September 8

With Lill visiting her childhood friend and her ancestral home. Lucky dog me!

It's me and Marita out for a beautiful day of visiting and sightseeing and.. TA DA a Swedish Fika!

I had never heard of a Swedish Fika but I'll tell you it's the tops. Basically it's a fancy coffee break but not so fancy as to be an English tea.

Google youtube Swedish fika and a song will come up. Play that song and you too will become obsessed with a Swedish Fika. Cake is always involved.
Two minutes walk from Per and Marita's house is this large gorgeous park and a nice shortcut to other parts of town.
With a pretty lake too.
This is the 1906 school building where Marita's daughters went to elementary school.
The hand-made Tower of Babel. Here's what it says on the sign. Pronounce as you will:

Och Industrimannen
Christian E. Nilsson
Eslövskungen Kallad
Byggde Stenberget ÄR 1887
Enligt Uppgift Efter Förebild Av G. Dorés Bibelillustration Babels Torn
Ett Barnbarn Lät Prägla Denna Minnestavla
Once a grand home and later turned into apartments.
Inside the fine brick Eslöv Lutheran church.
Medborgarhuset, the Eslöv Community Center.

This is a rather charming quote from a TripAdvisor review:

""In post-war modernist architecture occupies Eslöv Civic House a special place. This cultivated a distinctive design idea with vibrant room forming and artisanal processing of materials, all gathered to exclusive elegance." The young architect Hans Asplund did the drawings to the Civic Hall in New York in 1947 when he was working with the United Nations building complex. Construction was completed in Eslöv 1955-1957. Civic Hall is like a fan from the fifties aesthetic from the big world placed in Eslöv."
Eslöv came to prominence because of its central location in a farming district and its railway station.

We took the 10 minute ride into Lund, a much bigger town and home to a large university.

I saw this quote in several places but haven't been able to identify the source: "Voted the best place to live in Sweden, Lund is a safe city with the healthiest and youngest population in the country."
The Grand Hotel of Lund, opened in 1899 to great acclaim.
Some interesting timeline:

"Archeologists date the foundation of Lund to around 990, when Scania was part of Denmark. From 1103 it was the seat of the Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lund, and the towering Lund Cathedral, built circa 1090–1145, still stands at the center of the town. Denmark ceded the city to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, and its status as part of Sweden was formalized in 1720."
Inside the cathedral. The astronomical clock, the Horologium mirabile Lundense, was constructed c. 1380. After having been in storage since 1837, it was restored and put back in place in 1923. It tells time and so much more.

Those minimal side chairs took my fancy. Oh look I thought, Ikea.
Part of a candelabra.
"The crypt has remained largely untouched since its consecration in 1123. The crypt is identified by its numerous and densely built pillars. The pillars are very different in style and were built by the architect Donatus. The most famous pillar is the one with the statue of a man embracing it. Local legend tells that the figure is Finn the Giant, builder of the cathedral."
"The crypt's main altar is the oldest altar in the church and was consecrated on 30 June 1123 by archbishop Asser. The crypt contain many sarcophagi, chests and grave slabs. Among its most important works of art are the relief-decorated well and the tomb of archbishop Birger Gunnersen, created by Adam van Düren in the 1510s."
"Another column has a similar sculpture of a woman, the wife of Finn according to legend. It is not known who the man on the column actually represents, but it could be the Biblical character Samson."
Henric Schartau (1757–1825), a pious Swedish Lutheran priest, stands guard between the cathedral and the visitor center. The old cathedral is reflected in the lantern window.

You can't see the lantern window in this picture which is the best part of the cathedral visitor center, it's off to the right, and modern and cool.
Those are campus buildings.

Founded in 1666, Lund University is one of northern Europe's oldest, broadest, and finest universities and is consistently ranked as one the world's top academic institutions.

