Leisure time in Linköping

170I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past week in the city of Linköping in southern Sweden. I flew out via Copenhagen, transferring to a Skyways aircraft for the final hour’s journey to the tiny local airport. This is owned by SAAB whose adjacent aircraft factory, opened in 1937, is undoubtedly what propelled (if you’ll excuse the pun) Linköping to become Sweden’s fifth largest city.

I was staying in the Scandic Frimurarehotellet whose history, as the name might suggest even to those who don’t speak any Swedish, is linked with the Freemasons. The interior decor is a bit dated although there were extensive refurbishments going on. Even so, I suspect the nearby Scandic Linköping City hotel with its riverside location and ex-Hilton status is probably a better bet.

The usual sensible Scandinavian approach to work-life balance meant that there was plenty of time to explore the city in the unseasonably warm evenings. It was very pleasant to be able to take a 75 minute run from the centre and spend most of that time on traffic free paths through some of the city’s many green spaces.

173One evening we made it to Gamla Linköping where many old buildings from around the city have been collected together in to an open-air museum. Sadly there were only a few shops open. We spent some time wondering what the purpose of the mirrors attached to the exterior of many of the house windows was. One local suggested they were purely so that, on a cold winter’s day, you could look left and right outside your house without having to open the window!

Another day we headed out to the Cloetta Center for a buffet lunch. This impressive arena is the home to Linköping Hockey Club but sadly we were a week too early for the start of the ice hockey season.

Perhaps most enjoyable though was just sitting in the central square, sipping a beer, and watching the world go by on its bicycle!

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