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My Trip To Malmo, Sweden: The Travel

Flight

Flying long distances is never all that fun.  Our trip to Malmo Sweden took us to Reykjavik Iceland on the first leg, and then to Copenhagen Denmark on the last leg.  Iceland seems like a strange stopover location, but we flew on IcelandAir, so that’s their hub.

The photo above is Orlando at sunset right after we took off on our trip.  It was an overnight flight, which means that everyone is supposed to sleep during the flight.  Easier said than done for some people.

We were dead tired when we landed in Iceland.  Our layover was supposed to be an hour and a half.  But even before our plane left Orlando, we were told that our Iceland to Denmark flight was delayed several hours.  When we got to Iceland we were told that storms the previous day caused a backup of an entire’s day worth of flights and so our flight would get delayed 8 or 9 hours.

Here is what the radar looked like an hour after we landed in Reykjavik Iceland.  The storm from the previous day was still on the radar moving to the east.

We inquired about what there was to do in Reykjavik Iceland, and the only activity that was presented to us was a popular local hot spring called Blue Lagoon.  It looks pretty neat and really beautiful, but we didn’t really feel like doing a hot spring with all our luggage and without swim suits.

So after taking long naps on chairs in a quiet corner of the Iceland airport, we made ourselves comfortable for the day.  We found some nice lounge chairs that we could stretch out in and chill.  I watched a movie on my iPhone.

And my wife did some “teacher homework”.  Grading papers or filling out teacher paperwork or something of that nature.

Eventually we got on a plane for Copenhagen Denmark and arrived there close to 10pm local time rather than our planned noon arrival time.

Language

In Denmark they speak Danish and in Sweden they speak Swedish.  And I know nothing about either of these languages.  Luckily, most locals also speak fluent English.  Once they realize that you’re not from around there.  And luckily most signage that we encountered had English subtitles.

But there were a few times that I needed a quick real-time translator.  Google Translate mobile app to the rescue!  It’s an awesome app!  It uses augmented reality to show you the translated text over the top of the actual text using your phone’s live camera feed.

Here is a photo of a sign in Danish that was on the wall in the Copenhagen airport.

And here is a screen grab of what that sign looked like in the Google Translate mobile app.  It overlays the translated text over the original text in a similar font and color in order to replace the text in real time within your live camera feed.  It’s really cool.  Not perfect, but super cool!

Train

To get from Copenhagen Airport to Malmo Sweden, we had to buy a train ticket inside the airport and then wait for the train.   The signs were a little confusing because we needed to go to the Malmo Central train station, but the trains mostly showed their final destination.  So we nearly missed our train because Malmo was in very small print on the sign.  We noticed it just in time, though.  Thankfully.  It was cold waiting for the train, and I didn’t want to sit there for another 20 minutes waiting for the next train!

The train from Copenhagen to Malmo goes both over and under the strait thanks to the awesome Øresund Bridge.  It’s a pretty awesome trip, although we couldn’t see anything when we arrived since it was quite late in the evening.

Hotel

It was midnight before we actually got settled into our hotel.  Our hotel (Comfort Hotel) in Malmo Sweden was an interesting combination of classic 19th-century architecture and modern and trendy decor.  It was decorated with a rock and roll vibe.  Check out the stacks of amplifiers and speakers in the lobby!  (This photo was NOT taken at midnight when we arrived after our long trip to Malmo!)

I didn’t get a picture of it, but our room had a giant mural of lips singing into a giant microphone.  It covered one entire wall!  Very rock and roll!

Although I didn’t end up using it during our stay, the gym in the hotel was pretty awesome!

The equipment all looked brand new and the gym even had a boxing ring!

Our flights back home at the end of our stay were fairly uneventful.  This is a photo of Copenhagen Denmark right after we took off.

And this photo is also of Copenhagen a couple minutes later.

One thing that I did note on the flight back.  When we took off from Iceland on our second and final leg, the sun was just going down.  And since we were flying west for about the first half of that flight, it actually took about 3 or 4 hours for the sun to actually go down!  Pretty cool!