From the sign below:

"Four Egyptian sphinxes guard the entrance to the temple of knowledge Regia Academia Carolina. The University building became the new main building, a role that the King's House had had for 200 years.
"The University building was built in 1872-1882 according to the drawings of architect Helgo Zettervall. He mixed different historical styles: Greek Renaissance-inspired facades and a Roman villa-type interior. .. Zettervall chose the most modern items available to create a landmark building in Swedish 19th century architecture."
I was really taken with this town,
The huge public garden in Lund is AWEsome.
It's not Butchart Gardens huge, but perfectly designed with every single plant identified. It was so impressive as is all of Lund.
Who can resist a bee in a flower?
Taller than I am and so joyful.
The main water feature.
Walking through the university district.
What a charming little street.
I liked the colors.

We decided, because we were there and why not, to visit Kulturen, both an indoor and an open-air museum that features an extensive collection of historic buildings and beautiful gardens spanning two adjoining sites in the heart of Lund.
A ceiling map with Jerusalem as the center of the universe.
I don't want to say hodgepodge or mishmash, I'll just say that the interior of the main building is full of things nicely displayed in their own internal logic.
There was a large retrospective of the work of Katja Geiger—better known as Katja of Sweden—was Sweden’s first internationally renowned fashion designer.
I loved their Sami exhibit. Each one of those excellent portraits along the side had short autobiographies attached.
There were also plenty of interesting things to look at.
From a church in the Kulturen.
An education center too.
Some of the buildings still stand on their original sites, while others have been moved here from various parts of southern Sweden.
I want this!
On our way back to the train we passed the City Hall.
Back in Eslöv we were treated to a real sit-down dinner party hosted by Per and Marita's neighbors!

Tony, Lill, Marita, Olivia, Richard, Tina, Andre, Julia, Per
September 9

Here's Lill gassing up the car for our tour of the countryside including Lill's ancestral home.
We took a short side trip to look at a lake in Vombsjön(?), a date-night-site, and then we enjoyed this tunnel of trees, there since Lill was born. We're going to see a lot of that!
An interesting building...
...and another one.
Lill had never visited this church despite it having been erected in 1759-1761 "The church of Öved, one of the most characteristically Rococo-style churches in Sweden and unique in Scania."

The side-buildings that appeared abandoned to storage were from 1810, and originally a school and an old people's home.

Too bad we couldn't get in because the interior is supposed to be particularly interesting.
Looking away from the church.
Lill's school in the metropolis of Sjöbo, from the way-back days. (I can't remember if we ate here now or later?)
Then we went into Lövestad, the old home town, where the once railroad station is now an Italian restaurant.
I saw these...
...and then my eyes found the house that housed the apples. So sweet.
As we drove thorough town I learned oh, the tailor used to be there, and that was the pharmacy, and that was the dress shop, and over there, the book store.

So the buildings looked pretty good to me, occupied, tidy, just not a real town like Lill remembers.
...THE store. The store where all the cool kids hung out. It was a pretty amazing store too, actually once a hotel and converted into this store by the father of the current owner in 1956. The rooms still had walls with the products distributed about so that around every corner was something different.

The current owner btw... two years older than Lill and grew up in this store. Her name is Anna-Maria and she and Lill have known each other since the beginning. When Anna-Maria invited us upstairs Lill was in shock. In all those years she had never once been upstairs.
Anna-Maria gave us ice cream right out of the store's freezer. We visited, she told us stories...
...and this is the view from one of the windows, practically the whole town.

Now's a good time to mention that an English speaker could move to the smallest village in Sweden and never have to learn Swedish. EVERYone spoke English to an excellent standard. Wow.

We had gone to the store so Lill could buy flowers or plants for our next destination, the gravesites of her parents and other relatives too.
This is Lövestad Church where Lill's parents are buried.
So tidy.
Lill's parents...
There it is, the farm where Lill grew up. It looked occupied and well-cared-for. You know I wanted to go down that long dirt road to see the house, farm Mickeberg, but this was good too, to feel for the scene.
Marita's brother still runs their family farm nearby. I have no doubt that Marita and Lill were quite the hell's-a-poppin' pair back in the day.
Marita's family farm. Marita's brother was going to be there and we were going to enjoy a Swedish fika, but our timing got out of sync and he wasn't there. Too bad for me!
The Church of Ilstorp built in the 1200s, and refurbished but never rebuilt, which is pretty amazing and unusual.
Here we have Grandpa and Grandma and Aunt and Uncle. I'll ask Lill for more information. It's interesting, in Swedish there is a different word for your grandparents on your mother's side and on your father's side so it's more clear about whom you are speaking.

