Castles and clouds

I was awoken by the sound of raindrops and the dread of the thought of sightseeing in the rain. I used the free hotel wireless to find myself an appropriate activity for the weather and decided upon Malmöhus, a medieval castle, because nothing goes better with the Middle Ages than grey skies and bitter wind.

Before setting out on my quest for Malmöhus, I needed sustenance so I availed myself of the hotel buffet. Something which I had discovered last night, but was confirmed this morning at breakfast, is that the beverages here don’t seem as sickeningly sweet. That is, Sprite and apple juice (drunk independently, not as some sort of teeth-aching virgin mixer) are refreshingly bland. Another thing done well, Sweden!

When I left the hotel at about 9am, I wandered for quite a few blocks before seeing another living soul. The lack of other people was perfect for photographing buildings which are probably seen as mundane by the locals but are some of the most ornate architecture I’ve seen recently:

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It was also a good opportunity to work on my improving my selfie-taking technique using the new gorilla pod my dad bought me and the sometimes temperamental wireless connector for my camera. First attempt:

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Getting a little bit better:

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A side-effect of using the wireless shutter is that it produces photos where I look like I’m really not bothered by my surroundings and I’d much rather be texting, but it is much better than not using it:

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When I did start to eventually see people, they all seemed to be young dads with kids, either in a stroller or on bikes. I thought this sign

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Malmöhus was actually a lot closer than I thought, especially considering the amount of alleyway detours I took so I was at the castle just after opening time.

The castle was built in the 15th century and used to make up the front wall of the city boundary and looked over the sea. It no longer performs either of these functions due to the city expanding, not only outside the walls, but into the sea, enabled by some land reclamation.

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I spent some time relaxing in the courtyard to take in the ambience and some more photos (and also because I couldn’t work out if the museum was open yet, darn electric revolving doors).

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The first exhibition in the museum was described as an “aquarium” but actually had a natural history feel.

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There were some native Swedish animals like these guys:

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But there were also some more familiar faces:

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The next exhibition was to do with 1920s fashion and I can’t even describe how perfectly “bright young things” the atmosphere was with the music, commentary and luxuriously fabulous accessories. Perhaps you can get a little bit of the effect from looking at some photos:

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After going through another exhibition about toys, which made me feel a bit old after seeing some of my favourite childhood toys in a display case, it was finally time to see some castle-related stuff! This knight proudly showed me the way:

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There were a selection of models illustrating medieval life in Malmö:

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And I had another bit of deja vu seeing a model of a building I had just photographed:

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After snaking through distracting galleries and up and down tiny staircases, I was rewarded with entry to the actual original bit of the castle. I marked this achievement by taking some more selfies with the gorilla pod in the cannon tower, gatehouse room and hall of nobility:

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After listening to the audio guide, I was a bit disappointed to learn that this wasn’t the actual original furniture that was here in the castle’s heyday, but the pieces selected and the reasons why were still quite interesting.20130915-215424.jpg

Downstairs, there was an exhibition on the more recent political past of the building when it was used as a prison. These are ex-Malmöhus inmates who had their photograph taken prior to release.

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The rain seemed to be having break so I wandered through the citadel gardens.

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I returned to one of the squares that I had stumbled across earlier to have some lunch. Not only was the bar warm and dry but it had a pretty cute and functional centre piece:

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After lunch, I found another H&M store and what I was actually looking for, a bespoke supermarket, where I accidentally bought fabric softener instead of plain washing detergent.

I also saw a vintage tram!
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I eventually made it home after my phone went dead because I was carrying the charge cable for the backup battery instead of the cable that allows the backup battery to charge the phone. Surprisingly, I found the motivation to go to the hotel gym, where I was rewarded with a QI marathon on BBC.

I decided to try a traditional Biff Rydberg for dinner, which tasted amazing, but was about 3 times too large a meal for one person, despite that person walking most of the day (and jogging for a small portion).

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I’m attending a traditional luncheon tomorrow when the IRSE International Technical Convention begins so I’m glad I had a warm up.

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