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt

My Trip To Malmo, Sweden: The Food

Swedish Fare

Last week while speaking at the Öredev software developer conference in Malmo, Sweden, my wife and I got to experience some pretty great food there in Malmo and also in nearby Copenhagen Denmark.  This post is all about the food we ate while we were in the area.

Our first day there, we found a small pub in Malmo Sweden near our hotel that was highly rated on Yelp.  It’s called Restaurang Två Krögare.  We both ordered the veal meatballs with whisky cream sauce, pickled cucumbers, lingonberries, and mashed potatoes.

The meatballs and sauce were excellent.  It didn’t look like a lot of food there on the plate, but it was quite filling.  The mashed potatoes were just like American mashed potatoes.

The lingonberries were new to us.  Turns out that they showed up a lot while we were in Sweden.  They are naturally a little tart, so some places made sure to sweeten them up.  While other places left them a bit tart.  Restaurang Två Krögare left them a little too tart for my tastes.

That evening, we attended a state dinner with the Mayor of Malmo and his wife along with the rest of the conference speakers.  It was a very fancy dinner held in Malmo’s Old City Hall building.  The first course was Jerusalem artichoke soup with apple and bacon.

We had never heard of Jerusalem Artichoke, but they are not from Jerusalem and they are not artichokes.  Worst name ever.  It is actually a root vegetable in the sunflower family.  The Swedes and Danes are very fond of their root vegetables!  Root vegetables were just about always a part of each meal.

Anyways, the soup was quite good.

The main course was filet of veal (or veal steak) with pepper sauce and root vegetable cake.  Did I mention how they like their root vegetables over there?

The filet of veal was melt-in-your-mouth wonderful!  The pepper sauce was quite mild.  I could barely even taste the pepper at all, which was fine by me.  The root vegetable cake was mostly made from potatoes with pieces of carrot and likely other rooty stuff in there.  It tasted mostly like a baked potato, but in cake form.

The dessert course was nice and light.  It was frozen cherry parfait with chocolate creme.  It had no crust, which I really liked.  It wasn’t heavy or too sweet.  It was the perfect way to finish off this wonderful meal.

I noticed that everything we had eaten so far in Sweden had been pretty mild.  Maybe we over do it with our spices here in America?

Hotel and Conference Food

The hotel we stayed at was located directly across the street from the conference that I was attending and speaking at.  Pretty convenient.  Also, the hotel had a pretty great breakfast buffet each morning that was included in the room cost.  The photo below shows my standard breakfast that I ate each morning.

I had apple juice and orange juice to drink.  They also had milk, but I was speaking so I avoided the milk.  I had scrambled eggs and bacon and little sausages for my main protein.  They also had hard boiled eggs.  The bacon was pretty soggy, which is not for everyone.  I didn’t have a problem with it, though.  I’m not super picky about my bacon.  We think they might have baked the bacon rather than pan fried it.  The scrambled eggs were also pretty soggy.  Almost like they were undercooked.  I actually liked it though.  They had 3 different yogurts to choose from and several fruit toppings. They also had dry cereals.

And then they had quite a selection of fresh breads, processed meats and cheese.  At first, I didn’t know what to do with all the processed meats at the breakfast bar.  Then I noticed quite a line of customers spreading butter on their bread and then piling it high with meats and cheeses and tomatoes and raw peppers and such.  Like an open faced lunch sandwich in America.  So the next day I tried it and it was really nice.  Even for breakfast.

So right next to the hard boiled eggs was this strange tube of something or another attached to a handy roller/dispenser apparatus.  Curiosity go the better of me, so I put just a small squirt on my plate and I tasted it.

Eww.

I did not like it.  To me it tasted like cat food out of a can.

No, I’ve never actually eaten cat food, but I know what it smells like.  And to me, this Kalles paste tastes like that smells.

Turns out it is caviar for the masses.  Kalles kaviar is very very popular in Sweden.  It’s very local.  From the west coast of Sweden.  It’s mostly salted Atlantic cod fish eggs.  It might be an acquired taste.

