The first of August, I flew down south to Malmö to meet up with Julien. As he flew via Copenhagen; my first mission was to pick up our rental car at the airport so I could go pick him up from Malmö Central.
Despite this being the most budget friendly car option out of all the rental companies of Sturup, it still looked strikingly much like a space ship. A space ship I finally managed to master (albeit with a millimetric margin of driving it straight into the concrete wall it was parked in front of, but that is a completely different story) and soon I was on the road heading for Skåne's capital.
After driving through what seemed like the Scandi version of the Monsoon, we got settled into our airbnb about an hours drive east of Malmö - in a wee picturesque town called Lövestad.
After breakfast the next day, we drove off to Åhus. Our aim was to visit the distillery of Absolut Vodka. They have a temporary Experience Center offering a free guiding, alternating between Swedish and English, every full hour from 9am.
I am not normally a big fan of visiting distilleries et cetera, but it was actually well interesting to hear how they built the brand. One of my favourite anecdotes was on how they tried to to make it in NY, where nobody was very keen to import an unknown vodka from little Sweden. So they hired actors to one by one enter bars; try to order a drink based on Absolut; then storm out in a loud exit when denied the particular brand. Before you knew it, the bars were queueing up to get the bottles from Åhus shipped over the Atlantic.
Our next stop was the nature reserve of Brösarps Backar. It is really different, and somewhat difficult, to drive on the roads down south compared to the north where I reside. There are not a lot of signs indicating where it is possible to turn, and suddenly the GPS will recalculate the route as you just drove past your exit... which in turn looked like nothing more than a forest path?
Brösarps backar (Brösarps Hills) is where the film adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's The Brothers Lionheart was recorded. With its beautiful apple farms and undulating landscapes rolling out in all directions it is indeed a remarkable place to fashion Nangijala.
In Kivik it was time for a coffee stop. The beach front was packed with people, despite the alarming rain clouds hovering above us. We parked along the beach esplanade and walked up to Mandel & Målla I was thrilled to find that they did not serve any milk other than almond for the coffees! I turned over to Julien going
We shared the most divine creation of cakes - a crumbly peanut and chocolatey one. I need to look into trying to recreate something similar because W O W !
Back in the car, we drove to Simrishamn where we managed to lose one another despite the teeny size of the town.
I took shelter in the beautiful stone church that stood open, and I am glad I did - behold this beautiful place! Almost like the church we accidentally visited whilst in Glenfinnan.
With some take away from Thai Smile, we parted to our final destination of Ale Stenar (Ale's Stones in Kåseberga. I suppose I was expecting something along the lines of pagan Stonehenge - the scene of a megalithic stone circle located at the edge of a cliff is sounds rather epic, but I was quite disappointed.
Mainly of how people were climbing the rocks to take photos (making it well difficult for those of us wanting to capture the whole thing without someones magenta pink wind jacket disturbing the view!).
I was sure going later in the day, close of sunset, would result in a lesser crowd. Wishful thinking. Perhaps a summer sunrise is the best bet?