Skåne County, sometimes referred to as Scania County in English, is the southernmost county or län, of Sweden, basically corresponding to the traditional province Skåne.
The castle is one of the key sights in Malmö, though it is not a traditional European castle as you might see in France or Italy (Castello di Fenis). Set near a park, and still surrounded by a moat the castle still has something of a factory vibe to it.
Inside the castle is the Malmö museum. The museum is quite unusual as it is a pre-history museum. an aquarium, an art museum and the Malmö city museum. It takes longer to view than you expect, and with the variety there is something for everyone, but it is not going to take the place of museums dedicated to their speciality.
Facing the castle is the Kings Park, a lovely green space to relax during the weekend.
There are a number of excellent places to eat in Malmö, but Bastard is one of the best.
The town seems much larger than it is when you first start looking around, partly because it is so tourist focused and so there are a lot of bars, restaurants and cafes squeezed into a few blocks by the ferry terminal, and partly because everything in the town is centred around the ferry.
Helsingborg has wide open streets with cafes and bars spilling out onto the pavements. There is a more visible drinking culture that other Swedish towns. Throughout the town, there are numerous old buildings in very good repair, the city having been there since 1085.
Currently under reconstruction, the church is in the center of a public square, surrounded by restaurants. It has a very Amsterdam vibe because of this mixed usage space.
Not quite the Spanish steps of Barcelona, they are none the less impressive and lead you up to Kärnan and the park. At the top there is an overlook back to he water and city.
A single tall tower is all that remains of the historic structure. Opened as a viewing platform and a museum, you can, for a small fee, climb up the various levels, learning about the local history before you reach the rooftop, where you have fantastic views over the city.
A statue and square before the Terrasstrapporna and Kärnan, the green bronze statue is distinctive.
Strangely surrounded by shops and chain stores, this historic building, in a vibrant red, stands out as something special. Used as a conference center and wedding venue, it lends itself to photography.
The viewpoint over the Øresund gives a view of the city of Helsingør, four kilometres away, that makes up Helsingborg’s larger sibling. Flags fly here for all of the Nordic countries.
Just down from Låsta Kärlekar is a white sand beach, with a few dwarf palm trees and a deliberately rickety Jamaican style bar blasting tunes, due to its location its likely to be either busy or deserted depending on the weather. The all electric ferries have do doubt made the beach-front a much more appealing place to be.
A large building on the main road, it is most noticeable for the crazy bells inside, the players trying and failing to find a tune they can agree on every hour.
A well constructed statue of Magnus Stenbocks, sat facing the City Hall.
Towards the east end of town, this large manor house with gardens is every visible. It won my approval by the small wooden ramp to allow dogs to easily drink water from its decorative pond.
A large art space offering permanent and temporary exhibits. The most striking when I was there being The Thin Line by photographer Björn Persson, a striking photo journal capturing endangered species, particularly in Africa. It is an ongoing reminder of the fragility of our planet.
The city park near to the Comfort Hotel surrounds the city library and a large fountain. It gives a good green space to the area and offers a children’s activity center as well.
A good sized park around Kärnan, in the centre of town. It seems to be a very popular place for games of Kubb.
With a certain dark Swedish humour, the graveyard sits next to the retirement home, and is on a hill above the old graveyard. In both spaces there is some impressive architecture to be seen, and the eerie quiet you find in a graveyard.
A manor house set in expansive gardens, some maintained and some wild, its a good place for an afternoons walk. The house is relatively modern and houses a shop and restaurant, behind it, a sharp hill drops down into more wild gardens along with various art emplacements reminiscent of Viking standing stones.
I stopped in here to hide from the rain that suddenly came down. They’re very hot on stopping under-aged drinking, a clear issue with the number of tourists using Helsingborg as a brief base. It is not quite sure what it is as a cafe, fast food, coffee culture, beers or something else giving it a bit of a strange vibe. It was extremely busy, partly due to how many businesses were closed for the Midsummer break.
A basic pub offering food on the main road. Burger was fine, and unlike most other venues it was open.
