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#MySweden: ‘Cycle paths lead you wherever you want to go’

The Local's readers take over our Instagram account to introduce each other to towns and neighbourhoods across Sweden. Today, Marta Nowosińska from Poland talks about life in Halmstad.

#MySweden: 'Cycle paths lead you wherever you want to go'
Marta Nowosińska. Photo: Private.

How old are you and what do you normally spend your days doing? 

I’m 24. I spend my days working, cycling, discovering the city and meeting up with new people. I work as a personal care assistant and bingovärdinna (bingo hostess) in the one and only bingo hall in the city. My goal was to find a job where I can use my Swedish and have contact with native speakers to develop my language skills.

And it has happened, so I’m surrounded by Swedes every day and every moment I learn some new words that I can I add to the list of Swedish words I have learned during my stay in Halmstad.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

Ladies and gentlemen, now it’s time to present the Swedish dish of the day. I had this honor to be @chefsvensson’s guest today and taste some local delicacies. In the picture you can see: Slow-baked salmon with kale and rootfruits, served with a roe sauce. . . ??Lågtemperead laxfilé på grönkålsbädd med rotfrukter och romsås. . . . One of the ingredients was grönkål(kale), very popular in Sweden and especially in the region of Halland where you can find “halländsk grönkål” or “långkål” as one of dishes on the Swedish “julbord” during Christmas. It’s served with Swedish Christmas ham or sausages then. Today I could taste it with the salmon and that was…. absolutely amazing ????? I don’t have the recipe but I think you can contact the author of the dish. He has a great knowledge about the food and cooking and I’m very thankful he shared this knowledge with me today, tack @chefsvensson ! . . #food #delicious_food #swedishfood #sweden #visitsweden #halmstad #halland #grönkål #traditions #foodporn #mysweden #newexperience #foodstagram #foodphotography #destinationhalmstad #salmon #cooking #taste #local #dish #dishoftheday

Ein Beitrag geteilt von The Local Sweden (@thelocalsweden) am Nov 21, 2018 um 1:46 PST

When and why did you move to your city? 

I moved to Sweden two months ago. I had been dreaming about moving to Sweden for more than ten years before it happened. A year ago I decided to finally make this dream come true. I had one year of studies left, so I decided to spend this year collecting money, finishing Scandinavian studies and getting ready to move to Sweden. I wanted to move to Gothenburg but it was very hard to find an apartment in the city…. so I started to give up the hope and then one day we went out with students and teachers from Scandinavian studies.

I talked about my dream and I heard that my Swedish teacher had an apartment to rent in Halmstad. I googled the city, took a walk on Google Maps and liked what I saw. The next day I told them I would love to rent the apartment.

And that’s how I ended up living here. It was all down to chance. But I really enjoy living here and this morning, when I was taking a walk in the city centre, I felt that I'm probably falling in love with the city.

Even if it’s autumn and it’s grey and cold in here there is some magic on the streets of Halmstad. 

What do you love the most about your city? 

I love that Halmstad is so close to the sea, and that you can cycle everywhere here and cycle paths lead you wherever you want to go. I love that the city is so calm and that it reminds me of Gdansk, the city in Poland I had been living in before I moved here. And I love that sometimes you can smell cinnamon when you pass by the cafés on the bike. 

What annoys you the most about your city?

Actually I couldn’t find anything that annoys me yet…I think I need some more time to see the disadvantages. I’m still in the first phase of falling in love with this place. Everything seems so new and so exciting that I don’t see these small things that probably will annoy me in the future. 

How should I spend a day in your city? 

You should start your day from breakfast or morning coffee at Skånskan, then take a walk along the river and then along the coast enjoying the Prins Bertils stig. You can take a break somewhere on the path, there are many places where you can light up a bonfire so I can recommend to roast food over a fire and enjoy your lunch somewhere ute i naturen (out in nature). And in the evening you should watch the sunset over Halmstad, maybe on the Galgberget.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

It’s after midnight so it’s time to tell you this story. The story of #Galgberget. This morning I took you with me to the very popular viewpoint in Halmstad. Nowadays people go there to take a walk, to take some pictures or to take morgonfika (morning coffee ☕️) as I did. But around 400 years ago there weren’t many people who went there because they wanted to. Galgberget, which literally means The Gallows hill, was an executions place until 1850s! Highly recommended to visit when you are in #Halmstad. First picture was taken this morning. Second picture is from one sunny October day. ?☺️ #visithalmstad #visithalland #destinationhalmstad #visitsweden #sweden #mysweden @halmstadcity @halmstadskommun @visithalland #adventuretime #discoversweden

Ein Beitrag geteilt von The Local Sweden (@thelocalsweden) am Nov 16, 2018 um 3:29 PST

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IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images

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