Sunday, October 14, 2012

Visit from Dad and Gloria

After a few months of no blogging, we're back! Sorry about the absence. The academic year started on 3 September and both Bobby and I have been busy with work. We were able to take a bit of a break a few weeks ago, though, when Dad and Gloria came for a visit! Visiting in late September after their two week driving holiday in Ireland, we got to show Dad and Gloria our new apartment. It meant a lot to Bobby and me that they were so happy with our home. Aside of apartment stuff and some touring in Copenhagen, we also took a day trip to Sweden. After a 45 minute train ride from Copenhagen, we arrived in Lund. Lund was founded around 990, at a time when the southern part of modern Sweden was a part of Denmark. It wasn't until 1658 that the land was handed over to the Swedish crown. The Lund Cathedral, pictured here, was built in the 1080s, it was technically a Danish cathedral.
In the huge crypt underneath the catheral, there is a giant carved into one of the pillars. Legend has it that when the cathedral was being built, local troll Finn the Giant offered to help with the construction. When the cathedral was finished, the troll became angry (something to do with a lady troll and being tricked by the bishop), so the troll went to pull down a pillar in order to destroy the cathedral. Somehow, the troll was instead turned into stone just as he was about the pull the pillar.
In addition to some colorful folklore, the cathedral also hosts an amazing astronomical clock. Constructed in 1424, this still-working clock kept time for Lund for over three hundred years. We were lucky enough to be in the cathedral when the clock struck noon. Two knights joust on top of the clock, then the Middle Age Christmas carol In dulci jubilo plays on an organ while 6 wooden figures pass by Jesus and Mary. It was quite a special sight!
Aside from the cathedral, Lund is also home to Lund University, the largest university in Scandinavia. The university traces its roots back to 1425, but the current university was founded in 1666 (when Lund was part of Sweden, not Denmark).
This building, which is the main building of the university, was built in 1874.
The inside of the main building was amazing! This is one of many rooms that we peeked into.
After visiting the university, we walked around the town, where we saw quite a few lovely buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Dad and I agree that a lot of the buildings looked Flemish and very similar to the buildings we saw in Northern France.
After a fun morning, we ate lunch at the Lund Grand Hotel. The meal was fantastic! I had Swedish meatballs, which came with home-made pickles and rich mashed potatoes. It was a great way to recharge before heading to the next part of our Sweden day trip, Malmö, where we had a lot of fun wondering around.

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