Ystad proves so pretty on exploration this morning that we decide to stay for the day. I love these unexpected finds, often an unplanned detour that delivers a hidden gem.
Being a weekend, Ystad is brimming with people. One noticeable difference though – the tourists here are Swedish. We’ve inadvertently found a local holiday spot.
Surrounded by farmland, Ystad is a seaside oasis. It’s postcard pretty with a bustling marina, cobblestoned streets and one colourful half timbered house after the other.
Most of the houses have a history going back to the early 1700s. Two markets are in full swing on opposite sides of the town – one fruit and vegetables, the other an art fair.
One unexpected thing we’ve noticed on Swedish roads is their love of vintage American convertibles – Yank tanks of the 1950s, with their gorgeous lines, pointed fins, shiny chrome, cherry red or pastel paint jobs.
1950s car designers delivered – these cars make a statement, and it’s a fabulous, head turning one. They’re a surprisingly common sight in Sweden. Ystad is no exception: on a weekend break, the boys have brought their toys. We see two in particular that we’ve only read about: an Oldsmobile and an Eldorado. Neither are my favourite cherry red, but gorgeous none the less. Convertibles. I’ve always had a terrible weakness for them. I miss mine and have secret plans to have one again.
We spend a happy few hours walking the streets of Ystad, running errands, admiring the architecture and sampling the local Princesstorte. Also pretty fabulous. I might have to learn how to make this cake as it’s edging past others on the favourites list. You’ll see that I was too greedy to wait for the photo. Oops!
The late afternoon is genuine downtime, deck chairs by the sea, books in hand, gin and tonics on tap. With the sea and sky twinkling blue in unison, the reverie is only broken to admire the speed of the local catamaran ferry that zooms to and fro regularly. I have no idea where it’s off to, but the map shows that we’re very close to Germany, Denmark and Poland. Then again, it could be a nearby island. It’s too much effort to find out with the sun on my legs and drink in hand.
The afternoon slips away along with the sun. We have dinner outdoors at the marina and chat to the Swedish couple next to us who are fours days into a walking holiday. It’s amusing to hear them complain that Norway is expensive too and they are most amused by our quest for wine in Sweden. Always interesting to get a local perspective.
It’s off to Malmo tomorrow. Ystad has been a welcome and lovely diversion.