Monday, March 29, 2010

A Full Monday in Helsingborg

On Sunday when I visited Christian Boesgaard, the conversation turned at one point to the cheapest ways to travel by rail.

After listening to the options that he laid out for me, I decided to go with the 30 day . . .

Jojo Card Plan

This gives me unlimited rides on both of Skånetrafiken's trains and busses. In other words, I can see a lot of Southern Sweden's Skåne region for a lot less money.

The cost of the 30 day Jojo card was 1060 Swedish Krona, about $146.

Today, armed with my Jojo Card, I decided to wake up early and use it to re-visit Helsingborg, about an hour away West by train. The cost of a round trip ticket would have been 144 Krona, about $20, plus I rode the 219 bus out to the Sofiero Slott, King Gustav Adolf VI's summer palace. I'm not sure how much the bus would have cost without the Jojo card but I know I'm going to save money in the long run.

But first . . .

My Coffee Mates

Can't start the day without proper sustenance now can you? I had coffee and a Danish at Fahlmans Konditori, a great way to warm the body and soul on a 9˚C day.

Properly nourished, it was time to explore.

A Swedish Porn Family?

Brother Bergströms Byggnads???

I digress.

On more esoteric grounds, I decided to visit a small museum.

Helsingborg's School Museum

This 1st-6th grade school house, built in 1866, was in continuos use for 119 years until 1985. It was the first building erected solely to be a school in the history of Helsingborg.

As a former teacher with 38 years in the field of education, I thought I'd give it a go.

The one room school house re-created.

Most of the time I was told the teachers were females. They had to be unmarried with no offspring and lived upstairs as part of their compensation.

Local History was taught here I'm sure.

First attempts at writing

When the school first opened, they were short on both money and supplies. Their innovative plan to teach writing was quite ingenious, simply build these long, rectangular sand boxes to practice the alphabet. At the far end of the sand box you can see the "eraser".

Savings Box

Each pupil had to donate money each week for supplies. They were each assigned a number and would place their donation in the proper slot. What did they buy with the money?

Until 1910, the money was used to buy ammunition. Every student, as part of the curriculum, was taught how to properly fire a weapon!

After 1910, the money was used to purchase . . .

Much safer musical instruments

The Total Student

Swedish school's even had a dentist as part of the staff. The school system was very concerned with the health of the students.

Here my guide, Gustav, shows me how the foot pedal turned this low tech drill.


Stuffed Bird Collection

In 1960, my last trip to Cuba with my Mom and Dad, Papa Jorge took me to his high school, Belen Jesuit. It was a gorgeous campus that now houses Cuba's Military Academy, ala West Point.

They had an extensive stuffed bird collection as well.

Love and miss you every day Dad!

The Principal's Desk

Wait a second!

Did the Principal have a WWII German Enigma Machine in his office to encrypt/decrypt Nazi military messages?


Next Sunday is Easter and suddenly the signs, especially the colors, of this Holiest of Weeks are everywhere.

Like this girl's Easter colored outfit
at Hässleholm Central Train Station

Or these Bunnies in front of Helsinborg's Dunkers Kulturhus where the Tourist Bureau is located.

The trees still lack leaves but no problem, the Swedes simply attach colorful feathering to the branches and voila, instant Easter feeling!

Near the Rådhuset,
Helsingborg's City Hall

Near Kärnan Tower

In someone's front yard

The hanging Easter eggs are always a nice touch as well.

Yep, they make me smile too

Kind of puts me in that GLAD PÅSK mood, Happy Easter that is.

As always on these adventures, their are reminders of people back in California like . . .

Laurie and her Peeps

Bill and his Rotarians


Shi Young Kim
Master Art Teacher

Paul Petrich
Seafaring Historian

King Gustav VI Adolf's
Summer Palace

Location, Location, Location!

Relatively simple by European Royal standards but what a GREAT view. As I said earlier, just a short Skånetrafiken Bus 219 ride to this Slott with my Jojo Card.

Old Stream Crossing Bridge


The water behind me is the Öresund and that's Denmark in the distance.

Suddenly there were body parts . . .


Or maybe it was just a form of artistic expression on the Slott's grounds.

Speaking of art and architecture . . .

View near the base of Kärnan Tower

View of 700 years old Kärnan Tower

Cool Apartment Building

Catchy name for a Hotel in Sweden

Just another Helsingborg Shop

Helsingborg's answer to
NYC's Flat Iron Building

Lift with your legs!


Pick-pocketing a Teddy Bear?

In Sta. Maria Kyrka

This church was built in the 1300's in the Danish Gothic style.

Trouble Maker!

No, actually given the state of the Catholic Church in his times, I can understand his reasons.

