Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pitches in Scania, part I

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Time for a summary of the days in Skåne (Scania) a few weeks back. Since Skåne is sort of a been-there-done-that-province for me - and I really don't feel like rummaging through my old non-digital photos from days past, to show some more lovely must-see-spots there... - this will only be a very brief pitch of that wonderful southernmost province with a multitude of wide open spaces giving a certain nondescript feeling of freedom-and-anything-is-possible to it... Sort of quite the opposite feeling I got in Dalecarlia...

Leaving Stockholm in the wee hours of the morning the weather was sunny, happy and promising, the further south we got the less sun there was - and reaching Höganäs the rainstorm was a fact.

Höganäs is also the home, and the name of, a wellknown old pottery company. Unfortunately now sold out to a Finnish company group, but still with a strong Swedish pottery-tradition to it. Whenever we go to Skåne, a stop at Höganäs Keramik factory outlet is a must, to stock up on crockery, new seasons, new colours, and I like to have the odd thing or two in every colour...

The factory outlet used to be situated in the basement of an old building. Very unpretentious and authentic somehow. The place where M vividly remembers when he had to fight off busloads of German senior citizens on the hunt for crockery - he stopped by on his was home looking for a teapot and some plates for me.

And had the misfortune to get there just when those busloads did. It soon turned into a bloodsport... From which M barely escaped - but with my teapot! - and lived to tell. But tell he did, and does, on quite a regular basis...

Anyhow. Now the whole area had developed into some modern factory outlet village, aspiring to look welcoming and old traditional. But far from, it did. They had really ruined the whole treasure-hunting-feeling-for-nearly-flawless-crockery completely. Home with me came some of the items I looked for, but not all, the supply on offer was unfortunately not complete. Bummer.
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Continuing driving through the town of Höganäs and you'll get to the charming seaside village of Mölle, once a scandalous and frivolous holiday resort for people of means. Still a popular place, but not quite in the same way I gather. Very picturesque.
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Continue to drive through Mölle to reach the peninsula Kullahalvön and the national park of Kullaberg with its lighthouse. Quite beautiful, dramatic scenery and nature overlooking the North Sea. Can you see that tiny cottage down there embedded amongst the cliffs? I've always been intrigued by that ever since I first saw it - I wonder who's living a dream there...? Can't be Kullamannen - The Kulla Man - can it...?
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Not far from there you find one of the most charming, with old and royal traditions, café Flickorna Lundgren Skäret - The Lundgren Girls at the Skerry. The main building is from the early 18th century, but nothing beats sitting in the large garden on a sunny summer day with an grand view over fields and bay. However, the rain kept falling down like never before when we got there this time. We had our brunch in the greenhouse instead.
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I try to condone the fact that the proprietor of the establishment was really unfriendly and unaccommodating when I asked for simple cheese on my sandwich instead of meat or that horrible mouldy thing called tallegio I ended up with - one of the most vile thing I've ever tasted - because the vanilla heart was divine and the strawberry cake wasn't half bad either...
Skåne is also the province well known for all its castles - I'm a castle buff, and if I can't have Scotland and England with castles behind every corner, I'll take Skåne anyday! - of which one is situated in the Mölle area, Krapperup. One of the oldest mansions in Skåne, dating back to the 12th century.
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With quite the hideous bright orange-red colour frontwise, but a much nicer looking backside. And a very lovely, vast garden - with a scary amount of enormous killer-snails... Nightmarish.
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Not far away, don't miss - Sofiero castle, outside the town of Helsingborg. Formerly a royal summer residence with a great view over the inlet between Sweden and Denmark. Now a grand garden with a beech forest, hosting different garden festivals and events every year. More than well worth a visit, even if you aren't particularly interested in gardens.
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End of Pitches in Scania, part I

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