I have been fairly busy with my studies for the last couple of weeks, because I have an exam coming up soon. But this hasn’t stopped me from finding some time to enjoy myself. On Saturday, I went to Malmö, Sweden with some friends. The city is just a bridge away from Copenhagen, making commuting between the two countries possible. In this article, I’ll write about my impression of the city. I was only there for the evening, but I noticed a number of interesting things in a short period of time.
The British flag is a popular fashion icon – there seems to be more people walking around wearing hoodies and clothing decorated with the Union Jack in Malmö than there are in most parts of the UK. There’s even ‘The English Shop’, which sells all things that are quintessentially English, from Marmite to PG Tips.
To go off on a slight tangent, this article claims that the Denmark has banned the stuff, because it is fortified with added vitamins. However, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries has clarified the situation – an application for marketing has not been received by Marmite, and so it is not technically banned. In any case, it’s unavailable here, and it has a dubious legal position, which could lead one to believe that the Danish government hates Marmite.
Malmö is a modern city – one of the first things that struck me was the impressive amount of construction that was taking place. The sky is littered with cranes, and there are masses of fenced-off holes in the ground where the foundations of new buildings are being laid. And it’s notably clean – I don’t think that there was a speck of gum to be seen on the pavement. Apart from the core of the city centre, almost everything looks new – even the bicycle lanes look like they were tarmacked yesterday.
Here’s an example of some brilliant, modern Swedish architecture:
It is clear that the city is booming, and it makes me wonder where they’re getting all of this investment from and what is their secret? A quick online search suggests that the construction of the Øresund Bridge in 2000, which connects Malmö and Copenhagen as I mentioned earlier, has improved the labour mobility, and in turn, it has been instrumental in fostering the integration of the two economies. A Google Maps search of Malmö shows how close it is to Copenhagen.
Another thing that I noticed was how quiet the city seemed – its night life was almost lifeless. The relatively small central location had a good vibe, but as soon as I strayed out of there, it was pretty dead for a Saturday night. There were no revellers and almost no people outside of the central restaurant area. Of course, I wasn’t there for long and I don’t know the city nearly well enough to know the best places. But if my life were narrated by a soundtrack, ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials would be the most appropriate song for my trip to Malmö.
Even though it was mostly just walking around, my trip was well worth it to appreciate the impressive Scandinavian architecture. And it was only about a 40 minute train ride from the Copenhagen central station. Next time, I’ll go earlier in the day when everything is open, and I’ll plan my journey in more detail. But sometimes, spontaneous events are the best.