Intro to Malmö

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city and much closer to Copenhagen than to Stockholm. I was warmly welcomed by my Airbnb host (my first Airbnb ever!), a Russian woman who has been living in Malmö for the past two decades. We had drinks in the apartment with a British friend of hers who moved here for business, and then they brought me out for a lovely walk in the city.

As much as I got to know and love Göteborg, something about Malmö instantly captured my heart. I had heard that it was simply a smaller Göteborg, and in terms of the shops, pedestrian areas, and old-fashioned squares, it is. But it also has a cooler edge, with even more cyclists than Göteborg, more eclectic and modern architecture, and a sense of music everywhere. It’s likeGöteborg’s young hipster cousin (reminding me of the relationship between Manhattan and Brooklyn).

After walking around with my host and her friend, I met up with another new connection here. We saw the beautiful, colorful lights that illuminate the city after dark – I’ll have to do a night photoshoot while I’m here – and we stumbled upon a Japanese experimental band performing for free by the water.

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The only photo I took last night. I love that there is a lighthouse in the middle of the city!

I woke up this morning and decided to walk all over the city, similar to the self-guided walking tour of Göteborg I did when I first arrived. This time I was less successful – starting in the center of the city, where I’m staying, meant that I spiraled around a bit – and I had a hard time finding the magic from my walk the night before. Even mapping my walk this time was a challenge:

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This isn’t quite accurate, but it’s close enough. I’m staying in Davidshall, down towards the bottom.

I got caught in multiple summer showers throughout the day, which were refreshing at first and then noticeably less endearing. Still, I managed to capture aspects of the city that I enjoyed.

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Performing arts theater a couple blocks from where I’m staying. I love the font, which reminds me of France’s Belle Époque.
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This is along one of the many bridges across the canals in town. I wonder who owned these shoes – I’m sure there’s some significance. 
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Malmö’s marching band! This is on an all-pedestrian street. Despite being a smaller city than Göteborg, I think Malmö has more pedestrian-only streets and squares.
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This is a statue of King Karl X Gustav in Stortorget (the large/main square).
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The Glasvasen building, an example of new Malmö architecture.
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Another example – this is a very modern extension to the older brick building you see on the right. It’s all part of Malmö’s World Maritime University.
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I love this sculpture. Do you see the life raft in the back?
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Malmöhus Castle, an important fort in the city.
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Here you see the Turning Torso from a distance. It towers above the nearby buildings at over 600 feet tall (apparently the tallest building in all of Scandinavia).
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I found a beach! And on that beach, I found 5 white labrador retrievers! At this point I felt fairly silly in my sneakers, but it certainly wasn’t warm enough for human swimming.
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In the background here is the Øresund bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. It’s one of the longest bridges in Europe. While you can’t see it in this photo, the Copenhagen skyline is visible along the horizon.
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This is the cutest houseboat I have ever seen. There’s even a hammock on the deck! (And part of the Turning Torso is in the background).
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The most modern (and expensive-looking) homes were here by the water. 

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As I was walking along the beach, I felt myself getting a little sad, thinking of friends and family back home, and the wonderful housemates from my study abroad semester. It wasn’t homesickness; rather a longing to share the sights with someone, a group of fellow explorers. I know this is a year of independent discovery, and I don’t think I’ll feel that way often. There’s something about Malmö, though. I think it’s that it feels like a vacation town, whereas Göteborg feels more like a living and working city. I’m comfortable living and working alone, but I don’t think I would vacation alone. That said, this isn’t vacation, and I think I’ll feel better once I find good project contacts here. Time to do some research!

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