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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weekend #2: Malmo Sweden

This weekend, we took the train across the Øresund Bridge which was built in just 2000 as the first permanent connection between Denmark and Sweden.  It is one of the longest bridges in the world at 26,000 feet.  Just the other side is Malmö, the third largest city in Sweden.  

Across from Central Station

In the very middle of the city is St. Petri church which was constructed in 1319.  Because of its location, I couldn't zoom out enough to get a picture of it as a whole, but it has also an elaborate system of flying buttresses and many other interesting architectural features.

St. Petri Church Tower

The weekend marked the conclusion and grand finale of the Malmö music festival which proved to be a rather large event which brought out an interesting side to the city.  Along a major street were the below cars:

Seaweed Car
Mummy Car
Book Car
Rabbit Car
Sea World on Wheels

Outside of the festival area, the city was still a beautiful coastal city.

Bridge and Lighthouse across canal
Turning Torso (tallest building in Scandinavia)
Harbor and Bridge

Øresund Bridge

Condos along Waterfront

The best way I have found to summarize my perception of Sweden is that they are the US of Scandinavia.  Everything is very similar to Denmark, just on a larger scale.  For instance, the highways are 4 lane interstate quality, traffic moves at about 85mph, cars are almost all full sized, and grocery stores are certainly supermarkets.  But, as I mentioned, it is very similar to Denmark as well.  I took a picture I felt summarized this phenomenon:

Supermarket corn flakes isle

Just to explain, cornflakes are really the only type of cereal one can find in Scandinavia.  In Denmark, grocery stores offer Kellogg Corn Flakes, and an off-brand danish equivalent.  But, since everything in Sweden is on a larger scale, their supermarkets offer an entire isle of corn flakes.

We then headed back towards the center of the city where the music festival was and we stumbled upon a wake boarding event in one of the city's canals.  It was interesting to watch some of the stunts and jumps and spins.

wakeboarding flip

When night fell, the festival was in full carnival mode.  It offered just about everything you would expect at a carnival:  popcorn, funnel cake, and rides.

Carnival ride, food, and booths

We then found ourselves in what we later discovered was the main event of the festival: the Teddybears performance.  The whole time I thought the performance was bizarre with the performers wearing bear heads playing strange electronic/rock.  However, their closing song, Cobrastyle, we all recognized.  Turns out, they are in fact a famous Swedish band but somewhat of a one-hit-wonder for the US music scene.  Still an interesting experience though.  Very Swedish.

The Teddybears in Concert

The next day, using our 48hr ticket, we returned to complete our Swedish experience by visiting an IKEA, seeing a Volvo dealership, and buying and eating some Swedish Fish.