Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Gorgeous Morning Hours in Östra Göinge

New pictures over river Helge passing Östra Göinge, Scania.

A crispy November morning with an early sun.

A November sun over river Helge, at resting place Anilla, Östra Göinge.

Close to Broby village center.

The Nature Waking Up

As described before the route for Mrs. T to get to work follows river Helge and it has become a habit to check the weather conditions before setting off for the office in the mornings because the scenery changes from day to day and can be magical as it was this particular morning. The tripod is constantly in the car but a camera, preferably with fresh batteries, must be brought along. We have not had many crispy mornings, this must have been the second, when the wind screen needed clearing from a thin layer of frost. The cool air created a strong haze that did not clear up until later but it soon, with the raising sun, got so bright that the photogenic opportunity was gone.

This islet seemed to float on river Helge.

Photo editing with Lightroom gives alternative solutions to suit anyone's mind.

Short on Östra Göinge

Östra Göinge is the Green Heart of Scania County and the ancient borderland between Sweden And Denmark but also a region where nature transforms from lovely light beech forests to typical fir-forests with lakes that exist in the south of Sweden. River Helge has been an important transport route and several villages are therefore situated along the banks of it ( The southernmost wilderness area of Sweden is situated in northern Scania.

Scania and Östra Göinge (Wikimedia Commons)

For a map, if interested, over how river Helge runs you can visit  or use the ready link "Map over Helge Å" on the right hand side -then  choose "Vattendrag i landskapet" and then "Helge Å".

Broby, the administrative centre of Östra Göinge, is situated east of Hässleholm and Knislinge only 8 km's south of Broby. Black Diabase, or Göinge's black gold, is derived from several locations and exported. Other important employers are e.g. Tarkett but now also the new Camp for Asylum Seekers in Broby that has taken over the previously abandoned Broby Sanatorium. Their immediate plan is to receive  500 person and the centre is presently offering employment to about 30 people according to the newspaper Norra Skåne. We are very pleased that Mrs T not only has gained a vital role in the operation of this Camp but also a complete trust of both the personnel and the management. 

Sunrise over the eastern banks of the river.

Birdlife is rich in Scania and autumn scenery include massive amounts of migrating birds.

Photo editing into black and white across the river where haziness is heavy.

The Different Scanian County

It has been said (The Nature of Cultural Heritage and the Culture of Natural Heritage / Lowenthal and Olwig) that the Swedish author August Strindberg once wrote of Scania " is a completely foreign landscape for a stay-at-home Swede from up-country, but for a widely travelled person it is a northern French landscape". Geographically it is close to Denmark and mainland Europe and part of Öresundsregionen. Also e.g. architecture and nature differ not to mention the traditional dialect used. Of course Scania is also an agrar landscape with "OpenSkies". Being large scale it offers different challenges from the rest of Sweden. In order to safeguard the uniqueness of the county landscape preservation has become important with e.g. so many fine Nature Reserves formed. 

Breaking up shadows....

....offer a colourful daybreak.

This was another photogenic session over early hours in northern Scania landscapes where nature is rich offering moments of peace to our minds. What an idyllic way of starting a working day at daybreak and getting energized by nature before we sip our first cup of coffee at the office.

A window to the world.

We are approaching Advent Sunday and Mrs T and myself wish everyone a pleasant weekend with some warming gluhwine and other traditions of the season.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

A Genuine Skåne Xmas Market

A top rated Xmas Market in Skåne at Hässleholmsgården

by Hushållningssällskapet Kristianstad

Skåne Xmas market at Hässleholmsgården.

Seasonal decorations.

Hässleholmsgården is close to the city center of Hässleholm (

Visit Skåne is rating this particular christmas market as one of the most outstanding markets in Skåne.  It is organized by Hushållningssällsskapet in Kristianstad and held at Hässleholmsgården which is a former studfarm dating back to the 16th century. It is now owned by the municipality of Hässleholm and used for recreational activities. Mrs T and myself wasn't late to take the decision to spend this Saturday afternoon looking for presents and christmas decorations. We were welcomed by Bibi Larsen and her magnificent red dressed pucks, below. While Mrs T was contemplating on buying some I had my chance to photograph them, crowd allowing. Bibi said she is spending much of the year producing these for the annual xmas market. But she says there is a demand all year around and she also delivers abroad to many countries ( Bibi is working together with her husband who is an industrial designer.

