Scandinavia 2016: Day 8 – Cycling Malmo

In 2016 we are leading 4 high school summer trips. You can read all about our Global Innovators trips or get in touch to ask us any questions about the programs. Our 2016 Scandinavia trip “Getting Americans on the Bicycle” focuses on innovation, start-ups and community in cities around the world. During the trip, students take turns writing a daily blog post to describe their project process and exploration, follow along here. On Wednesday, we were privileged enough to be able to get our latest start of the trip, so we could all sleep in and get refreshed.  We took a train from Copenhagen back to Malmö, where we met up with Jennie. Jennie is a Malmö local and bike expert, and her and her husband Christian were nice enough to take us on a tour of the city. They brought along their very cute little daughter, Amanda.  She speaks minimal English, which led to some very funny encounters with some of us trying to communicate with her. On the bike tour we saw the “Triangle Center”, some very large fountains, more components of bike infrastructure, and ended at the Emporia Mall in Hyllie, which is the second largest mall in Sweden. We spent an hour or two in the colossal mall (which served excellent burgers and Chinese food).  Before we left Jennie, Amanda, and Jennie’s husband, we stopped at a playground near their house. Jennie surprised us at the park with authentic homemade Swedish buns, which were delicious. All trip we had been hearing about the legendary Swedish sing-alongs that took place in Malmö, and luckily we got to experience the last one of the summer. The outdoor park where the even took place was packed with probably 500+ people, and when the band leading the sing-along came on, the crowd went nuts. We sang some very catchy Swedish pop songs, attempting to follow along with the lyrics, as well as some ABBA of course. The sing along ended pretty late, so afterwards we headed back to the hotel and all crashed soon after getting back.

An interesting new perspective we all experienced about cycling was Jennie’s husband, Christian’s explanation about how Malmö deals with biking on its streets. Christian explained that in the past, the city had more-or-less haphazardly placed bike lanes on streets; which allowed bikers to get around, but with limited safety. However, Malmö is now making the transition into moving bike lanes away from traffic to keep bikers safer. The newer bike lanes ran through parks and tree-lined paths, and allowed for bikers to experience beautiful scenery as well as stay safe.

A highlight of the day was getting to spend time with Jenny’s little daughter Amanda. Devon and I took Amanda around the mall for an hour or two, and tried to teach her some English while also trying to understand her when she talked in Sweden. Her favorite word was “yogiboost”, which she repeated again and again, because that was the store that sold her favorite kind of frozen yogurt.

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