I think the majority of us plead guilty when it comes to not doing so much travelling around your own country. Something I found especially true when working at the campsite last year, where most travellers passing through were German and I had not heard of half the places from their itineraries.
(Then again, who knows whether that is due to my lack of geographical skills or them failing miserably to pronounce Swedish locations ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
stone churches, iconic vodka and the bridge TV star
Either way, last summer I decided I need to change this and thus set out to explore the very south of my long, long country. Southern Sweden is a great place for a road trip, particularly for a northerner like myself, as the distances seem so ridiculously short. During three days in early August, we visited locations from Astrid Lindgren-film adaptation, the distillery of Absolut Vodka, a megalithic stone circle, and made the short detour over to beautiful Copenhagen via the Öresund bridge. (As made globally famous from scandinoir drama The Bridge.)
All in all, a pretty darn eventful road trip!
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We rented a very retro flat through AirBnb hosted by a Danish artist couple. It was nice to have a home base throughout the trip, so we could pack only the daily essentials into the car each morning. As well as having a kitchen accessible for some food prep, to keep costs down whilst on the road.
If you are new to AirBnb you can get £25 off your first booking by signing up here.
Day 1: Absolut distillery, apple farms and stone circles
The Absolut Vodka Distillery, Åhus
The first stop of the itinerary was one to infamous vodka brand Absolut, which today is owned by Pernod Ricard but its production still resides in the same little Swedish settlement. It was surprisingly interesting to take the one hour tour and learn about their, very original, advertising campaign back in the 80's.
Brösarps Backar, Tomelilla
The nature reserve of Brösarps Backar (Hills of Brösarp) was used as a backdrop for the film adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's The Brothers Lionheart which is why I wanted to visit. The landscapes are simply stunning; both on screen and IRL. We stopped the car for a quiet walk, eating the packed lunch and some blueberries growing among the trees. (Which you can totes do in Sweden, thanks to something called Allemansrätten.)
Afternoon fika at Mandel & Målla, Kivik
A day without fika is a day wasted! Make a stop over for that afternoon caffeine at Mandel & Målla, in picturesque Kivik, where everything is vegan.
Ales Stenar, Kåseberga
After picking up take away-thai in Simrishamn and admiring the beautiful stone church in town, we set off for Ales Stenar (Ale's Stones) in time for sunset.
For more photos of this day, have a look at: Another year, another road trip.
Day 2: Ystad, Skanör-Falsterbo and Copenhagen
Have the day's first cuppa in one of the cosy cafés of coastal town Ystad. I did not get to explore much of this wee town as the rain was pissing down (and I also had a minor incident with the rental car that brought out my inner cry baby.)
I actually managed to FORGET about this total bucket list-worthy location. Smygehuk is namely the southernmost part of Sweden.
House watching is a definitely a hobby of mine and Skanör-Falsterbo has quite the bunch of pretty creations to browse. By foot... or the lazy version by rolling down the car windows. Guess which one I chose.
Copenhagen: Nyhavn, Little Mermaid and Christiania
You cannot be this close of Copenhagen and NOT drive across the Öresundsbro. I picked out some of my Copenhagen favourites for us to explore: Photogenic Nyhavn with the harbour reflection, the impressive vault of Marmorkirken and the Little Mermaid statue, before we rounded the evening off in freetown Christiania.
For more photos from this second day, have a look at: Across the bridge.
Day 3: Malmö and departure
My first and so far only visit to Malmö was a lot of circulating around the one way-traffic lanes and waiting in line for some takeaway coffees. I did enjoy the colourful city centre (Lilla Torg) where most buildings have retained their original appearance. You don't see that so much these days, when most city centres are a copy of the next.
After the coffee it was time to return the rental car at Skurup Airport and head back up to the calm woods of the north, where my heart belongs.