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Swinging Through Sweden

12/09/2014 16:39 BST | Updated 12/11/2014 10:59 GMT

My #12country12monthes mission started out with no plan, in fact, it was birthed out of the most spontaneous trip I have ever taken in my life (http://www.noellereno.co/2014/istanbul-whim-post-huffington-post/ ).

Admittedly, I love a plan. #12countries12months has forced me to expand beyond my comfort levels which is in fact part of the whole point of a mission that is rooted in personal growth and exploration as much as it is in geographical exploration.

I've started to embrace the "non-plan" which was very much the case when I hit the southern shores of Sweden by way of the Öresundsbron (the overwater/underwater bridge connecting Denmark to Sweden).

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The Öresundsbron delivers one in to Malmo, a town I reckon was once humble and secluded but thanks (or no thanks) July 1st, 2,000, completion of the bridge is expanding in to a commercialized European city. Ruminates have withstood the construction of Zara's and McDonald's as evidenced by the architecture, the parks, hidden passways, and certain churches.

Waling through the construction of new office biuldings and offices , I made my way to Malmohus /Malmo Museer (Malmo Museum) which I found totally lackluster apart from its lovely setting in Kings Park.

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Kings park was stunning and somewhere I could of spent the entire afternoon. As it is a small park, you will have no problem hitting the Stadsbiblioteket (library) and rather curious Casino.

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Walking part Davids Hall to the Centrum (City Center) along the waterway I made my way to the S:t Petri kyrka (St. Peter's Church)

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Should you have more time than me to visit Malmo, its suggested to visit Folkets park, Margaretpaviljongen, and the Modern Museum.

One things that particularly struck me as a population is the stature and glow of the Sweds. They truly look of decedents of Viking people, including the women. They all carry a healthy tan glow which I wonder is in part due to their Northern exposure to the sun (or really good tanning beds). It was certainly a harsh opposite of my experience in Dublin, Ireland (http://www.noellereno.co/2014/huffington-post-paddy-land-ireland/)

From Malmo it is easy to commute by train to other villages and towns on the southern tip. I decided to spend the other half of my trip in Lund, a charming university village. Upon arriving I was immediately struck by the 100s of bikes parked by the station, indicative a Scandinavian culture as much as it being a university town. I walked up a slight hill to the Allhelgonakyrkan which is backed by neighborhoods filled with picturesque homes and cottages as if taken out of a storybook.

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Heading back towards the city center is the main tourist sight of Lund Castle, constructed by King Canute in 1080.

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The university campus sprawls through the back of the cathedral with vine covered building all quite unique in character:

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Before heading back to the continent I had to enjoy the obligatory dose of Swedish meatballs.

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as well as my personal blog: http://www.noellereno.co/blog