Malmo, Sweden

Part of a collection of travelogues by Trevor Hopkins.

Dismantling Kockums shipyard crane I spent some time working every week in Malmo, in southern Sweden. Actually, the last letter in Malmo is not 'o', but that funny Danish letter which looks like an 'o' with a slash '/' through it (if you are in Denmark) or that funny Swedish letter 'o' with two dots over the top (when you are in Sweden).

To get to Malmo (however it's spelled), I fly to Copenhagen (in Denmark), and then use the train to cross the narrow straights between Denmark and Sweden (what are they called in English?). The Oresund crossing ('O' and '/' or two dots again, as appropriate!) has only just been completed, and is really quite impressive. It's partly a bridge and partly a tunnel, so that when you leave the airport on the train, you dive into a tunnel, only reappearing in the middle of the sea, on an artificially-constructed island. The view from the bridge is fun, too.

Malmo is a port, and used to be a centre for shipbuilding - but this has largely stopped now. So, the old industrial area is being rebuilt, or the buildings completely refurbished. The building I'm working in is called the Ubatshallen (first 'a' with a circle over it) - 'Submarine Building' - and indeed used to be used for the construction of submarines. So, it's a narrow, high and very long building, which has been remodelled inside according to the precepts of 'Feng Shui' - all lights and colours - oh, and no floor 4 either (supposed to be unluckly!), so called '3a' instead! It's also following the modern style of having no fixed-line telephones at all - you're supposed to use your mobile phone for everything. Interesting.

Close to the Ubatshallen was the huge Kockums gantry crane, which was being dismantled and sold to sold to Hyundai heavy industries in 200. See it on YouTube.