On Saturday morning we made the 100 km drive down to Malmo without incident. We decided to find somewhere we could stay over the weekend, then get the van looked at again on Monday. Malmo seemed like a good bet for finding a garage but also having places we could go while the van was off the road. Heading for a city for the weekend also means we don’t have to drive anywhere, with the accompanying concerns of breaking down again. We have had a great couple of days here, it may not have been what we had in mind for the weekend but it has been a splendid accidental location. We’re camped up at a Marina on the edge of Malmo. It’s quite common in northern Europe for Marina’s to also offer motorhome pitches – it makes a lot of sense as they already have all the facilities needed. It’s a busy little site, though only space for about 20 campers – rather than the 250-ish capacity of the one we stayed at in Oslo. Glad we got here early or we wouldn’t have found space. It’s a nice site and even has views of the Øresund Bridge thrown in, a top feature for fans of The Bridge.
Malmo is a city with a beach, and they make the most of it. We cycled into the city along the coast, through a 3km long park along the water front. There are a multitude of swimming piers, volleyball courts, kids play parks, places to sit and relax, the odd kiosk, multiple sets of toilets, beach showers, sandy beach, rocks, a nudist area (with modesty hedge!) and a sea swimming pool with saunas and a nice looking restaurant. There were people swimming, playing, cycling, walking, all types of people, all ages. It just felt like a great place to be.
We made it into the city and stopped for ice cream – bought from an ice cream kiosk attached to a Chinese takeaway – a slightly unusual combo, and rather average ice creams. We then pootled round to St. Petri Church. Wow! What an amazing building. It’s not a vast church, and quite understated in parts, but it is really really tall, and the inside walls are almost all painted white, giving it a vast, airy feeling. Amongst the simplicity sat an elaborate altar and pulpit and some rather nice stained glass. This felt like a very special church and has (to our surprise) been our favourite church visit of the trip. We then came back down to earth with a trip to Lidl. Sometimes I am a fan of multinational chains, and Lidl is one of them. Cheap(er) food needs satisfied we headed back to the van.
Saturday night saw torrential rain (actually, mostly we heard torrential rain) and thunder and lightning. By morning it was dry and we managed to eat breakfast outside, but then it started raining. When the rain cleared I had a practical job to attend to, changing a blown headlight bulb. Someone please explain to me what kind of idiot designs a van in such a way that changing a headlamp bulb (something that should be a roadside repair surely?) involves unscrewing and removing the grill then unbolting and removing the headlamp assembly just to get at the bulb? It’s actually not quite as bad as changing one of the headlamp bulbs on our car but really??
So, slightly later than plan we cycled back into town, had a wander round some of the buildings around the canals and waterfront looking at the interesting architecture and sculptures, picked up some milk and garlic paste (top tip, garlic paste is fantastic for camping, most shops don’t stock it but you can get it from the Coop at Malmo Central Station!) and headed back for lunch. The sun had disappeared so we waited for its return and then biked back to the beach, where we tested out one of the swimming piers. Had a great swim, even if it was a bit blustery.
We then managed another cycle in the opposite direction to have a look at the Øresund Bridge.