Thursday, 9 June 2016

Swedish Adventure 2016 - Part 8 - Last Days

29 May
Bags packed.  Breakfast eaten.  Now we will check out,  and the hotel will hold our bags in that big cupboard they all have, whilst we pop out and get the tram for a last shot of culture!

At the Theil Gallery on the Djurgarten island, we discover first, the house itself  which was just so beautiful and calm, and secondly, a sad story of money won and lost - Mr Theil was a merchant banker who made a lot of money and lost it all again.  The house was specially built for his collection of Scandinavian paintings and when he lost his money he offered the house and paintings to the nation.... who took up his offer.  Of all the lovely stuff I found, Larsson and otherwise, I was struck by this small pen, ink and watercolour sketch for a full sized portrait of the second Mrs Theil.  Larsson's portrait of her is about 7 ft tall and meant to be imposing;  this is just a little 18 inch x 12 inch sketch for it.  But this is the better piece.  Glorious, every pen stroke can be seen, and it's a little gem, seldom mentioned.  The whole gallery was interesting, mostly paintings, but a few pieces of original furniture displayed on modern rugs, which worked really well. Nice cafe here too.  By the way, Djurgarten is a lovely island, sort of the city's play area, loads of lovely walks, some cafes, the ABBA Museum (no, we didn't), loads of grass and trees, theatre, lovely views of the city just across the water, and just a great place to be.  Easily reachable by tram. 

Back to the hotel, have a chat with the guy behind the desk who told us about this gallery, and then off again on the Stockholm Express to the airport, flying off to Copenhagen so that John can drive that bridge.

30 April
And we're here! We are staying two nights in a room with it's own front door and bathroom, and upstairs our host has two small children.  On both mornings it is lovely to lay in bed and hear them running through their home full of the joys of life.  The house is just a short way from the airport (say 7 minutes by car or a ten minute walk to the metro and 2 stops).  This bit of the trip is for John, but we both have a lovely day out.  We hire a car and take the road for THE BRIDGE.  The Oresund Bridge is really two things.  A tunnel first, out into the channel between Denmark and Sweden, coming up into a man made island, and then the bridge itself.  16 kilometres from Copenhagen airport to the Swedish side, and after paying the hefty toll (around £50 but if you have 4 in the car not bad at all) we arrive back in Sweden in Wallander's stamping ground, the county of Skane.  Don't let's turn round and go straight back!  Let's stay a while.
himself on the bridge
We bypass Malmo, keeping on the motorway until we spot a sign for a town called Lund.  We don't know it, but we take the slip road and find ourselves in a charming little town on a sunny afternoon, and decide that this will do nicely.  We walk across the cobbled market square.  There is a little fountain, people are lunching outside, the staff in the tourist office are charming, and on one side of the market square is a food hall....
 It's like all those covered markets you find in Europe, but it's very small.  Not too small to squeeze in several restaurants, a Konditori (yes we did!), a butcher, a baker, a farm shop, a rotisserie chicken stand (the best chicken we have ever tasted) and a couple of chocolatiers.  Upstairs in the attic, the alcohol shop.  On your left, in the square, that little red car is the one we hired for the day.  Bloody awful gearbox.
And probably the oldest building in town, which now forms part of a restaurant.  If you look careful you will spot four lovely blondes, out for an afternoon cocktail.  Much flicking of hair, and all of them very very attractive.  The kind of blondes John dreamt about back in the day.

We love this little town.  But now it's time to switch the sat nav back on and head for the bridge again to get our money's worth (you don't pay on the way back).  It's fun, the sun is shining and it's a great end to a lovely holiday.  We'll definitely come back, and we never saw Denmark at all.... We missed the plane on the way out and so only stayed overnight near the airport before flying to Stockholm, and our only full day on the way back was spent in Lund.  So we need a Danish trip now - although we are definitely going to do Sweden again.

Here are the final shots of the bridge......

We go back to our little room, repack for home and get a good night's sleep.  We leave in sunshine, arrive back in the UK to torrential rain and cold, cold, cold.  Great trip.