|Today was our day to check out Malmö - fortunately there was not a long list of things we wanted to do so it would prove to be quite a leisurely day. We started with breakfast in the hotel, a classic European meal of cereals and fruit, yoghurt, bread and cold cuts with cheese. All in all it was a good way to start the day.
We then set off for Malmöhus (or Malmö castle). This was constructed in the mid-15th century and has over the years since been a fortress, a prison, a refugee centre (for victims of the concentration camps after WWII) and a museum. While not particularly imposing as far as 'castles' go, the displays inside were fascinating. It was a mix of museum and art gallery, and we found ourselves threading along corridors and passages between displays on clothing trends, art throughout the ages, the castle's history and its relevence to the historic struggles between Denmark (which originally owned the southern portion of what is now Sweden) and Sweden.
By the time we finished doing the rounds it was after midday so we wandered back towards the hotel via a circuitous route through Kungspark (the Kings Park). This was a beautifully laid out park featuring gardens, grassed play area and various lakes and fountains. While it was only a mild 19 degrees a number of the locals were sunbathing. After the hustle and bustle of Blackpool and London we greatly enjoyed the peaceful stroll through the park. We eventually found ourselves back near the hotel where we stopped for lunch at a cafe. We started sitting outside, enjoying the mild temperature in the sun, until the usual group of smokers arrived - this forced us indoors. After a light snack we returned to our respective rooms and rested for a while.
At 3.00pm we met Xavier in the foyer and set off on foot for a large mall that the staff had told us about. This led us off the island that the old part of Malmö sits on and we found a more bustling shopping area. On a glorious Spring day there were lots of people enjoying the afternoon in cafes and on the banks of the canals. The mall was a reasonable size, not unlike one you might find in Auckland (although the shops were all slightly trendier and top-end). After checking out both floors we stopped for another coffee before wandering back through the cobbled streets to the hotel for another chance to rest our feet.
We forgot to mention yesterday that when we arrived groups of students are walking and driving around blowing horns and tooting, making a lot of noise. Apparently this is a tradition when the students finish their exams. Trust us when we say it goes on for most of the day and some of the night and apparently for most of the week!
Dinner was just a short walk away - on the recommendation of the hotel clerk we ate at a nearby restaurant that ofered a great range of meal options. With full stomachs we headed back to our room to explore options for Copenhagen over the next couple of days.