It can be surprisingly easy when living somewhere to miss out on the local museums, gardens, and interesting sights in favour of looking around neighbouring towns and cities. When on exchange it is especially important to remember to actually get to know the city you are in and take some time to be a tourist in your new home! If you are like me and arrived in a bit of a blizzard you may have missed this at first. After a few weeks the novelty starts to wear off and once classes start and a rhythm is established it is easy to never take the time to look around. This is why it is so wonderful to have a visitor, suddenly a real tourist is there to show around your town and explore all those museums you meant to visit earlier.
Last week my special German friend came for a visit and so despite the wind, mist, and even snow, we did a bit of sightseeing in Lund. For starters, there are some lovely walks to do in and around Lund. It had snowed shortly before my friend arrived, so we enjoyed the cozy look of the snowy garden huts on the way into town.
Once in town there is a plethora of café’s to visit, cute lunch spots, and of course museums, art gallery’s, and the Botanical Gardens. Likely the most famous museum in Lund is Kulturen. Really Kulturen is half museum and half recreated village. There is a main building with exhibitions on specific eras describing the history of the area, and then across the street there is a collection of houses from various time periods from across Skåne. Most of these buildings can be entered and show typical room arrangements of the time, complete with outlines of people and some surprisingly lifelike fake dogs!
Another gem in Lund is the botanical gardens which have an outdoor section as well as spectacular greenhouses making it a good visit no matter the weather! In fact, it is especially satisfying to be in the sultry green houses watching some of the funny tropical birds while there is a northern gale blowing outside. The green houses range from cool dry cacti, to steamy jungle plants next to a koi pond, to few rooms with adorable birds from who-even-knows where! Did I mention the birds? They are adorable! The garden is a wonderful place to show a visitor or to just go to relax in between classes.
The weekend provided a chance to go a bit further afield to the troll forest on the outskirts of Lund near Dalby. This is an old growth forest of twisted trees in sinister shapes, it is easy to imagine, as people did for a long time, trolls hiding out here! Indeed, the mist made everything look much more sinister and mysterious. Although only a twenty-minute bus ride from Lund, and only a ten-minute walk from the center of Dalby, the forest is silent, the kind of muffled silence that only comes in winter after a snow. It was enchanting.
Although I have been in Lund over a month now I had not seen these places until my friend visited and I had an excuse to be a tourist again! And there are a few places we didn’t make it to, well, I suppose he’ll just have to come back…