The lunch fare that was served at the software developer conference was quite good.  Pretty impressive as they were catering to nearly 1,200 hungry software geeks!  Here is a photo of one day’s lunch.  It was so good!  The beef was so tender and the brown sauce was so tangy!  Yum!

Here was another day’s lunch plate.  This was roasted chicken and brown rice.  The yellow stuff was a cold tropical fruit salad.  I think they were going for a Caribbean lunch that day.  Notice that they served us on these disposable wooden plates.  These were not just thick heavy duty paper plates.  They were actually made out of wood!  Crazy.

This photo gives you an idea of the feeding frenzy that took place during lunch at the conference.  They set up 3 of 4 of these food tables in the middle of the lobby area and we tried to go through the lines as orderly as possible.  This particular day was hamburger day.  An American theme.

The burger was very good.  Especially for a mass feeding like that.  I liked the variety of topping choices.  I especially liked the picked red onions.  And also the crunchy fried onions.  Yum!

Restaurants

One night we roamed around and stumbled across a small restaurant called Victors on the little square in Malmo.  Inside, the restaurant looked a little bit like a diner due to it’s modern and minimalist decor.  But the menu looked sort of fancy so we were excited to try some of the food.

I got the Swedish classic, Wallenbergare.  That’s breaded (ground) veal steak with mashed potatoes, peas, lingonberries and melted butter.  The Swedes do love their veal!

The ground veal steak was fine.  I wasn’t actually prepared for it to be ground meat, like a burger.  So I was surprised when I cut into it and it wasn’t actually a steak.  But it was fine.  These lingonberries were sweeter than the ones I had eaten a few days earlier, which was nice.  I’m not a big fan of peas, so I only tasted them.  They tasted just like I remember peas tasting.    🙂

Sam got the grilled Swedish sirloin steak with béarnaise sauce, root vegetables (carrots, we suspect), and french fries.

Now this was a really yummy steak!  I don’t know what was in the light brown sauce that was on top of the steak, but it was delicious!  We tried both the steak and the fries dipped into the béarnaise sauce, but the sauce was so mild that it didn’t really add anything.

I forgot to take a photo, but I got an organic ice cream dessert with a bit of warm fruit topping.  The ice cream was really good.  Way better than the stuff I’m used to eating.  And the portion was just right.  Three very small scoops.  In America they would have drowned the ice cream with the fruit topping.  But this was just the right amount.  A very light touch.

On another day we had lunch at an unassuming little restaurant called Mrs Brown.  It was so good!  This was pork loin with pickled mushrooms over mashed potatoes.

I’d never heard of pickled mushrooms before!  And I’m a huge mushroom fan!  They were so yummy!  Why are we not putting picked mushrooms in all our dishes?!?!?

The pork, the sauce, the mushrooms, the mashed potatoes!  Perfection!  It looks like a small portion by the photo, but we were too full to get any dessert afterwards!  A very satisfying meal, to be sure!

Fast Food

Speaking of dessert.  This photo was taken at a small bakery shopfront inside Malmo’s central train station.  Pretty nice, huh?  We didn’t actually try any of this stuff but it all looks too fancy to eat!  🙂

In Copenhagen, we stumbled across a food truck mall with lots of great choices of interesting and unique foods to try.  The below burger is actually ostrich meat with shredded cheese and smoked bacon.  It was really good.

This one is pulled duck.  Oh my!  It was really really yummy!  It gave me just a hint of Thanksgiving turkey, but it was so much more than that.  It wasn’t dry at all and it had some really great spices in there.  A week after eating this, my mouth is actually watering right now as I type this, just thinking about it.  So good.

There were some great dessert options there, but we went with these beautiful looking cheesecakes!

The slices were huge!  And they were served in these adorable little disposable wooden boats.

The weird part was eating them with a wooden spork.  Have you ever eaten with wooden tableware?  It’s not exactly easy.  Your tongue and lips actually stick to it.  And so does the food.  Also, there’s a sense that you might get a splinter.  Plus, it tastes like wood!  So I’d rather not eat with wooden tableware again if I can help it.

