Apologies once again for a delay in posts. Having the previous week off of classes as a study tour/travel break allowed me to take advantage of traveling Europe and completely ignore my obligations of reminding friends and family that I’m alive and well…
Anyways, now that I’m back in Copenhagen (and alive and well…obviously), I have had some time to reflect on my travels this past week. 3 countries in 8 days…not too shabby. My journey begins on a high speed regional train ride from Copenhagen Central Station. Destination: Malmö, Sweden.
Now, when you think of Sweden, you probably think of the highly urbanized Stockholm, lots of snow, possibly some reindeer, and (if you’re really into European fiction or Daniel Craig movies) “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Malmö doesn’t exactly top the list of tourist spots in Sweden. Yet, the fact that it’s situated a brief 30 minute train ride away from Copenhagen (at only $22 roundtrip per person), venturing out to Sweden is affordable and accessible…making the trip an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I managed to convince a friend of mine from my Kollegium to spend a Saturday afternoon with me venturing out to Sweden for the day (I promise, it’s way less adventurous than I’m making it sound). With $22 out of my pocket and a roundtrip ticket to Sweden, we boarded the Öresund Regional Train towards Malmö.
The city was believed to have been founded around 1245 when that part of Sweden was still Danish territory. Though the city managed to industrialize rather quickly compared to other cities throughout Scandinavia, development in the post-Industrial Revolution area was stagnant. It wasn’t until the construction of the Öresund Bridge (which links this region of Sweden to Copenhagen and Denmark’s islands) that the city of Malmö began to prosper. Today, Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and was ranked 4th in the list of the ’15 greenest cities’ in 2007 (though I couldn’t measure it as accurately as a researcher could, there was definitely a lot of green in the city).
Taking a train over the Baltic Sea via the Öresund Bridge was an incredibly impressive start to the trip. Watching the sunset over the Baltic waters on the train back from Malmö was an unforgettable sight. Anyone planning on visiting Sweden should make a point of first going to Copenhagen and making his/her way towards Sweden via the Öresund Bridge (by car or by train).
But back to Malmö, a recommendation to anyone traveling to small cities: have a map prepared and have sites/attractions you would like to visit in mind. Because of my time in the comparably larger city of Copenhagen, I figured Malmö would be a cake-walk as far as getting around the city. I hadn’t even looked at a map of Malmö and briefly skimmed a google results page of popular attractions in the area. That ended up being a not so grand idea, especially since I was actively trying to not look like a tourist. Ironically enough, had I just studied a map I would have accomplished this. Instead, my friend Jenna and I got off the train at Malmö Station in the pouring rain with umbrellas, digital cameras, and pocket-paper maps from the station in had, with no clue of what to do or where to go. I’ve never looked more like a tourist (or miserable) in my life.
As it turns out, there is only one way to go in Malmö, and it’s away from the water (where the train station is located) towards where all the old colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. Fortunately, the rain subsided by the time we had crossed the canal to get to the city center–making for a very pleasant stroll through the streets of Malmö. After running into a quaint designer’s market, we ventured to the Modern Museum:
Then to St. Peter’s Church:
And making a final stop in the Japanese gardens before ending the day:
Malmö definitely surpassed the bleakness that Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy prescribes upon this beautiful treasure of Sweden. Definitely something not to be missed when traveling in Scandinavia.