As a Micro-Nation, Ladonia is not actually part of Skåne and so read more about this remarkable county on its own page. Royal Republic of Ladonia
A small homestead, with a cafe (closed at midsommar) of traditionally built buildings marks the start of the trail proper to Ladonia.
I found this vineyard after taking a random turn following a sign for food on my way to Ladonia. It is a charming hotel, vineyard and restaurant offering locally produced and sourced food. I had the cheese and meat plate, which was excellent as was the service. Sat on an outdoor patio facing the vines, it was a lovely place for a meal.
Lund was founded around the year 990 by a Danish king, probably Sven Tveskägg
A huge, imposing red brick building, the Lund University Library is as impressive as the Lund University itself.
Consecrated on All Saints' Day in 1891 by Bishop W Flensburg, the impressive silhouette of Lund's All Saint's Church can be seen from quite some distance.
Originally built as a university department building the Old Bishop's House was swapped with the Diocies due to being too small in 1849 and a few years later Henrik Reuterdahl moved in as Bishop-in-residence. By the end of the 20th Century, Lund University had required it as a conference facility.
The old surgeon's clinic, finished in 1868 in a late gothic style, it stopped being a university hospital in the 1970's and became teaching facilities. A beautiful stained glass window can be seen above one of the main entrances.
Currently housed in Kulturen, this is a collection of plaster casts of famous noses from Lund.
The first building of Lund University in 1688, and all four of the first departments were house here: Medicine, Philosophy, Theology and the Law.
Set in the grounds of the university, near a stone circle is a lovely fountain.
A huge white building in Lundagård, the university auditorium is a very impressive landmark.
The courts are another of Lund's impressive buildings.
Little can be seen other than a plaque to the Franciscan cloister Sancta Catharina from the 13th Century.
The land on which St. Peter's Priory stands has seen worship since the 13th century (though the sandstone church was demolished in the 14th century and replaced with the current brick building) and has typically been the domain of Benedictine nuns.
Though it now stands a little outside of the main city, on the other side of the railway tracks, it is worth the journey.
There has been a cathedral in Lund since the 12th Century, and attracting 700,000 visitors a year, it is one of the most well known Swedish landmarks outside of the largest cities. Unfortunately closed during the pandemic, the historical museum in the cathedral is well regarded.
Less impressive than the name implies, the 'maze' of tiles outside of the Cathederal is not a maze at all, a single winding path takes you from start to end.
Seeing less activity than nearby Mårtenstorget, Stortorget has the City Hall, as well as wooden deckchairs to allow residents to take in the Swedish sun.
Mårtenstorget is the venue for the local market, as well as having two of the cities museums on its edges. One side is lined with restaurants with outdoor seating, though it is also a favourite location for local morning drinkers, so it may feel less safe than it should to tourists.
Open sparingly, and through a door between a florist and a restaurant, if you do get the chance to visit you can see some historic and well preserved building ruins from Lund's past.
Lund has a long history in astronomy, its five hundred years detailed in Lundaögon mot stjärnorna. The old observatory was inaugurated in 1867, and once was also the site of a planetarium.
In 2001, the old observatory was left for a new building with the water tour becoming the site of the new observatory.
The main building in Stortorget the City Hall is a pleasant, if unremarkable building.
Closed for Corona
The Museum Of Sketches is one of Lunds more famous museums, exploring the artistic process with well known global artists. Outside, a series of sculptures can be found in the garden.
The restaurant remains open.
Closed for Corona
The medical history museum tells the story of how the body works.
Offering both indoor and outdoor spaces, the main Kulturen museum (as they run several of the other museums in the city) is well worth visiting. The main building has historic exhibits including runestones, treasures and weapons and a carved clock from Lund's history as well as offering temporary exhibits on a range of subjects.
The main building is also connected to a second with a wide array of weapons downstairs and exploration of Lund's textile history on the ground floor.
Pass through the outdoor tunnel and you find the outdoor museum, with a number of preserved buildings from Sweden's past as well as some containing their own smaller museums, such as a collection of porcelain.
A small art museum, with three floors, focused when I was there on a single artist's piece.
