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I’m bAAaaaack . . . from Sweden

May 29, 2011

Sorry for the lapse in blog posts. I was preparing for, experiencing and digesting a week-and-a-half-long trip to southern Sweden. (Didn’t really want to announce ahead of time that I was leaving the country.)

Here are a couple of columns I wrote for the paper on the experience:

How I lost weight on vacation, or, how transportation infrastructure can affect public health

Speaking the language

And, even though they don’t really fit in a blog about Scottsing, here are a few photos.

The bicycle-as-transportation-option culture in southern Sweden is huge. So it eating outdoors in nice spring weather. This is Lilla Torg (small square) in Malmö.

Speaking of food, we were introduced to the smörgåstårta (“sandwich cake”) on this trip. We plan to make one ourselves sometime. We can just follow this guy’s instructions. Or not.

And don’t forget dessert, preferably from a conditori (patisserie).

It’s pretty awe-inspiring to visit centuries-old churches and witness the architecture and artistry possible BPT (before power tools).

Trinity Church in Kristianstad (built 1617-1628) was gorgeous.

Lund Cathedral was another favorite (construction started in the early 1100s). Its numerous scary beasties and implied threats of doom to the nonbeliever/misbehaver were soooo Middle Ages.

While there were certainly some exotic sights, at times you’d think you were in Midwest America.

The weather during our visit was unseasonably warm, and the spring flowers were amazing. These tulips were growing in a random spot next to the beach on Ven Island (which has changed hands between Denmark and Sweden a few times in past centuries, as has much of southern Sweden, leading to a distinct Scanian culture in the southernmost province).

Speaking of culture, Sweden has absorbed a lot of immigrants in recent decades, including many Middle Eastern immigrants. I heard Arabic spoken in the streets of Kristianstad, saw plenty of headscarves, and spotted these guys conversing and smoking a hookah in a city park in Malmö.

Continuing with culture, my travels in Sweden coincided with Easter, so I got to witness a few traditions.

Shops, homes and public spaces are decorated with dyed feathers tied to twigs.

On Easter eve, children dress as “Easter witches” and gather candy.

Another springtime tradition is celebrating Walpurgis Night (Valborgsmässoafton). Here is a photo of the bonfire celebration in Malmö, which included a light show, choir concert, drum corps and dance troupe.

And, a final visual treat that’s plentiful on Sweden’s west coast: gorgeous sunsets.

The next posts will be about the Scottsing region, I promise!

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2011 4:51 pm

    You really know how to share your adventures!


  1. Valborgsmässoafton, western Nebraska style « SCB Citizen

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