Looking around Ystad and a Swedish grocery store

(written by Dave)

First up, thanks to all who sent birthday wishes.  I don’t feel that much older.  One year ago we were riding in Malaysia and I broke a spoke on my real wheel.  On my birthday this year we tried to get our bikes into a local shop for a full overhaul and possibly getting the wheel re-spoked.  I’ve broken 4 spokes on that wheel now and would rather get it fixed since we have a break here in Sweden.  Oskar took us to the biggest bicycle shop in town but they were not overly interested in working our Campagnolo-equipped bicycles.  Almost all of the things we needed done were brand neutral but we agreed that we’d rather not leave the bikes somewhere that did not want them.

The shop at least gave us a name of a shop to check with in a town about an hour’s train ride from here.  It was the Lund branch of a shop Nancy and I visited in 2006 on a short visit to Stockholm – we even had purchased shop jerseys from them.  When we got back to Oskar’s place we called and even though Oskar and I had translated everything we needed done into Swedish, the guy on the phone spoke great English.  Tomorrow Nancy and I head to Lund on the train to drop our bikes off.  They have promised to have them done when we return on the 13th.  And they are going to rebuild my rear wheel – perfect result actually.

So once we got the bikes sorted we had the day to look around Ystad.  Our first stop was a grocery store.  Long time readers would know that we like to do this and in fact did a long post back when we were in Thailand featuring a tour of the rice aisle.  Well, I can report that here in Sweden they have rice as well but that the entire selection covers about 1/10 the area that rice did in Thailand.

We didn’t find any products in the store that surprised us.  But we were taken by the qualities of some products.  For example, the Swedish flat bread section was nearly an entire row.  The yogurt row was massive and much of the yogurt comes in cardboard containers that look like milk containers – it is slightly more liquid than the yogurt we normally see but is quite tasty (especially over fresh ripe Swedish strawberries!).  There was only a small section of the spoonable yogurt we normally see.  Mayonnaise comes in more flavours than you can imagine and it comes in tubes.  There was a giant bin in the produce section filled with glazed sugar doughnuts.  Doughnuts are not necessarily a surprise but the quantity and location was.  We expected the cold canned fish section to be larger but we were taken by shear quantity of pickled herring and other fish on offer.  The same was true of the liquorice in the candy section.  Swedes like their black salty liquorice.  There were more variations available that we could count.  As a special treat they even had Halls lozenges in liquorice flavour.  And we found big boxes of our favourite Swedish cookies, Annas ginger cookies.  We made a few small purchases but really, the whole wandering and looking part of the shopping was the most fun.

After shopping we headed to oldtown for some traditional touristing.  Ystad is anther highly photogenic city.  It is “only” about 1000 years old and has a few buildings that date from as much as 800 years ago.  There are few building over three stories and they make heavy use of post and beam construction.  Here they call them half-timbered buildings which makes sense as the spaces between the post and beans are filled with bricks, not traditional Tudor stucco with wood.

We wandered the streets, eventually finding our way to the harbour.  There are two harbours here, one for the big ferries and one for small pleasure boats.  The later was our destination.  It was pretty full, mostly of sailboats with many of them looking like they were in active use.  It is summer here so if you own a boat and sail in this part of the world, now is the season.  We had a look around, it is a nice little harbour.  Looking over the boats on the edge of the harbor we found a restaurant that Oskar had recommended.  We proceeded to celebrate my birthday and Nancy’s birthday as well.  When we were in Nice on Nancy’s birthday, she didn’t feel well – so we doubled up today.  We had fantastic meal, a nice local beer and great view of the sea.  Not a bad way to celebrate two birthdays.

Tomorrow we have a big day.  As I mentioned, we are heading to Lund in the morning.  Then in the afternoon, we are heading to a famous fish town for dinner, followed by the Wallander tour of Ystad.  I’m not sure that we’ll squeeze a post in with all of these activities, if not, we’ll catch up the next morning.

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4 thoughts on “Looking around Ystad and a Swedish grocery store

  1. Whew, you are finally going to get an overhaul on your bikes! With your spoke breaks and other repairs I was getting stressed over the health of your bikes! I know you are good but never hurts to take time off and let folks with a full compliment of tools have a look…

    Today’s post made me think about the variety of foods you have eaten over the last year+. You guys must have amazing stomachs…

    • It always feels better to ride a bike that has been overhauled, even if it really doesn’t make much difference. As for the food, I’m still issue free. Nancy has had a could small bouts,overallpretty lucky as you say.


  2. Wow! Anna Cookies are everywhere,& at IKEA! Glad you could both enjoy a nice dinner for both 2012 Birthdays! I agree with Chris about getting a really good look & fixing pro on the Bikes! A lot of miles on the bikes & on each of you! Have a great time and visit with Nancy’s Sisters and see lots!

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