The Friday theme started up last week again after the summer break, but I was too busy with our visitors to publish anything. Unfortunately I don’t really have an excuse for not posting something yesterday but I was just lacking energy and motivation in general. I am not sure whether or not I will continue participating in the Friday theme / Show & tell, but here’s my contribution to the theme chosen by Maisoui in Göteborg – “Four places that you must see in my town”:
I don’t really know which town I consider to be “my town” – it could be San Juan where I live at the moment, Brussels where I lived for 5½ years and where I will live again in 2010, Geneva where I lived twice and love a lot, Lund where I studied, Veberöd – the small village where I lived until the age of 14, or Eslöv where I lived from 14-19, and then again for a year as a 24-year old. My parents still live there – in my maternal grandparents’ house (built in 1922 by my maternal grandfather’s father Anders), as well as my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather, my Latvian sister Z and my brother and his girfriend have just bought a house in Eslöv…
I think it has to be ESLÖV, especially as my father just found some old photos of the town (scanned postcards?). You might recognise some of the pictures from my February post about an ordinary (?) Thursday in Eslöv.
Stora Torg (the Main Square) in Eslöv
Let’s start our walk at the main square, called Stora Torg (Big Square), where the [Best Western] Hotel Stensson is located and there is a market twice a week (Thursdays and Saturdays if I am not mistaken). The hotel is named after a fictional character called Sten Stensson Stéen (Sten means Stone but is also a name), who came from Eslöv and studied at Lund University and was immortalised (?) in two films by the famous actor called Nils Poppe.
Heading west from the main square you will follow Malmgatan, a pedestrian area for one block with a bakery, jeweller’s, pizzeria, and some other small shops. Malmgatan becomes an ordinary street with Albert Sahlins Plats (Albert Sahlin’s Square / park) on the left – the little square is located along an old red brick building that used to house a furniture shop (HN Möbler) but will now supposedly be converted into a “senior citizens’ housing”. The building is beautiful and I am happy that it won’t be torn down.
Malmgatan and Albert Sahlin’s Square – the main square can be seen at the end of the street. I used to love walking on the brick wall when I was a child – of course with an adult holding my hand.
So, my parents live in the house that my maternal grandfather’s father built, and I have a lot of childhood memories from both the house and the town. My grandfather and his parents, Anders and Ella, moved to the newly built house in 1923 and they all lived there the rest of their lives. My parents bought the house in February 1990 and we moved in a month before my grandmother moved out (to an apartment two blocks away). In other words, the house has never been emptied and my father is worried that the floor in the attic will collapse one day from all the stuff the rest of the family doesn’t want to throw away!
Malmgatan and the little park / square seen from the opposite direction. The fountain has been empty for many years now is still in use in the warmer months [my father only comments (via email) when he finds a mistake!!]
Walking a few blocks up Malmgatan, passing old imposing houses (patriciervillor) and some more modest ones, and then turning left on Skolgatan (the School street), you will arrive at the two main schools – Västra Skolan (the Western School) and Ekenässkolan, where my maternal grandparents, parents, I and my siblings went to school.
The schools have housed all levels of education (primary, secondary and high school) over the years. My parents went to high school at Ekenässkolan and my grandmother was a school nurse here before the high school students (and she) moved to the “modern” Bergaskolan at the outskirts of the town. When my siblings and I were students here, both buildings were one secondary school under the same name. Nowadays Västra Skolan is a primary school (up to the age of 12) and Ekenässkolan is secondary (13-16).
Västra Skolan (the Western School) and Ekenässkolan. My parents met at the high school graduation dinner at Ekenässkolan
When we moved to Eslöv in February 1990, I started 8th grade at Ekenässkolan. I had Swedish, English and French in Västra Skolan, and in the building between the two imposing schools we sometimes had PE (Physical Education) – it was very old and dingy. My grandmother once came to my [history or Swedish?] class to tell us about her school years. She had a lot of interesting stories to tell since she used to a student, a mother of students and worked in the school!
Behind the two schools is the park and pond Trollsjön (the Troll Lake), as well as the sports arena Ekevalla*. It is a lovely green oasis in the old part of town, where in the summer you can buy ice cream and enjoy cultural evenings at the outdoor theatre, and in the winters ice-skate on the pond.
Trollsjön (The Troll Lake)
There are lots of other lovely places in Eslöv – the famous (?) Stone mountain (Stenberget in Swedish), the town library in the old cinema, the Abulla pasture (Abullahagen) – not to be confused with Abdullah, and the forest called Snärjet (the Brush) where we all had to do orienteering and cross-country running as students…
And not to forget the Civic Hall (Medborgarhuset), the newest historic building in Sweden! The building was completed in 1957 and is a perfect example of post-war modernist architecture. My only association to the building is that I sat the written driving test there in 1994! See photos of the interior here. A few years ago I read a funny newspaper article about angry pensioners in Eslöv who were complaining that the polishing of the floor in the main hall made it impossible for them to slide properly when having their weekly “shuffle dances” there (kasedans in the local dialect).
Anyway, I would recommend everybody who has an interest for Swedish small towns to visit Eslöv! It is not as boring as it is known to be**!
I will publish the links to the other Friday theme participants as soon as possible. However, it is O’s birthday today and I need to focus a little on the birthday boy now!
*) The names Ekenäs and Ekevalla can be derived from the word ek, which means oak.
**) A certain Hans Ostelius (Swedish writer and globetrotter) said that Eslöv was Sweden’s most boring town in a live tv-programme, and this label has stuck ever since, even though he later on claimed that he meant Landskrona (another town in Skåne) (from Wikipedia).