Misc

In Copenhagen we found a luxury chocolate shop called Hotel Chocolat.  It had an immense selection of unique and interesting chocolate goods.  It took us a while to find just the right items with so much selection to choose from.  But we did it.

In the above photo, you can see lots of different varieties of hand-made chocolate bars, so to speak.  This place is serious about their chocolate.  They sell 6 different levels of milk chocolate and 10 different levels of dark chocolate!  Yes, 10 different dark chocolates!  And several of those 10 are actually 100% dark chocolate made from cocoa beans from different parts of the world!

Now I actually like dark chocolate.  But I don’t know anything about the percentage of dark chocolate in my common everyday candy bars.  So I was intrigued by this shop’s varieties of 100% dark chocolates.  I bought one of the many 100% dark chocolates just for the experience.

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

It was terrible.  I hated it.  I do NOT like 100% dark chocolate.

Now I know.

It turns out that Hotel Chocolat is actually a British company.  We thought we were experiencing some local Scandinavian chocolate flair.  But we weren’t.  Oh well.

One night we were out late and needed to eat something before heading back to the hotel.  One of the squares in Malmo had this little fast food joint sticking out like a sore thumb.  Shawarma King Turkish fare.  I googled for a website and couldn’t find one.  It looks a lot like a middle eastern Burger King, but I think it may be a one-off joint.

The food was amazing, though.  It didn’t taste like fast food at all.  I ordered the shawarma rulle or wrap.  There were like 6 sauces to choose from and I didn’t know which was the most normal or standard, so I got the hot one.  Wow, it was so spicy and so good!

While we were shopping in a local grocery store, the selection of root vegetables stood out to me since this country loves them so much.  So I took a photo of them in the store cooler.  You’re welcome!

This photo is pretty random.  I just thought the Fanta logo and the bottle shape was unique and interesting.  For all I know, this funny bottle is also in America, though.

Notice the price tag near the 1.5 liter Coke.  30 Swedish Krona is about $3.50.  That’s 2 or 3 times what it would cost in America.  Most stuff in Sweden and Denmark seemed pretty expensive compared to America.

This water bottle was given out on the plane, which was IcelandAir.  I just thought it was cool.  The bottle shape looked like a glacier.  And the water inside came from an Iceland spring, which was pretty awesome.  It tasted pretty great too.

This is my last photo.  And I want to apologize in advance.  This is supposed to be a family website.  But this shocking and funny bubble gum was in the checkout line at the Copenhagen airport.  I totally did a double take.  Maybe even a triple take!  Those crazy Europeans!

Thanks for sticking through this long and detailed post about mostly nothing!  Tomorrow I’ll publish a blog post to talk about the trip in general and our travel experience to and from Sweden.

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt

My Trip To Malmo, Sweden: The Sights Part 2 (Copenhagen Denmark)

Copenhagen Denmark

Last week after speaking at the Öredev software developer conference in Malmo, Sweden, my wife and I had the opportunity to see some of the sights in nearby Copenhagen Denmark.

Copenhagen is just across the straight, or the sound, or the Øresund, from Malmo Sweden.  We took the train across, which only cost about 13 US dollars.  As we were travelling across the Øresund Bridge, we could see a really cool wind farm to the south.

Once we got to the Copenhagen airport, we took the Metro train to Kongens Nytorv or The King’s New Square.  There was a construction wall around the entire square, so we didn’t actually get to see it.  Here is what the new square looks like on Google 3D maps right now.

Right when you exit the underground Metro station in the King’s New Square, you are greeted by a grand department store called Magasin.  Here is a photo of the storefront.

In the above photo of the department store, you can see two pyramid shaped glass structures on street level.  Those are big skylights opening down into the underground Metro station.  Pretty cool.  And if you look closely you can see several large glass prisms mounted inside the glass pyramids.  On a sunny day I bet those prisms shine a rainbow of light down onto the Metro passengers below!

Directly across the street from this grand department storefront stands another big beautiful and distinguished building.  It’s the Det Kongelige Teater, or Royal Danish Theatre.  This photo is actually the side of the building.

