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Thursday, 31 May 2012

A weekend in Sweden and beyond.

Last Saturday we drove just over an hour to Lubeck and took a ferry to southern Sweden. It was a huge ferry with 2 decks to load cars, lorries and Harley Davidsons (yes! there were a group of them). The journey took about 7 hours. During this time we played with the kids, watched movies, ate, read, slept. A very relaxing start to a long weekend.

Our base was Malmo. The guide book in Malmo suggested a playground tour! Perfect for our kids. After a huge breakfast we headed to our first stop.

Here is M on top of a butterfly.....

Now you can see the Alice in Wonderland structure that themed the whole play ground. It was fantastic. Then onto a playground featuring all metal sculptures that the kids could climb, balance and swing from. We then headed to a beautiful main park with an wooden play area that offered a spider shaped slide and a circular wooden path with little wooden shops along the route to play in. All very different and imaginative. It was then off to the beach to watch brave Swedes swimming in the sea that was 15 degrees C.

The next day we forked out the 43 Euro to drive one way across this amazing bridge. You can just see Copenhagen in the distance. Its called the Oresund Bridge with (2 dots above the O) or the Sound Bridge.

This is the middle section of the 8km long bridge. Then there is an artificial island which links it to a underwater tunnel of about 4km. There a wind farms on either side and you can watch the planes landing into Copenhagen...the reason for the tunnel section. We then headed north the visit the Hamlet castle.

This is the place where the Danish family became very rich - Kronborg. They controlled the sound between Denmark and Sweden and charged each boat passing a fee. They became more sophisticated over time and charged a percentage of the cargo and got first dibs on buying it.

 For those that tried to get away, there were cannons to stop their passage.

The castle became most famous as the place in which Hamlet is set. In fact there was a crazy Danish king after whom it is believed inspired Shakespeare to write the play. Each summer a theatre group comes to Kronberg and perform the play. You can also purchase Hamlet dolls from the castle shop...some child had the camera at this point.....

We danced our way through the grand ballroom with the most amazing wooden beamed ceiling.

We then ended up in a play room with large buckets of lego and lots of drawing equipment...the kids highlight of the castle tour.

In keeping with the weekend ferry theme we took another car ferry from Helsingor Denmark to Helsingborg in Sweden. The narrowest point between the 2 countries. Then it was a short drive back to Malmo and home the next day. Now is back to business as usual as the May long weekends are now over. Bring on the summer!

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