Lund's art museum is excellent. The exhibition was Worst-Case Scenario. Four Artists from Greenland. Julie Edel Hardenberg, who chose to speak only Greenlandic not Danish in Greenland and the challenges it caused to explore post-colonial privilege. I could see so many parallels to the struggles of the Welsh in my own country.
Elisabeth Heilmann Blind explored traditional masks and dance, brought to Greenland from Alaska by the Greenlandic Inuits.
Jessie Kleemann takes performance art to the heart of climate change with her videos set on Sermeq Kujalleq.
Writer & photographer, Pia Arke's work can be explored thanks to her estate and son.
Unlike most museums that offer a free brochure, a full book, in both Swedish and English was given to every visitor to learn about the four women exhibiting their work.
A small park, outside of the city, with the events venue Villa Sunna in its grounds.
Both botanical garden, and at its southern end a graveyard.
On the south-western edge of the city, the City Park is a large open space with play areas, green fields, flowers and walks that give a sense of distance from the buildings.
A tiny square facing Klosterkrykan on the opposite side of the train tracks.
Lund's oldest park, and the home of Kungshuset as well as backing onto the Cathederal. Designed in 1745 by court architect Carl Hårleman. The city park is more pathways than greenery, but its position in proximity to the centre of the city and the Cathedral and Kungshuset make it a lovely spot to pause.
Tugg Burgers are a chain across Sweden offering good burgers at good prices.
On the coast, facing the bridge across to Copenhagen, Skanör is a popular destination for tourists in good weather, offering white sand beaches, reasonable waves and nice weather. The area has a history that stretches back to the Middle Ages. It was home to herring fishing in the local area markets which caused Skanör to become a thriving trading place during the 13th century.
The sailor's beacon near the northernmost point of Skanör is a wood sculpture visible from the ocean.
All along the beachfront, small wooden houses can be found. A few are up for rent on sites like AirB&B. Small enough they're almost changing rooms, they are a colourful stripe along the sand.
Sat on the corner of the road leading to the Skanör peninsular, the historic windmill has parts remaining from 1698, but is likely to have existed on this spot since the middle ages, in a very "Ship of Theseus" way. It is the oldest preserved stump mill in Skåne.
Set in a small courtyard, the old town hall, dating back to 1777 is still in good condition, and a cheery yellow colour. Since the 1970s it is no longer used for the courts, or administration of Skanör, but rather for local meetings and events.
Red roofed an white faced, the Church of St. Olof faces the rådhus square. The church itself dates from 18th century but worship in Skanör is ancient.
Inside, a choir chair, constructed in the 1580s of cross chair parts from the 14th century, adorns the choir and in the triumphal arch hangs a late medieval crucifix with the support of a crossbeam. The oldest readable tombstone is from 1377.
Built in the 1220s and demolished in the 18th Century, Skanör borg was a small hill fort surrounded by a moat. The hill and moat remain along with a few stone ruins of the walls. Given the relatively flat area around Skanör, its not surprising the small hill was chosen to build the fort as the visibility out over the water is slightly better.
The castle was actually conquered in 1312 by Germans.
The beach(s) at Skanörs are long, running the length of the peninsular, which is shaped a little like the head of a hammerhead shark. Fine white sand covered most of it, particularly the area right by the shops and restaurants. The southern section has fewer wooden houses, whereas the northern has quite a few (before you reach the nudist section).
On the peninsular, right by the dock, J Persson offers wood-fired pizzas and other plates. The food is great, with friendly services and gas heaters in case it gets chilly from the arctic wind.
In Skanör town, this cafe offers a huge range of baked goods and ice creams and makes a decent coffee too! I ended up doing an hour or two of work there and the Tiramisu and Lattes kept me fuelled.
With under 20,000 people, it is surprising how far Ystad goes back. Founded in the 11th century as a herring fishing village it remains a popular tourist spot and a busy ferry port, as well as the site of Kurt Mankell's books about Kurt Wallander.
It is an old pirates' and smugglers' haunt, in which exotic traces of all parts of the world have been left by various voyagers. - August Strindberg
Ystad is known to have a long history of theatre thanks to the complaints of a rector, Måns Lacander, who wrote to the Cathedral in 1690 about the dancers employed by the City who performed on the Sabbath to a much larger audience than attended his services.
