Spring?

Are you finally around the corner? Pretty please, we need you!

The other day, I took my bike for a spin to sniff some fresh air. I more or less had a spot I wanted to reach but the snowy-icy road conditions gave me a challenge. So I set up a compromise to just go until I easily can do. But eventually, I made it, and got to Borgeby Slott.

As it was written on the board, the castle has a history leaning back to the 11th century. Thousand years! And the simple, but majestic architecture has been standing there since the 15-16 hundreds. It is possible to take a tour inside as well, but this time of the year, I only had the chance to look at it from the outside. So I decided to go for some careful loops in the fresh snow to discover.

But what actually impressed me the most was not what I found around the castle but when I moved a bit further. There was a river in the valley! An unexpectedly wide watercourse, half ice covered with ducks enjoying the stream and a new wooden pier leading aside. Quite cool construction. I needed to have a closer look. When I walked down the hill to reach the shore, I realized some even cooler stuff: a little cottage just at the water. It’s the base of a kayaking-canoeing club and renting station! Obviously, closed…

However, the situation is not hopeless: now, that the snow has melted, it’s visible – spring’s harbingers are definitely coming. The snowdrops are here and the winter aconites has started popping their yellow heads up. On the top, the first hellebores are going to bloom in a few days.

Spring is around the corner. But still a few more weeks just about dreaming of going with the canoe down the river. However, the day will come. Until that, I’ll just stay with my ordinary, well-functioning two-wheeler companion and go for some other rounds of discoveries.

Snogeholm throwback

Huh, it has been a heavy week! We had a lot to do for school. When I received photos from our Snogeholm adventure, it was a relaxing break to just look through them.

Some of them I like so much that I couldn’t resist sharing.

“During our visit, we were walking around among the stands following the green dot painted on tree trunks.”

“The green dot was undoubtedly necessary because there was a big difference from a hiking path in the woods: there was no pathway.”

“As I was walking around I realised how much I liked to be there in winter. To observe the open passages…”

“…the diverse or just monoculture forest edges making gradient or sharp borders without their green leafage.”

However, this is just a brief catch up with characteristic elements, amusing stand details, transitions, landscape types so that you can have a picture in mind. But doesn’t substitute any visits!

Credits for the nice shots to David Zimmerling

Queuing for microwave

12.10, Alnarpsgården, Pause Room: What do you have? Lasagna? It smells delish, maybe I will cook that tonight! Thanks for the hint.

In Alnarp, we have common pause or lunch rooms where you can sit, eat and heat up your food. Equipped with dozens of microwaves, a coffee and vending machine, fridge, sinks, kitchen counter – it’s not like a high school canteen. I would call it a lunch hub.

According to its name, the usual routine is that all students gather there at around 12 and it becomes far more crowded than any other lecture halls or classrooms. Everyone rushes to the fridge, takes out its plastic food box (which all carefully squeezed in there in the morning) and tries to catch a free microwave. The resourceful students never have to wait, but the majority of the people always end up in a long-long queue. In good weather you can combine eating with being outside in the courtyard and fetching vitamin D, in a cold grey day, you can just simply socialize with your classmates at the lunch tables.

Besides the always nice company and practical equipment I also prefer to eat there because of the room itself. I especially like how they preserved the character of the former barn in this premises of the main building (apart from the library, my ultimate fave). The old features like the high ceiling, the wooden beams and the fodder storing structure, and how they introduced the modern with the industrial style of the visible pipelines and the white paint.

There is only one drawback about the concept of the lunch hub which is the smell. The concentrated smell of all dishes heated up. So if someone brings something intense, the whole room has that special scent.

Anyways, I like it that can cook or prepare food in advance in order to consume it there or just take your leftovers from last dinner. It is a simple and cheap way to get warm food in your stomach. But if you don’t have the feeling for being a star chef when getting home after a strictly scheduled day, there is an option – the restaurant in the arboretum can save you from starvation or from being uncreative what to cook. By grabbing a sandwich or a menu what you can even take away… and eat in the common room!

Besides the rush between 12-13, there are some other functions of the room too. Most of the time the space and the microwaves stands empty and quite. So it becomes a suitable spot for a study circle, a group work or just a short contemplation on the couch (yes, couch). Once we even had a class randomly designated there.

So pack your lunch and queue in! 😉

Experimental hiking

Winter is not the prettiest season in South Sweden. Grey, foggy and moist are the best words to describe it. Therefore, there are no excuses for not going on a trip in drizzling rain or horizontal snowfall. However, you can really imagine yourself as being on an expedition while dressed up in 5-10 layers of clothes. With this spirit we started our journey to Snogeholm, another experimental forest after Alnarp.

While thumbing the ‘scape magazine, next to the report about the landscape lab in Alnarp, I bumped into a brief review about the Snogeholm landscape lab. It raised my attention due to the similar principle of our campus forest’s idea. However, this one also has connections to SLU, it is situated much farther in Scania, in the vicinity of Ystad, located on former crop fields of 30 hectares embraced with an extended woodland complex. The place was born with the contribution of a bunch of landscape architects and foresters who had the idea and began developing it in the early ’90-ies. They created a forest pattern composed of 67 mixtures of woody plants. Surprisingly, these 67 kinds of trees are representing almost all the tree species that can be found in Sweden. Apart from the main experimenting reasons, it functions as a recreational hub in the Scanian open landscape. A perfect den to hide from wind and exposure and to spend an easy day.

While studying the article the picture of the aerial photo really caught me with showing the surrealistic and picturesque tree stands flourishing in the shades of autumn colours. It caught me, but I didn’t have the patience to wait seasons to visit and admire the same appearance shown in the paper. However, it made me wonder: does it have something to show in winter as well?

During our visit, we were walking around among the stands following the green dot painted on tree trunks and letting ourselves be fascinated triggered by the environment. The green dot was undoubtedly necessary because there was a big difference from a hiking path in the woods: there was no pathway. No beaten track, just a few signs on the trees leaving you stroll a bit and letting you choose your own route and your own way to discover the place. As I was walking around I realised how much I liked to be there in winter. To observe the open passages, the changing groundcovers according to the tree species, both the dense and spacious stand interiors with bare boles, the diverse or just monoculture forest edges making gradient or sharp borders without their green leafage.

Yeah, it could be easy to spend a day there, but preferably without a heavy snowfall, which we actually had. Therefore, after a few hours of exploration the need was urgent to melt our frozen fingers and stiff toes. So we decided to treat ourselves with a cup of hot bryggkaffee in the lovely town of Ystad, where also the thrilling Swedish crime series, Wallander takes place.

Check it out! But just after the landscape lab!