And this is the front.  Quite elaborate.  Inside it seats 1,600 and as a theatre geek I really wanted to peek inside the auditorium.  The lobby was open and there was a small cafe inside, but everything else was closed.

This is a bar and some really neat architecture that we noticed behind the Royal Danish Theatre.  It’s almost an alleyway, but it’s quite beautiful.

Just around the corner from the Royal Danish Theatre is this bright and fun canal street called Nyhavn, or New Harbour.   I dare you to try and take a photo of this place that isn’t postcard or magazine quality!  It’s practically impossible!

Nyhavn is a walking street, not a driving street.  There are a ton of small shops and bars and restaurants.  And the street is filled with these little wooden sheds selling local goods.  It’s very much a street-fair atmosphere.

Many boats and small ships line the canal.  The vintage schooners are there on permanent display and some are quite historical.  The boat pictured below is actually an old lightship.  Think lighthouse, but actually on the water.  This particular lightship served Gedser Reef in southern Denmark for over 50 years.

This was new to us.  Love locks attached to a bridge railing.  Apparently it’s a relatively new tradition for younger folks to show their unbreakable love by attaching a lock to a bridge and then tossing the key into the water.  Interesting tradition.

Some municipalities consider it vandalism.  I’m torn on the subject.  It’s kind of beautiful.  But I can see how it could get out of hand.

We noticed quite a crowd continuing past the New Harbor canal and over a bridge beyond the river.  We had nowhere to be so we joined the crowd.  There had to be something good over there.

There was a big warehouse building across the river that most people were going to.  Out front these giant seagull statues looked to be made out of thin plywood sheets.  Pretty cool.

Then we saw some people eating food outside the building so we knew we were about to enjoy a surprise lunch.  The decor for this dining area was extremely industrial and warehouse-like.  Check out the 2 story shipping container dining area pictured below.  Amazing.

Yeah.  Now I totally see that guy smirking at me while I took that photo.  I’m just glad he didn’t do anything to completely ruin my photo!   🙂

We were pleasantly surprised when we went inside the building.  It was a large warehouse space filled with about 40 colorful and fun street food vendors selling some awesome street food!  It was pretty amazing!  It’s called Copenhagen Street Food.

It’s sort of like an American food court at a shopping mall, but way way better!  Way way more choices and super unique choices too!  It’s quite literally a food truck party!

My wife and I couldn’t decide between an ostrich burger or a pulled duck burger.  So we got one of each and then we shared!  Both were crazy good!  But I couldn’t get over how yummy and juicy the pulled duck was.  There was no sauce or anything.  I think it was just pulled and then simmered in some sort of light oil.  Or maybe grease.  Don’t care.  It was delicious.  I wonder what Thanksgiving turkey would taste like if you pulled it and then simmered it in oil or grease.

The dessert selections were also pretty great.  We decided on these yummy looking cheesecakes.

In the same warehouse building, next to Copenhagen Street Food, was the Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center.  It was inexpensive and we had the time, so we paid admission and checked it out.  There were quite a lot of displays that used multimedia technology.  Videos, audio, lasers, projectors, etc.

One of the art exhibitions was a virtual reality exhibit.  Each wooden room ran a different visual and audible virtual reality loop that you could interact with.  It was pretty interesting to interact with art in that manner.

As the sun was setting, at about 4pm, the Nyhavn canal started to become lit up for the evening street party.  During our leisurely walk back through the street-fair we bought some souvenirs and also some hot chocolate.  It was too early for us to eat dinner.  Plus we had just eaten lunch at the food trucks not much earlier.  But there are lots of restaurants and pubs to choose from on Nyhavn street.

One evening while we were there, we noticed all the TV’s at the pub we were eating at were showing a big World Cup qualifying game between Denmark and Ireland.  And that game was being played right there in Copenhagen!  We had no idea.  If I had known, I would have looked into tickets to attend the game.  Even though neither myself nor my wife are into soccer (football), it would have been a pretty cool thing to witness first hand right there in Denmark.

Tomorrow I’ll publish a blog post all about the wonderful food that my wife and I got to experience while we were in Malmo and Copenhagen!

