace and park near Helsingborg. It used to be one of the royal family's country mansions, but when king Gustaf VI Adolf (grandfather of our present king) died in 1973, he left it to the city of Helsingborg to be enjoyed by the general public. We had lunch in the café there, then a look at permanent and temporary exhibitions inside, and finished off with a stroll around the park (or parts of it! - it's a very large park). Alas I got no photo of the exterior, as they were setting up a big stage in front of it for some event - but if you click on the link, there is a photo in the Wikipedia article. 

The Entrance to Sofiero
The terrace outside the café

View from the terrace

Suspension bridge over a gorge, leading to another part of the park
From inside the palace

As for Helsingborg city, we skipped that on the way down; but returned there on the way back.

Instead, our next stop was Landskrona, and especially its old citadel - built in the mid 1500s as a purely defensive fortification, during the reign of Christian the III of Denmark. (The province of Skåne was Danish back then.) We had a stroll around, and also sat for a while at the café overlooking the citadel.

Landskrona Citadel

Landskrona Citadel

There are a lot of old churches in Skåne too, and on our road trip we stopped at quite a few. Some were open, others not (in which case we just walked around them on the outside instead). I see the 'Inspired Sunday' blog meme is still up and running, so I think I'll do some separate church posts later to fit in with that. 

On this day, Vallkärra church (not far from Lund) caught our eye:

Vallkärra kyrka, Skåne.
Vallkärra kyrka, Skåne
The oldest part of the church is the choir,
which dates back to the late 12th century.

Towards evening we arrived at our hotel in the old university city of Lund, where we had booked three nights. Absolutely perfect for a longer stay... The hotel was situated within easy walking distance from several tourist attractions; and yet quiet at night. The rooms were (each) equipped with a complete pentry; and there was a big grocery store just a couple of minutes walk away. (Which meant we were able to fix our own evening meals here rather than going out to eat every night. Breakfast was included as usual.)

I could easily have spent a full week in Lund (and at this hotel!) ;-) However, there were other places within driving distance that we wanted to visit from there as well. So what we decided on was to spend the first morning (including lunch) + the last evening in Lund. In between, we spent one afternoon visiting Malmö (20 km away), and the second day driving down to the southernmost point of Sweden (Skanör-Falsterbo) and back. (More about all that coming up in the next two posts.)  

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The First Day

First Day
From Borås to Båstad/Ö.Karup

The nearest seaside resort to Borås is Varberg, 90 km away; in the province of Halland (Sweden). In Varberg you'll find both rocky beaches (which continue north into Bohuslän) and sandy ones (predominant in the south). Varberg has been a popular seaside resort ever since the early 1800s. It also has an old fortress, dating back to the 1280s; nowadays housing a historical museum, restaurant/café and a hostel. We've been to Varberg before, but it's always nice to get back there in summer. On this trip it was both our first stop (Monday, for lunch), and the last (Saturday pm, for tea/coffee).

View from the fortress
The fortress in the background
Falkenberg is also a popular tourist destination in the summers -
a nice little town, with a long sandy beach to the south. My original plan was to skip this town on the way down (but maybe stop there on the way back). However, a warning light on the car's dashboard brought us there anyway, to get that checked out at a garage. (Turned out not to be anything serious, and caused us no further trouble the rest of the trip.) And then, when trying to get out on the motorway again, we very nearly got stuck in a complicated traffic jam (caused by an accident on the motorway, we found out later)... Per managed to somehow maneuver us out of it, though; and found another road to take us in the right direction. But as Falkenberg seemed so insistent on keeping us there, we decided we might as well drive into the city for a look around and some tea/coffee first, before we continued our journey. We wandered some streets up and down before finding a café; but I seem not to have taken any  photos - probably still a bit shaken by the car/traffic incidents!

Unplanned visit

Intricate traffic jam
When we finally got out of Falkenberg, we drove pretty much straight on to our hotel/motel at Östra Karup on Hallandsås (a ridge on the border between the provinces Halland and Skåne).

Having checked in and rested for a little while, we drove to the nearby seaside town Båstad, and ended up having a nice and relaxed evening in the harbour there. The first little eatery we happened to come across also turned out to be having a country & western troubadour evening, starting just as we arrived - and comfortable seats in a tent providing shelter from the wind... So we sat there for an hour or so; and then went for a nice stroll along the harbour before we returned to the hotel.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

How To Make a Holiday Last Forever

"On the Road" - somewhere in Skåne (July 2019)

Based on previous experiences, I have decided to try a slightly different approach to blogging about this year's holiday trip. The reason is that when looking back at my Blog Archive, I find that  last year (for example), I spent four months blogging about four days in July - out of six. Then suddenly it was Christmas time (!) - and after New Year, I never got round to picking up the thread from last summer again... *lol*

To avoid repetition of that pattern, I'll now try one summary post for each day we were away (six) - with maps, but just one or two photos from each of the places where we stopped that day. 

Later, I hope to return to some places in more detail - and perhaps related to topics and themes rather than a strictly chronological account of the trip.

Linking to Our World Tuesday 

Our World Tuesday

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