Malmö was pure bliss. It was a quiet town nestled at the southern tip of Sweden, just across the bridge from Copenhagen, filled with paradoxes of history and modernism. I wandered the streets, visited the castle (which turns out is half art museum??) and stumbled upon a garden in which I felt the most calm and true I have ever felt.
My sweet Airbnb was tucked away on a side street and greeted me with the softest, most beautiful afternoon light. I launched myself onto the comfy bed as soon as I arrived, and basked in the calm that was overwhelming me. And, of course, the open, airy studio called for some self portraits as well. (Available for booking here.)
I wandered into Sankt Petri Church on my first evening in the city and was struck with crisp white and glowing gold all around me. The 700 year old Gothic style church is still functioning today. It was breathtaking to be in the midst of a sanctuary with so much history. Almost all of the original artwork is gone, but the way it stands now is just as beautiful as ever. It gleams a golden glow off of the white-washed walls and captivated my presence as I sat, prayed and meditated.
The next morning, on my way to see the castle, I stumbled upon the most beautiful, lush garden, Slottsträdgården. The morning light was still, the breeze caught hold of freshly fallen leaves, and it was in this time that I felt truly sure that I was exactly where I was meant to be.
This morning, I felt true joy.
After a few hours spent basking in the Swedish sunshine, I wandered to the Malmö castle - which turns out is half castle exhibit, half art museum? The castle was a complete 180° turn from the peaceful morning that I had just experienced, as it was 90% an exhibition on the jails, torture and death that had occurred inside the castle walls. I was the only visitor making their way through the darkly-lit, poorly-curated hallways and found myself actually quite terrified at the gruesome sound effects and haunted-house like props that were meant to be "historic."
Needless to say, I read a few plaques and got out of there quick.
The architecture of this city was curiously diverse. Some streets housed hundred year old flats, sandwiched between contemporary structures and LED street lights; others held grassy canal edges with geometric skyscrapers smacked in the middle. Although despite its architectural efforts to be a city, Malmö still felt small, quiet and as if it were the almost-forgotten Swedish younger sibling of Copenhagen.
I was only here for a couple of days, but I truly enjoyed every second. The shopping was stellar, the food well prepared, and the people as friendly as all the other Swedes I had encountered. I would gladly return in a heartbeat.