Ohmygoodness, i just nearly went and thanked the girl in Starbucks. Cant believe ive just had coffee in there, walked around the area for ten minutes or so looking for an alternative but need to stay local for my boat trip, gave up and succumbed to starbucks. Loos? Yes! and i now have a loo doorcode saved in my phone. The loos on the train didnt work yesterday but at the station it cost me £1.10 for a pee! So i am very happy to have found a loo in the middle of town that i can use. My coffee was way more expensive than i expected but when i tasted it, oh heaven, the first latte ive had since ive been away that actually tasted good. Ive avoided them since i had a couple of Faroese ones made with condensed milk and one in Denmark that arrived almost as black coffee. I am shocked at how americanised my coffee taste has become.
The boat trip im about to take is about as tiny as you can get, Malmo has a canal that circumnavigates the old part of town. i dislike cities, i know i do, so im going to take the easy way out and be a tourist. Ive given up on bike hire. Given up on busses too, ticketing sytems are too complicated, not tourist friendly, you must have a ticket before getting on but theres generally no ticket machines!
I will resort to knackered feet tho may have to go back to ask the tourist office again about an evening bus for a swim. They were helpful, actually helpful and friendly when i went it. They didnt mind each time i sat down, thought and planned and then returned with another question. Thats what we are here for they said and they actually started treating me as a real person instead of just a tourist and offered their opinions. A refreshing change.
So my plan for today is boat trip, walk through the old part of town then into the castle grounds and the free art museum then out to Turning Tower of Torso. Tomorrow will be the flea market and the two other free museums. Monday, Copenhagen bike tour and boat tour. Tuesday perhaps train to Helsingor and Wednesday see whats left i want to do. I wonder how closely ill stick to that plan.
Tough decision. Get in the queue for the boat early, wait at the front to choose my seat or sit here, on the steps to write and chill, see what seats are left in the last few minutes. Invariably i find if i do the former, theres a reason why what appeared to be a good seat turns out not to be so. Perhaps ill sit next to someone to talk to.
Perfect, today we have no choice, there are single seats, twos and threes. People are told where to sit. Im nearly at the back of the queue and look at those ahead of me, placing my companions all in groups with just one single seat remaining. Brilliant, i get a lovely single seat right by the edge of the boat. Others try to argue with the girl about seats but there is no choice, what is it? something doth butter no parsnips? Not really the right expression at all.
Ok so i enjoyed that, yes i definitely enjoyed my boat tour. Good information, history and understanding of Malmo from an attractive perspective, easy learning.
And at last, with a return visit to the tourist office, the bus info kiosk at the station and then 'take a number' queuing at the bus office, ive fathomed the bus tickets and managed to purchase a JoJo card and loaded it with five single tickets for nine pounds, valid for any time and also valid to get a train around the city. To swim in the evening would involve committing to a five mile walk after a day on my feet but this way i can bus there, swim, then return via the station concourse with wifi to my hearts content, before the further half hour walk home. Sounds like a good plan.
Ive a guest in my house who has just paid £452 for one week to write up his phd so i feel i can afford to be a little more liberal with my money this week and am about to tuck into a Japanese lunch with a Japanese pint in front of me. I suspect my waistline wont like me eating out but dont think ill go far wrong with chilli marinaded chicken skewers, red onion pickle and boiled rice.
Ok, so i also enjoy planning once i have sufficient information to be efficient, its the struggle to get to this point that takes all the ingenuity, endurance and persistence that i am able to summons. Im about to pay twenty quid for my beer and meal in Lila Torg, the most popular square in town and bugger, theres no wifi! Heyho, so as well as ferries, wifi was something Denmark was good at.
Hmm, im unaware the Japanese served bowls full of mayonnaise, or that chiili marinaded chicken skewers would come as deep fried breaded chicken pieces without a hint of chilli. Expectations, thats the trouble, i have expectations. Time to explore.
Oh my heavens alive the busses work! Stops match those shown and named on the map, also named at the bus stops and announced in the bus both visually and orally. Its 7.30pm and im sitting on the beach. Despite the tourist office assuring me there would be many people swimming in the evenings, the only swimmers here are the seagulls, so wimpy me is sitting in the sand trying not to destroy my ipad but grateful to have found my way here and what a beautiful beach! Unbelievable for a city!
The mossies are out in force though so i wont be sitting here long with my sweaty body and my long unwashed clothes. No the african nuts didnt work, yes they did as good a job as my attempts at handwashing but the engrained grimey smell from weeks of wear without a proper wash remains. I can even see that the front of the legs and the bum area begin to look grimy. They may never recover!
I have been so very very lucky with the weather. Maybe two days of rain since i left the Faroes, otherwise its sun sun sun but also i find it very humid. i struggle with the heat and humidity particularly since my clothes were chosen with the Faroes in mind. I could easily sit here all evening but am being eaten alive and from the sound of body slaps all around me so are others. Moral of the story, shower and put on avon skin so soft body lotion that acts as mossie repellant before coming out in the evenings.
Perhaps ill stray this way earlier tomorrow evening. Its probably also the best view of Turning Torso there is as well. I terrify myself still, every time i take a photo with my ipad held above water, there's been several of those today.
Such a beautifully spacious city, a few old parts, some interesting new buildings, acres and acres of green spaces and parks, free museums and now miles of beach with a direct pathway from the central station, albeit approaching two miles of empty and isolated places in parts. I am satisfied, can actually say ive had an enjoyable day and can understand people wanting to live here. I think maybe itll be a guardian recommendation before too long and then i can say i found it first!