Smiling pucks made by Bibi Larsen and her husband.

This is the high season for christmas markets held all over Skåne, often in castles or manors creating a special atmosphere that welcome the guests. Mrs. Elisabeth Lindgren is in charge of the event and I had the pleasure of talking to her briefly in the courtyard. She works for Hushållningssällskapet (Kristianstad) that is a large organisation covering all of Sweden. The office in Kristianstad has about 60 employees that offer advice to enterprises in the countryside.

The Xmas Market is spread out in all buildings of the manor.

About 100 quality handicrafters and small scale food producers offer their best products on this market. They are all carefully selected by the organizers. Below Gräsljunga Farm offer their produce and Skyltex display some of their extraordinary skilled handicrafts (bottom right) using birch-bark as raw material. My thoughts were that the bark is difficult to work on but I was proved wrong. The material is very soft and bends in any direction. Table trays, candle holders and christmas decorations that Skyltex manufactures surely cannot be found anywhere else.

We found quality handicraft throughout the market.

Another small family run business is the Flädergården / House of Pelargonia situated not too far from us at Vinslöv. We paid a visit to them early spring purchasing our Vancouver Centennial pelargonies from them. The choice was not easy as they offer 700 different varieties of pelargonies. This farm also was the first large farm to grow elder. They today offer different end products from mustard to jams that contain elder. We tasted their elder gluhwine and the mustard both quality products from their own farm. They organize different kind of activities around the year, keep a shop and a coffee shop. For more information visit

Produce of Flädergården / House of Pelargonia professionally displayed.

As we walked the market we tasted different kind of cheeses (hard cheese, blue name it) that were of utmost quality. Because we had already invested in our cheese for the christmas Mrs. T was hard on me ...."no more Mr. Nice Guy". However, we did buy a garland from "Skaparglädje by Katarina" that we intend to finish off ourselves by decorations from our woods - if we are successful it will hang on our door soon (fingers crossed!). Mrs T also met with Javier Deléon from and they made some private and confidential transactions.

Garlands by "Skaparglädje by Katarina".

This was a glimpse of the Christmas Market at Hässleholmsgården. We returned very pleased and congratulate the organizers for their work. More christmas feeling will follow from Bosjökloster and Åhus Mrs T (suffering from a heavy cold) and time allowing. Have you ever tried some Rooibos tea with saffron? Mrs T just supplied some (thank you Jahangir for the saffron) and seems that saffron is exactly what rooibos needs - delicious! Tomorrow is Sunday and it's time to clean some windows.

End of  Day - Early start of End of Year Season.

Next week - time allowing - an experience from Söderåsen in "Jack London Style". Stay tuned and have a very good working week everyone.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Tall and lively Hallamölla water falls

A Nature Reserve by river Verke

Include the highest water falls in Skåne at Hallamölle.

Hallamölle upper falls are all in all 23 meters high.

Skåne has many great Nature Reserves. This one by river Verke offer different natural scenes from the river banks to the hills of Brösarp, the seaside meadows at Havängen or e.g. Christinehov Castle Ekopark. This time the photographic mission was to capture the highest water falls of Skåne, the Hallamölla falls. These are situated in the western part of the nature reserve (Verkeån Agusa-Hallamölla) close to Hallamölla Farm. Over thousands of years the river has worked itself into the sandstone and now form a ravine where the river stepwise falls 23 meters.

To find Hallamölla drive south on route 19 and turn right after Brösarp, sign Christinehov Castle. After 2,5 km's turn right again and drive 600 meters to the Hallamölle Farm and follow signs to the old mill and the water falls. (Map: Google)

Hallamölle upper falls

From the Hallamölle farm drive on a few hundred meters to the parking space following the river. The old mill at the centre of the falls is dated back to the 15th century and it operated until the end the 1940's. The present mill house was constructed in 1850's and it is still intact and can, if operated, generate 75 hp's ( Other business here where e.g. a dye works and some flower mills. Additionally Thomas Nilsson created a substantial retailing business that was widely known (through a large product selection and festivities organized in the manor) but eventually was lost in the early 1900's.

Hallamölle lower falls and the mill visible in the background.

The two water falls, Forsakar and Hallamölla, are not too far from each other and offer both beautiful sceneries. Hallamölle is larger and, as part of the river Verke Nature Reserve, offer a more varied nature but Forsakar is what one might want to call a gorgeous "fantasy land" with its beech trees and the ravine there. Hallamölle is also in a lush area and it will be thrilling to pay another visit in the spring. 

Riverbanks of the Verke river. In a nature reserve trees stay where they have fallen. The leaves have fallen to the ground and offer colorful photogenic opportunities (below).

Skåne has so much to offer. Next time you pay a visit or drive through do not forget that the region of "OpenSkies" also have elevations and beautiful water falls in a nature park setting.

Have a very good weekend everyone and take care!


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Sacral Jazz at Trefaldighetskyrkan

A trial project for choir singing at the church of Trefaldighetskyrkan, Kristianstad.

Church of Trefaldighetskyrkan, Kristianstad.

The Church of Trefaldighetskyrkan

This church was constructed by the Danish King Christian IV in 1628. It is praised as the finest renaissance church in northern Europe. With its tall pillars it allows ample of light to enter giving a sense of airiness. The architectural drawings where made by a dutchman, Lorenz van Steenwinkel, and the organ designed by the german-danish Johan Lorenz. In addition to the Sunday Mass and weekly morning prayers also concerts and other happenings are organized in the church regularly. The new organist, Kalle Engquist has taken an initiative to examine the interest for choir singing in the church. The choir is therefore named the "Project Choir" with two upcoming performances.

Interior of the Curch.

The First Performance: Choir Concert "Freedom".

The organist Kalle Engquist had his first contact with works of the famous Swedish jazz musician Lars Gullin during his studies. Addition of a part of Jazz Legend Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts from the 60's in the program presented by the internationally notorious duo of Håkan Lewin (alto saxophone) and Johannes Landgren (organs) attracted a large audience to this jazz filled evening. Lewin and Landgren were involved in founding the association "Music Against Violence" or MAV that brings  out a message of humanity, coexistence and peace. We carefully noted that Lewin was granted the "Christer Boustedt Award" in 2007. This award is one of the most prestigious in Sweden for jazz musicians (Christer Boustedt himself was regarded as one of the foremost alto saxophonists  in Sweden). The soloist, soprano Cecilia Alrikson, is also a jazz singer and specially involved in cross-over projects from psalms and 17th century music. Jon-Erik Björänge, on drums, has played with many ensembles and travelled widely internationally. (

The crowd is filling up the church.

The program started with three spirituals ("Nobody Knows", "Wade in the Water" and "All my Trials") to be followed by Duke Ellington's music mainly from his second Sacred Concert in 1968. This concert was the first one that the Swedish celebrity singer Alice Babs recorded with the Duke Ellington Ensemble. She sang "Heaven" and "T.G.T.T". She also participated in the third sacred concert singing "Is God a three letter word for Love" and "My Love". This music was specifically written for her clear voice extending over three octaves. Duke Ellington often visited Sweden performing in TV and churches where Alice Babs was a central figure (Wikipedia). 

Håkan Lewin, right.

The smaller organ Johannes Landgren played.

The program then continued with Lars Gullins (jazz) music. As a jazz musician he was related to other musicians like Stan Getz and his music sometimes reminds of the jazz music played on the American west coast in the 50's ( Gullin is considered to be one of Europe´s foremost jazz musicians of his time and her combined styles from national romantic music with folk music and jazz to very much his own music. Two songs, "Dyningar" and "Bossa på tå(b)", have texts based on a book ("Höga Visan") from the Bible (Old Testament) containing Love Lyrics. A third song, "Jag Såg" is also from a book (Predikaren) in the Old Testament talking about emptiness. The final song was called "Fågel, fisk och mittemellan".

Selected interiors from the church.

This concert was a success both from a musical point of view and the fact that a large audience attended. Based on the first trial Kalle Engquist can feel relaxed. The second concert will be an Advent Sunday and Christmas concert on 30th November at 18.00 hours and we wish best of luck as we do welcome additional concerts in the future.

The final picture is taken from the outside of Trefaldighetskyrkan in the darkening night. The light inside sends out warm greetings as we head our way back home. 

Late night outside Trefaldighetskyrkan.

Thank you for this outstanding jazz & choir concert! Have a very good week everyone!