A very good friend of mine, Kata, is travelling around the world studying sustainable developmemt, and after Denmark and Bali she now resides in the small university town of Lund, in Sweden. Since I missed out on visiting her in the previous locations (shame on me, for not going to Bali!), I decided to hop over to Lund for the weekend, before she finds herself out of Europe again.
I was very excited to see her, and spending time together was truly awesome, but I think I either had too big expectations of the trip after reading about the coolness of Copenhagen daily on Justina Blakeney’s blog, or London is simply the best place on Earth, and it’s hard to compete with for any other cities… Either way, I returned inspired,
- by Kata’s eating habits, as she has gone vegeterian again, and eats a tremendous amount of vegetables at all meals;
- by a book about the architect S. Calatrava’s sketchbook and his way of interpreting the body’s forms into architecture;
- and by Garba Diallo’s story about his journey from Mauritania to Copenhagen, from starting school at 15 to teaching young adults from all over the world, how to make it a better place to live in.
I promise I won’t make this into a personal photo album, but here are the highlights and the Instagram feed from the trip.
This really is a sleepy little town full of university students, so there is not much to do if you are not involved with them in one way or another. Luckily I had connections, so I did what the Swedish apparently love doing as soon as the snow melts, I went to a rooftop barbecue party. Apart from that, I got the grand tour around the centre which included Lund Cathedral, or Domkyrkan, the University Library and the Botanical Gardens. The old timer frenzy that lasted for the whole weekend started with a beautiful old Volvo in the street that’s famous for being Kata’s favourite.
I thought the best thing in Lund was it’s proximity to Copenhagen, but I wasn’t quite right. 😉 We did Christiania, Nyhavn the Rundetårn, but none of those really sparked my imagination, so instead of the usual sightseeing stuff, let me tell you the story of our afternoon.
We had no plans after leaving Christiania, so we decided to eat our little packed lunch (I will have to write down the recipe we came up with, as it was amazing) by a canal, and started wandering around Nyhavn with no further plans for the day. As we were looking for a toilet we arrived at this huge square, with the Royal Danish Theatre on one side of it. It looked beautiful, very different from the whole of the city, and as I took pictures of it, I suggested trying to find a toilet in there instead of the McDonald’s nearby. As we walked in, a hostess asked if we were there for the free flamenco concert starting in 5 minutes. Of course we were! The concert was good, but there was this one song that really made the whole experience special for me. After hours of googling I found out that the song is called Sevillanas de la Vida and was performed by singer, Hilde Karlsen and guitarist, Poul Jacek Knudsen. Here is the video I made on the spot, just to give you an idea.
After the concert, still with no plans, we started to wander towards the centre, where we accidentally bumped into Kata’s teacher from the school she attended in Denmark. He is the director actually, and in a tucked away Moroccan restaurant I found out that he is also one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. We drank some extremely sweet tea (even for one who has no limits when it comes to chocolate), in the traditional Mauritanian way with some added wisdom.
As I get older and travel more, I am starting to see that for me, travelling starts when I stop comparing things to what I already know, so that I can take in the new information more easily, and let myself go off the track physically and mentally as well.