In 1801 the attic of the town hall officially became the first stage of Ystad, and a theatre was later built, which burned down in 1891 (as part of an insurance scam). The board commissioned Ystad's first city architect Peter Boisen to design and build a new theatre building at a cost of no more than 110,000 kronor. He travelled extensively in Sweden and Europe to familiarise himself with Theatre architecture, and ultimately the Ystad Theatre was modelled after Leipzig (which was destroyed in WWII). Finished in 1894, it exceeded the budget by 32,000 kronor, but remains standing and in use to this day. It has seating for 500, a unique stage design and one of Sweden's two preserved original side scenes.
One of Ystad's medieval brick buildings with stairwells and one of the oldest school buildings in Sweden.
The oldest church in Ystad and one of the oldest brick churches in Skane. Built in the 13th Century, since 1748 it has been defended by lurblåsaren (The Tower Keeper), who still signals the time.
Named after the owner at the start of the 17th Century, the building is famous for its surviving carvings of angels, flowers and an old mans head on the facia, it is one of the most richly carved buildings remaining in Ystad.
It is also known as Änglahuset.
Facing Hans Raffns Gård across an intersection, the house dates to the late 15th or early 16th century and was likely the main building in the Brahe Manor. The brickwork is particularly lavish for the time. It can be noted from the photos that the design of the gables is similar to Klosterkyrkan.
Originally a trading post from 1640, it is now a store selling local handicrafts.
A half-timbered house whose oldest parts date from the 16th century. Also known as the Karl XII House as the king was believed to have stayed here during his time in the city, a plaque saying this remains though the story is now known to be false.
Facing onto Stortorget and richly decorated it also is known as the Potters House.
From the 1500s, this was where the king actually stayed in Ystad during his visits in the 1700s.
Inaugurated in 1989, it is a refurbished farm and trading manor from 1801.
Formed of two joined houses, originally dating back to the 1500s Pilgrändshuset is named after the alley that runs off of Stora Östergatan. A distinctive feature is that the upper floor is cantilevered, that is, it protrudes above the ground floor
The new city hall is towards the end of Stora Östergatan and backs onto a park. Built in 1814 for M.M. Lundgren as a trading hall, it was briefly a Secondary school before becoming the City Hall in 1914.
The most extensive and best-preserved half-timber building in Sweden. Botha trading post and the entire neighbourhood, its irregular shape outlines the old city walls.
Located in Stortorget, which has been the centre of Ystad since the middle ages, the old City Hall's basement dates from the 15th century, but the majority of it was rebuilt in its current style in the mid 19th century.
The central square of Ystad, ringed by shops and restaurants, has been a part of life in Ystad since the middle ages, though the fountain only dates to 1928.
Founded in 1267, the Abby is home to the Cultural History Museum as well as still operating as a Church. It backs onto a lovely lake and has a small apple garden on its grounds.
Closed due to Corona, but a fantastic museum of the cities history.
Closed due to Corona. Also known as Tanners Yard, an 18th-century building
Closed due to Corona, but facing the charming B&B I stayed in.
Slowly reopening after the Corona lockdowns, the Ystad Art Museum is set over a couple of floors offering space for a permanent collection showcasing local talent and temporary exhibits. On display was Gert Aspelin whose work was inspired by the ever-changing natural landscape around him.
Also, pride of place was the work of an all-women local art collective whose members span the age brackets.
Running parallel to Kyrkogårdsgatan, North Promenade is a shady park filled with paths and a stream. It retains its signature style from the early 19th century. Don't miss the statue of the Shoemaker Boy.
Established as a park as part of the Fritiden 1936 exhibition, it surrounds the sports hall.
A small park, mostly lawned, behind the new city hall.
A small concrete square opposite the new City Hall.
Great place to eat, with views over the water. Surprisingly little fish on the menu given the location in the port, but the pork schnitzel was lovely.
Italian restaurant with a good selection of pizza and pasta.
Chinese restaurant, just off the main square with a huge range of dishes available, served on heated meta serving plates. Dark wood seating.
Charming cafe offering baked goods and good coffee.