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt

My Trip To Malmo, Sweden: The Sights

Malmo Sweden

Last week after speaking at the Öredev software developer conference in Malmo, Sweden, my wife and I had the opportunity to see some of the sights around town.

The weather there was pretty mild with highs around 45 of 50 degF and lows around 35 or 40.  It rained one afternoon and one full day while we were there, but the rest of the time it was partly sunny.  The cold wind never really settled down, though.  It was most definitely hat, gloves, and scarf weather.  And this “Florida boy” (Florida transplant, really) doesn’t even own a scarf!

Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden, but it’s not a huge city.  It’s about the same size as the city limits of Orlando Florida.  Not including the surrounding communities.  Just the city limits proper.  So imagine if you were driving away from downtown Orlando and as soon as you hit the city limit a few miles out, it became rural countryside.  That’s Malmo Sweden.

Malmo is located at the very southern tip of Sweden, which is a very very long country north to south.  Sweden is actually the same height as America, from the top of North Dakota to the southern tip of Texas!

This photo shows several hotels along the canal.  This area of town has lots of canals and waterways.

Here you can see the famous Øresund Bridge.  This bridge crosses between Sweden and Denmark.  Part of this bridge is over the sound (the strait) and part of it tunnels underground (and under the water).  We went over this bridge 4 times while we were in town.  It’s pretty cool.

The Øresund Bridge was the setting for the popular Swedish/Danish TV crime drama titled The Bridge.  I have not seen the TV show, but I’m told it is quite good.

Here is a photo taken from the beach of the famous Turning Torso building.  It is the first twisted skyscraper in the world!  It is mostly apartments, which is pretty cool for those residents!  It’s not cheap to live there!

Here is a closer view of the Turning Torso.

The below photo, taken from the beach, shows a building in the sound called Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, which is an open-air bath.  It’s basically a walled structure on the water with pool decks and stairs and ramps into the water for easy access  to swimming in the sound.  It also has saunas for quickly jumping from hot to cold and back.  Clothes are optional at places like this and my wife and I decided that it was not for us.    🙂

Also, it was quite cold.

I have one word for these people:  Pneumonia

Also I have one more word:  Shrinkage

Do women even know about shrinkage?

This is just a really cool looking office building that was across the street from our hotel.  It’s right outside the central train station entrance.

This bank building is also right outside the central train station entrance.  I thought it was a cool melding of modern or contemporary architecture and old or historic architecture.

Malmo’s Old City Hall building was beautiful inside and out.  We were honored to have dinner there one night with the other conference speakers.  But the facade was undergoing renovation, so it was mostly covered up.  We could only get a view of the below small portion of the historic and beautiful building.

This photo shows a typical view of the downtown area of Malmo.  We noticed that bicyclists in Malmo are highly regarded by city planners.  In many areas of the city, the bike lanes were quite impressive.  Most intersections even had a set of stoplights for the cars, plus a smaller set of stoplights for the bikes, and then a third set of crossing lights for the pedestrians.

Pedestrians are definitely third class citizens to the bikers.  If you accidentally walk in a bike lane, you are likely to get run over by a speeding bike!

Here is an example of the super fancy and super expensive desserts that you might find only at the most extravagant of dinner parties or expensive restaurants in Sweden.

Just kidding! This was just the display at a small bakery at the central train station!  Yeah.  Super fancy!

Below is a photo, at dusk, of Malmo Castle.  It’s basically right in the middle of downtown.  It’s surrounded by a moat.  And there is a museum inside.  Sadly, we arrived too late to experience it.

Speaking of arriving late.  We were in Malmo in early November and it got dark at like 4pm!  Southern Sweden and Denmark are at the same latitude as the southern parts of Alaska.  During the day, I never saw the sun get above what I would consider the 10am position in the sky!  By the time 6 or 7pm rolled around, we felt like it was 10 or 11pm!  Crazy!  This extremely early darkness hampered some of our tourism in the area.  And it definitely hampered a lot of our photography of the area.

