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5:24pm on Thursday, 15th May, 2008:

Memories of Malmo


[Umlaut removed from Malmö there for RSS-deconfusing reasons]

I'm sitting in an airport departure lounge (Copenhagen — price to get here by train from Malmö: 107 Swedish Kroner, or somewhere between £10 and £11) so it must be time to blog.

Here's a picture of a twisty tower they have in Malmö:

It's called the "Turning Torso", which I hope is Swedish for "twisty tower" and not "turning torso".

What did I know about Malmö before I came here? Well, I knew it was in Sweden, I knew it traded with the Hanseatic League in the late Middle Ages (on account of having played The Patrician — good for wool, not bad for cloth, pig iron, leather and meat), I knew it was connected to Copenhagen by bridge (but not the size of the toll), and I knew it had this statue:

I think it's a statement about Swedish neutrality.

This is an entertaining piece:

Old meets new:

Actually, the McDonalds may be the older, as the griffon statue is dated 1999.

If ever Second Life breaks into the mainstream globally, I foresee trademark problems...

Well, that's one way to stop anyone from stealing your bike, I suppose:

I used to teach people to program in this language in the late 1980s:

Either this doesn't mean what it looks like it means, or Sweden's druids are a bit more contemporary than ours back in the UK:

Worth photographing, but not worth buying then attempting to get through customs:

I saw this statue/fountain combo and decided to take a picture:

The guy on the bike behind the statue was picking up a coke can and a paper plate that had been left by a couple of teenaged boys about a minute earlier. I'd seen them leave their rubbish behind, and could have binned it myself, but I thought I'd tarry awhile to see how Swedes reacted to the mess. Answer: much better than Brits would.

This fountain stopped working when I was about to photograph it, so I walked away and then it came on again.

I think it may be coin-operated, as those people to the right of it seemed to be at a set of controls and acted as if it were "their" fountain.

I suspect this guy may have permission to do this. You could smell his spray paint half a street away.

I quite liked this chap:

Malmö has quite a few elegant buildings, but not as many old ones as I thought it would, given that unlike many European cities it didn't have bombs raining down on it in the middle of the 20th century (see statue of gun above — although a lot of good that would have done you, Sweden, if the British, Americans and Russians hadn't taken on the Nazis).

Here's a fountain in front of the town hall, featuring a statue of, er, er ... well, featuring a statue, anyway:

Oh my! Those letters can only have fallen off at random, which means..!

It should say ENGELBRATSGATAN, by the way, which is the street name ("gatan" means street or road or something similar).

Here's a wind farm seen from the train from Malmö to Copenhagen:

I saw lots of these last week in Germany, too. It would appear that the citizens of some countries don't regard them as blots on the landscape to be resisted at all costs, unlike the narrow-minded people of England who can't even bear to think that their view of the horizon from the beach may be obstructed by something providing them with low-carbon energy.

Referenced by To Sweden.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).