Come to think of it, we Catholics are not having the best PR issues today either.

The Church Lady

A Globe and a Building

Pass Defense

This guy in the middle does a GREAT job breaking up this pass!

Coed Naked American Football, is it possible . . .

A bar trying to warn you?

Is it possible that there is a game tonight?

YES!!! Cancel everything, I'm going.

HIF (2 wins-0 ties-0 losses) vs. IFK Göteborg (1-0-1)

7:00 p.m. kick-off? Give me your cheapest seat please.

Actually, the "Standing Room Only" end zones are 20 Krona less. I decided I'd rather enjoy the luxury of a seat and indulged myself by spending the extra $2.75.

Police Presence

Why is it that the sound of hoof beats on pavement strikes psychological fear into criminals worldwide?

I read somewhere that due to extreme rowdiness at a home game last season, HIF's punishment, when they meet that same opponent this season, will be NO FANS allowed in Olympia Stadium for the match. BULL YOUR NECKS!

After the game I saw a very obvious display of police presence, including snarling Police Dogs, in the large park by Kärnan Tower that many of us had to walk through on the way back to the train station.

Also, we had Mounted Police outside the train station as well as several uniforms inside the station.

Never can be too careful.

When I entered Olympia Stadium, I was asked to open my backpack for a weapons check I would suspect. I have five zippers on it, opened only the medium sized one, the lady glanced into it only and I was not checked even though I had a big jacket with six pockets.

What could possibly go wrong with such tight security?

The Rio-Kalle Svensson Statue

HIF's all-time favorite goalkeeper, he debuted for HIF as an 18 year old in 1944.

That's Rio-Kalle in action on the left

Is that Pele? Nice hops boys!

The HIF Logo

Olympia Stadium

Bigger than Mjällby's, I am standing under the upper deck section specifically designated for HIF's, shall we say, more die hard fans.

At the far end zone is the SRO section for IKF Göteborg fans.

I'll be in the blue seats at the far end just seven rows and four seats away from the potential mayhem.

No wind made for a good night for Fotboll!

Rest Rooms

If you click on this picture of the Olympia Stadium Map, you will note that there is one rest room on the right side of the stadium. It is near my Section 20 seat. I tried to go there after the game, only to find that the Men's "Rest Room" was a one toilet PERIOD affair! No urinals, nothing for the entire one side of the Stadium!!! How is that possible?


Want to buy a Helsingborg IF Speedo?

Condiments in an udder?

This is farm country after all.

Standing on the railing, THE LEADER!

That's him with the bullhorn in his hand, the man who coordinates, non-stop, every Göteborg cheer, chant and song!

He was relentless, giving new meaning to "90 Minutes of Hell"! They had chants to music of "When the Saints Go Marching In", "Yellow Submarine" and "Skip to My Lou" among others.

His most daring stunt came just before the start of the game when all the HIF fans rose to their feet to sing the HIF fight song which really had more of a 60's American folk music/hootenanny feel to it. While HIF was going all mellow, "THE LEADER" cranked up his minions to their highest fever pitch of the night which pretty much pissed off the entire home crowd.

One very animated HIF fan in the upper deck just above us, had had enough and leaned over screaming Nordic obscenities at "THE LEADER".

As if by magic, beer cans started flying at the HIF fan from below with shimmering golden sprays trailing behind.

The police took the HIF fan into custody quickly . . . HELL, THE GAME HAD NOT EVEN STARTED YET!!!

More Protection for Sec. 20, Row 7, seat 4

Corner Kick
HIF in Red, Göteborg in Blue

Still a Mjällby fan, I was just doing some deep undercover spying for the Black and Gold!

HIF is very good, I even saw them move the ball around on four consecutive head shots, TWICE!

Yes, head shots just like this one.


I saw a "Horse Collar" tackle tonight, illegal in this sport too.

2-0 HIF at the half and that would be all the scoring in the game. Both scores were at my end of the field.

HIF sits alone atop the Allsvenskan table with a perfect record at 3-0-0 which equals 9 team points.

Meanwhile, at far off Örebro (1-0-1), Mjällby (1-1-0) rolled to its second consecutive win, a 2-0 thrashing of the Örebro side. With a record of 2-1-0, Mjällby is now tied for second with Malmö FF at 7 team points, only two points behind HIF.

Next up for the Black and Gold is a home game at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, April 5th against Gefle (1-1-1). I wonder if I have anything going on next Monday?

rousing his troops


Erik D said...

You should come to a Malmö FF soccergame with me so you can see some real skill on the soccerfield.

/Erik D (your absent OLG)

Michael Contreras said...

George, a soccer fan? Hell hath frozen over at last.

George said...