There are several different open-air squares in Malmo.  In the square below, there were some nice big trees that were decorated for the holidays with large lights and large ornaments.

There are quite a few grassy parks in Malmo.  I noticed that many of them are actually cemeteries.  But unlike the cemeteries in the US that I’ve experienced, these cemeteries sequester their burial plots into small squares and leave room for walking and playing in between.  Interesting concept, sharing the grassy park with the deceased.  It seemed a little strange at first.  But I think I like the idea.

A large percentage of Malmo’s residents live in apartment buildings.  So gardening is totally out of the question for most residents.  Except for those that buy one of these garden plots.  It’s an area with small plots of land that you can build a tiny house or a shed on and you can grow grass or trees and bushes or even a full blown garden.

This is a beautiful church called St. John’s Church.  It has a very smooth and rounded architecture style.  I find it soothing to look at.

We went inside to see more beauty and were surprised that there was a wedding in progress.  I quickly and quietly snapped a photo of the interior before leaving quiet as a mouse.

This awesome church is St Pauli Church.  It has a large central tower surrounded by 12 smaller towers which represent Jesus and the disciples.  It has a very sharp and rigid and angular architecture.  It’s almost shocking to look at.

This is the Caroli Church.  It was created for the German population that was living in Malmo in the 17th century.  At that time, the Germans didn’t have a church in Malmo and had to attend church across the sound in Copenhagen Denmark.  Which back then was probably not real easy to get to.  This church was designed by the same architect as the St Pauli Church above and you can see the similarities.

One place that we tried but failed to see while we were in town was the Malmo Chocolate Factory and Museum.  But we got there sort of late.  Well, it was only 3pm on a Saturday.  But they had just closed.  So we missed that, which would have been pretty cool, we think.

Tomorrow I’ll publish a blog post about some more of the fun sightseeing that my wife and I did in Copenhagen Denmark!

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt

My Trip To Malmo, Sweden: The Students

Cool Minds

Last week after I finished speaking at the Öredev software developer conference in Malmo, Sweden, I had the opportunity to give a talk to students at the Cool Minds Play and Knowledge Center.

Cool Minds holds organized activities for school aged children after school and also on weekends.  The facility is very open and playful and welcoming.  The students are encouraged to explore their own ideas and be creative during the sessions.  Cool Minds makes it fun and exciting for students to learn about concepts such as creative ceramics & candles, electronics/robotics, programming/gaming, biology/chemistry, and film/media.

Watch this short promotional video about Cool Minds.  It’s pretty great.  We need some more places like this here in the US.  Large children’s museums and large science centers are great, but a small intimate instructor-led hands-on activity center like Cool Minds has several benefits over those others.

Here is the Cool Minds website link to my speaking event:  http://coolminds.se/fran-nasa-manniskor-pa-mars/

Presentation

First I gave an introduction about myself and where I grew up and how I was always bent towards science and engineering.  Then I talked to the students about Mars and gave them fun facts, like the length of a year, the length of a day, and the average temperature.

I had some NASA patches and pins, so I gave those away to students who raised their hands and guessed some of these fun Mars facts.

Then I talked a little bit about the Mars rovers and described what they are doing there and what their capabilities are.

Hands-On Activity

And then we went into the fun hands-on activity.  I’m really excited about this particular activity because it’s easy enough for them to repeat at home with their parents and siblings.  And they can add to it and improve it at home too.

The activity has each student create a robotic finger for a Mars robot using common everyday items like a drinking straw, some string, a button, and a washer.  And then at the end, we combine students and they combine 4 robotic fingers to make a working robotic hand.

Overall

The students really seemed to enjoy this hands-on activity.  And they were pretty excited to have someone from NASA come to talk to them.

It was a great experience for me too.  I enjoyed seeing the Cool Minds facility and meeting its creator, Farzin Saber.  Farzin is passionate about exposing kids to fun learning activities that they might never otherwise experience.

Here is a 15 minute Ted talk about Cool Minds that Farzin gave back in January of 2017:

Tomorrow I’ll publish a blog post about some of the sightseeing my wife and I did in Malmo Sweden.

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt