Välkommen till Lund!

A little less than a week has passend since my bus arrived at Lund Central, and already so much has happened. It feels like I’ve been here for an eternity. I am completely overwhelmed from everything that has been going on and I sincerely apologise for letting you wait for so long before checking in again.

I want to start in the beginning, trying not to miss too many parts of these few days that have passed since I boarded my nightjet in Zurich in direction of Hamburg. On Monday, the 24th of August, I took my far too heavy and big suitcases and started my journey at 8 p.m. from Zurich main station. My friends who brought me to the station made all the ticket inspectors smile when the ran next to the train as far as they could. The woman who stayed in the same train compartment only shook her head and said: Does that really make it any easier? Probably not, but it made everyone smile!

One has to admit here that travelling with heavy luggage for about 20 hours is surely not the most comfortable thing to do, but the train connection between Zurich and Lund is – under normal circumstances (see below) – amazing! It only takes two changes in Hamburg and Copenhagen and one would arrive within a little more than 18 hours in Lund. This sounds amazing, right?

Due to track work between Malmö and Lund though – I don’t know, but apparently Skånetrafiken wanted to make my journey a little more difficult than it already was – I had to change into a bus in Malmö, which brought me to Lund Central. Fortunately I am not a person who is afraid to help people or to ask for help, and so it happened that I met a girl at Hamburg Hbf who was actually travelling to Kalmar and therefore had to take the same trains and busses as I did. We helped each other with the heavy luggage which simplified a lot! So thanks Carolina for your help and I wish you a really nice stay in Kalmar!

In Lund, I easily found my way to my apartment and my wonderful landlady was immediately on hand to hand over the flat. I found a cozy place in the south of Lund, both close to a soccer field and the university.

Lund is a small and very charming city and the people living here treat you with a lot of patience and are extremely helpful. Whenever they realise that you are not from Sweden, they automatically switch to English – which to be honest, I don’t want them to ;)!

Wednesday was my very first day in Lund and as I fell asleep at something around 8.30 p.m. on Tuesday, being completely exhausted from my trip, I woke up rather early. At 10 a.m. I kind of had my first appointment: Buying a bike! Setting priorities, you know! Lund is a complete bike city. There are also busses, but the fastest way to get around in Lund is definitely the bike. Skåne – which is the name of the region Lund is located in – is extremely flat such that a bike with 3 gears is already kind of an overkill for the city itself 😉

My commute to the university takes approximately 10 minutes. It goes “up-hill” to the northern part of the city, where the university buildings for physics and maths – and also some others – are located.

The astronomy building – astronomihuset – is located at Sölvegatan 27 and will be my working place for the next at least four years.

I met with some people of the astronomy institute and I was warmly welcomed by everyone. I was warned again and again before moving to Sweden that Swedes have a rather distanced approach and mostly do seem a little bit “colder” than people from “the south”. I have to disagree with that, sure they are not on the same level as Italians, but I would never dare to describe people here as cold or distant. I feel very welcome and everyone I met has made an attempt to make it more comfortable and more homelike for me.

The past few days I have been riding my bike around the city to discover some of the beautiful places in Lund. I had to go to the Skatteverket (the tax agency) in order to get my personnummer (person number, yeah you guessed that right ;)). It will take them a few more days – keeping my fingers crossed that it is really only a few days… – to send me my number so I can get other things sorted out (like a bank account, a Swedish phone number, etc.). This personnummer seems to be a veeeery important thing here and without it, you practically do not exist and you also can’t really do anything.

During my rides through the city I unfortunately had to discover something: It always seems to rain here! I haven’t even been here for a whole week, but I have gotten soaked for at least five times already. Note to myself: Do not use make-up or a hair dryer.

Today has been the first day, where I managed not to get soaked! The sun was shining all day and I seized the opportunity to take my bike again and check out the surroundings for suitable running trails. I ended up getting a bit lost of course, but then eventually found my way to Stadsparken, which is the city park in Lund.

In Stadsparken you are not allowed to cycle, so I took a walk and payed a visit to the old observatory (Lunds gamla observatorium).

As the name suggests the old observatory is not used anymore. The building was created by Helgo Zettervall and was inaugurated in 1867. In the 1950s a panoramic image of the night sky was produced on the initiative of Knut Lundmark, the so-called “Vintergatskarta”. The image maps the positions of about 7000 individual stars to create an unprecedented drawing of the Milky Way.  It was done entirely by hand and it took the two people two years to complete it. It is known as the Lund Panorama of the Milky Way.

In 2001, the astronomy department – officially called Lund Observatory – moved to the northern part of the city. The new observatory was integrated into Lund’s old water tower – I will show you the new observatory as soon as I can!

To end my weekend properly, I decided to take a walk through the city. I went through some kind of cemetery (Östra kyrkogården), the botanical garden (Botaniska trädgården), some of the oldest streets of Lund, and of course I payed a visit to the Dome of Lund (Lunds domkyrka). I somehow ended up in front of the astronomy building after passing the truly beautiful university library (Universitetsbiblioteket). Here you can find some pictures of these places. I will tell you more about each of them in another post.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope you could get an impression into my very first days here in Lund. As I said in the beginning, it has been really overwhelming and also somewhat exhausting to meet so many new people and places, and there is a lot more to come!

But one thing I can say with certainty: I love this city and its people already! ♡

Tack så mycket och hej då! ♡

— Bibi

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