A Day in Lund

As far as university towns go, traipsing around them in Europe awakes in me the urge to go back to a life as a student. Now that is stating something. The day I finished labouring over science in high school, which only drove me into the arms of my original love, English literature, I was doing fifty jigs a minute. And, that day that I held my first paycheck in the offices of the Times of India: Exquisite. I was empowered. By the control I had over my own life. I had left the world of studying and loathsome exams behind.

Yet finding myself in university towns like Leuven or Lund, makes me rethink my stance.

The beauty of the Skåne region in southern Sweden had started revealing itself when we took the train from Malmö to Lund. A flat countryside stretched out alongside the train tracks, patchworked by farms, forests, lakes and manors. As these plethora of scenes rushed by us, even on that bleak day in winter, it turned out to be a scenic journey. At the end of it waited Lund of the quaint cottages and cobbled alleys. It reminded us of pottering about Bruges, the Belgian town famed for its veneer of fairy-tale loveliness. It was as cold if less blustery than Bruges.

In this second oldest university town in Sweden, students bicycled upon uneven cobbled lanes, couples sat in intimate cafes, medieval timber-framed houses flanked the narrow roads. Occasionally bright pops of yellow and green on the facades introduced a startling element of colour. The leafy parks still held on to the flaming hues of autumn. The university buildings, the old library, churches big and small, ignited the imagination.

Again we ambled around in Lund, no particular activity in mind because we can be random like that apart from being touristy at times, peeping into store windows, spotting bakeries with wonderful breads that glowed like golden sirens and enterprising cakes (one was themed The Backstreet Boys, the mouths of all five boys, dressed in very blue suits, gaping open as if somebody had threatened to slap them for belting out overtly cheesy numbers). There, shivering in the frigid November air, we broke out into terrible renditions of As long as you love me, Adi teasing me because I (am so ashamed to admit) fancied them as a teenager. Which girl did not? My husband insists, cheesy ones like me. Blonde locks, exposed chests, all-white suits, synchronised dancing…open the gates of heaven. That display window was proof. I was not alone in my teenage fervour.

The conclusion to our traipsing around town was struck in the shadows of the Lund cathedral, a behemoth in weathered stone, beneath dismal skies. This cathedral that stood as a paean to Lund’s historical status, for it was the religious capital of Scandinavia once. That is how we found ourselves charmed by one of Europe’s oldest towns, where we were for a short while, in a time bubble with a giant troll called Finn sitting somewhere in the crypt of the cathedral for sparkling company.

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Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

54 thoughts on “A Day in Lund

  1. Your description of the Backstreet Boys cake was too funny! I will have to be more careful when reading your blogs. I almost spit my coffee at the screen 😉 Lovely photos too – especially like the one with the cute colorful booties and stuffed animal toys! – Neek

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    1. Hah, I am glad you did not end up bathing your laptop in coffee. You could have sued me.
      And, thanks Neek 🙂 Your comments never fail to make me smile. xx

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  2. I never get tired of descriptions that include cobbled streets and “breads that glowed like golden sirens” and old libraries. You paint a beautiful scene. No one will fault you for the Backstreet Boys love. It was a wild and crazy time! 🙂

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    1. Hmm you got the breads and they did have the glow of golden sirens…I love the imagery. I wanted to queue up and lay my greedy hands on all. Thank you for that and the appreciation, Lyz. Also, glad you got my back on BB. I thought many times before revealing this campy side of me. xx

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      1. I bought these artisan breads from a fair the other month and it was some of the best I’d ever tasted. I’ve dreamed of it since. Bread is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Also, welcome to life outside of the BB closet. 😃

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      2. BB closet! 😀 I want to live in a certain bread lab on Amsterdam Avenue in NYC. It certainly churns out some fantastic crusty doughs. I am eyeing a few the next time I turn up there. xx

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  3. How nice – just to amble. And Lund looks like it lends itself to ambling pretty well. I was a big fan of the Osmonds (especially Donny) – an earlier version of the Backstreet Boys!

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    1. Now why do I feel better already! 😀 😀 They are too cute. I have got to show them to Adi unless he knows about them already. I did not.
      Thanks for the morning laughs, Tracey. xx

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    1. It must be prestigious then I suppose. It is definitely one of the oldest in Europe and I am not surprised. Well go for it anyway. xx

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  4. I totally get this post, A. I never got to study in a uni in Europe but it was a dream and up to now they fascinate me. You can just imagine when I got to visit Cambridge a couple of years back! And Backstreet Boys? Every girl loved them! Hahaha! I like your pics in this post. I see romance in them. 🙂

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    1. Amor, we are soul friends. Cambridge and Oxford, do not get started on them. I tilt more towards Oxford but hey who can deny the charms of Oxbridge.
      Thank you for bolstering my wilting confidence about my music choices as a teenager. It counts. And thank you for seeing romance in them. Beauty, after all, is solely in the eyes of the reader. xx

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    1. Hmm whereabouts do you live? I am popping over to your blog anyway. Lund would be worlds away from SA I bet!

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  5. Lovely post and lovely pictures! Lund seems to be very beautiful! It’s quite funny since the only reason I know some Swedish cities is because I love to by furniture at IKEA 😀
    Have a good week :)!

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    1. Hiya Sophie, thank you! Lund is beautiful, so beautiful. IKEA…this will sound funny but I love the cheesecake that they sell in their cafe! I just think through my stomach 😉
      You too have a nice week, love. xx

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  6. There’s just something about a university town, right? But, to be fair, not all are created equal. A jaunt through those quaint streets followed by some fresh bread sounds divine, though. As for your penchant for Backstreet Boys, we all have guilty pleasures…and that’s far from the most embarrassing.

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    1. Yeah maybe not the most embarrassing. I have tonnes stashed away for safekeeping.
      I hear you. University towns make me want to start all over again! 🙂

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  7. Always a pleasure to come across one of your travels. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I actually sang one of the BB songs in college for some event!

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      1. Hilarious… I had to do a google search to get the exact name.. only to find that I mixed up my bands… I am much older than you dear, in my case the band is Backstreet boys… the song was You’ve Got It.

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      2. No don’t worry I’ve got you. It was Backstreet Boys alright. That is a fair song to master. I bet your kids are unaware of their mum’s hidden talents 😉 xx

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  8. Glorious photos that I swooned over this morning. I love the touch of Danish in this part of Sweden. It is the perfect blend of Scandinavian elements! The bakeries there are just divine as were your descriptions. It makes me want to travel back there again!

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    1. You make me smile. You have found all my happy posts. Lund was such a perfect little university town. And the bakeries. If I could, I would carry them with me everywhere. Cheers milady! I feel the same way as you — to travel back again indeed. xx

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