Malmö

The Kallbadhus is a public bath where you jump into the ocean then get roasty toasty a sauna. The real champions go in February when you dive through a hole in the ice, swim to Denmark and back underwater, fight off polar bears, then go warm up.

The water isn’t terribly cold yet so it wasn’t too bad to hop in, but it wasn’t so warm that you would want to leisurely swim around. It was a solid 10 seconds in then out after a brisk walk to the sauna.

I was there at 3 o’clock on a monday. So most normal people around my age are either at work, or at school. The majority of the other fellows relaxing Viking style were elderly men, all at least 40 years older than me. I realized right away as soon as I walked in that this activity is something that takes place naked. I figured, hey. Never thought I’d go skinny dipping with some Swedish grandpas. Check that off the bucket list. Grandspa. The building was really beautiful, though. It was out on the water and had a beautiful wooden deck with brilliantly colored green changing rooms. The whole place looked like a small slice of paradise. The throngs of naked old-timers brought me back to reality though. Overall it was a great traditional swedish experience.

Today I met Tyke Tykesson, a planner in the strategic department of Malmö’s city planning office. Malmö has a pretty interesting history and has developed–if you distill it as much as possible–from a ship building town to a university city that designs video games and records Sweden’s major artists.

Sweden isn’t too threatened by sea level rise but its southernmost tip, Malmö’s surrounding area, is quite low-lying. Tyke has done some initial studies in the planning office to gauge the vulnerability of the city. But he was pretty interested to hear what I had learned so far during my two month stay in the Netherlands.

Malmö is quite an impressive city that has grown a lot in recent years. The city developed its western harbor from a stagnant industrial port to a very hip environmentally progressive neighborhood. The western harbor is an extremely attractive place for people to live. Danes even commute over from Copenhagen! It’s quite remarkable that Malmö was able to transform an industrial wasteland into a trendy, modern, environmentally friendly place to live. The neighborhood is defined by this building:

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The Turning Torso, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is the tallest building in Sweden.

Here’s my watercolor painting of it:

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Malmö is getting wind of the bike craze! Good to see.

Here are a few blasts from the pasts:

I wrote a letter to the King of the Netherlands a few weeks ago… why not!

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Today I got wind of a response:IMG_4668

No hard feelings, your Majesty. But hey, can I now tell people that I had an official correspondence with the King of the Netherlands?

Righteous.

Here are some nice photos from Rotterdam Rugby Practice:

It was such a great experience playing with these guys. I’ll look back fondly.

And here’s a treat…the real blast from the past. Malena has a few photo albums with pictures from when she lived with my family from 1995 to 96. And a few from some years later.

This evening Malena and I met up with Malena’s mom, Mona who lives right outside Malmö near the bridge over to Denmark. Mona offered to cook me Swedish meatballs. She made them for me for my 14th birthday. They tasted exactly the same 9 years later! It was so nice to see Mona.

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We also stopped by a gigantic open pit limestone mine and went to take a look at the bay between Denmark and Sweden.

The view of Denmark–c’est bon.

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Tomorrow and Friday I’m going to go and explore Copenhagen. It only takes half an hour to get over there from Malmö so I’m going to spend the nights here with my nanny. She has been treating me like just way back when I was baby Davey.

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