So here it is:

Mormor och Morfar are my Mom's parents. MomMom, MomDad

Farmor och Farfar are my Far's parents. DadMom, DadDad
Another relative.
Both church yards had this available for the families.
There was a whole section of these stones so old we couldn't read any dates.
An approximate map of our day, to help me remember.

We came upon this amazing section of very old farms refreshed and still in use today. They could have been in the museum in Lund. I hope to find that google has sent a car around!
September 10

My last full day in Sweden. I might have mentioned before that Jim, Rick, and Baby stayed in Stockholm for these few days that I'm in Eslöv. They are all coming to Eslöv tomorrow and after fond greetings with hugs and kisses I'm going to Copenhagen to spend the night before my dawn flight back to LA. They're all going to a Swedish wedding where fika will be involved I'd guess, and I'm going home to Lilly's birthday.

I've been wanting to visit Malmö for decades, since I read all the Martin Beck police procedurals. And here I am in Malmö.

Now there's an even better reason, and here I am, in the handsome lobby of the...
...Turning Torso!
Olivia went with me to Malmö and here she is turning her torso. We had FUN!
We went to the top of a fancy hotel for the view.

Turning Torso, which dominates the skyline was designed by Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter Santiago Calatrava and officially opened on 27 August 2005.

You can read about the engineering, it's interesting, too bad about the rainy cloudy day. Google will happily show you more sparkling pictures.
Again through the spotty window at the fancy bar.

That's the castle and museum down there and the engineering and architectural wonder of the bridge to Denmark is barely visible in the upper right.
Malmö is another fine, livable, city in Sweden.
Part of the University system.
A charming old town where we, Olivia and I ate a fun lunch and looked into some shops.

Then Olivia went on to find a place to study as she's started back to school while I continued my walk-about.
Oh look, a Sami exhibition.
I finally found a Sami book to read on kindle, it's pretty much the only one:

"With the Lapps in the High Mountains is an entrancing true account, a classic of travel literature, and a work that deserves wider recognition as an early contribution to ethnographic writing.

"Published in 1913 and available here in its first English translation, it is the narrative of Emilie Demant Hatt's nine-month stay in the tent of a Sami family in northern Sweden in 1907–8 and her participation in a dramatic reindeer migration over snow-packed mountains to Norway with another Sami community in 1908."

Remember my 'half-Sami-girl', she told me that very few groups still live in the traditional way but they are trying to revive the language and skills of the migratory people.
This has been a super-reflecto trip, with rivers and lakes and canals everywhere.
Unfortunately all the modern art was packed up and I wasn't feeling it for whatever was available. It was cool to walk around though.

I should have taken a picture of the Malmö train station but I was fussing with my umbrella and buying a ticket and etc. Getting around on the train system is quite simple and straight-forward so if you can walk or catch a frequent bus to the train you're good. But don't try to get to Lill's home town on the'll be walking for hours!
Dinner at Per and Marita's! That's Marita's brother, since we missed him at the farm, and his two kids.

Elin (Håkan's daughter), Lill, Marita, Olivia, Tony, Håkan, Tobias (Håkan's son)
On the train across that fancy bridge from Sweden to Denmark. I didn't get the rain off the window.

I looked up from my book for no particular reason and WOW, what's this? A windmill farm in the ocean!

"Lillgrund Wind Farm is located about 10 km off the coast of southern Sweden, just south of the Öresund Bridge, where average wind speeds are 8 to 10 metres per second. With 48 wind turbines and a capacity of 110 megawatts (MW), Lillgrund is Sweden's largest offshore wind farm, which will meet the domestic electricity demand of more than 60,000 homes."

The trip home was uneventful, just the way we like it. SAS Coach Plus is worth it btw. I rode plain coach over and plus back and plus is Better.
HomeBaltic and N&E Europe • w/Marita et al • '19 Sep: Eslöv, Sweden

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