Hässleholm - Copenhagen
For spiritual experiences, some go to Mecca, others to the Vatican. I go to Ikea. Not just any Ikea - the very first Ikea in the world! Let's be honest, who can trek all the way from Melbourne to Sweden and not see the furniture giant?!? Our morning started with this very important "pilgrimage", during which I felt compelled to sample the meatballs (in open sandwich form with beetroot salad) - quite delicious as far as this sort of food goes.
In typical über-efficient Ikea-style, the store layout was virtually identical to that in Melbourne. This is, I suppose, unsurprising, given my MBA lecturers consistently point to Ikea as an industry leader in supply chain management. Okay, enough with the business talk - this is a food blog, I know!
After our Ikea experience, one of our hosts and I returned the car we had been using to her brother, who resides in a more regional part of Sweden around 25 minutes from Hässleholm. The drive was particularly picturesque and I finally felt as if I was in the "Sweden" that's portrayed to the outside world. You know, the one with blonde, beautiful people frolicking in fields in front of quaint cottages. Okay, so maybe there was no frolicking, but this was certainly a pretty part of the country.
Once home, my last "duty" before our train trip to Copenhagen involved eating/drinking (it's hard to tell with this stuff!) Filmjölk. This Nordic fermented milk product has a sour taste that is far more intense than something like Greek yoghurt. Personally, I didn't mind the stuff, but then I'm a fairly adventurous eater. With a drizzle of honey and some fruit, I think this could make a delicious breakfast.
Once the Filmjölk was polished off, the four of us headed to the station and travelled by train to Copenhagen airport, where we alighted and checked into the Hilton hotel. After baulking at the price of dinner at the hotel, we ventured into the airport terminal for the *delights* of a convenience store dinner. Thankfully, beer came to the rescue and I barely noticed my virtually inedible calzone. Dessert was shared at Starbucks and, shortly thereafter, we retreated to our rooms for an early night.