Those with an appetite for cerebral detective drama will no doubt have become familiar in recent years with Kenneth Brannagh’s Wallander. Playing the part of the Swedish detective who gets far too emotionally involved in the suffering of crime victims for his own good, Brannagh and the rest of the crew have brought to our attention the rolling landscapes and pretty towns of the county of Skane in southern Sweden.
Much of the action takes place in and around Ystad, a historic town on the Baltic coast at the southernmost tip of the Swedish mainland. The narrow medieval streets of Ystad create a pretty backdrop to the criminal action in the TV drama and the quiet life that is portrayed on screen is perhaps only occasionally shattered in the real world by the fact that in recent times there have been two sets of film crews (one Swedish and one British) producing their respective versions of the Wallander series, sometimes shooting on the same days!
Take a visit to Skane (written in Swedish as Skåne and pronounced something close to Skaw-ne, but often referred to English as Scania) and you can enjoy both urban and rural attractions in what is a relatively unexplored corner of Sweden. The major city is Malmo, which is gearing itself up for its own day in the spotlight as it prepares to host the Eurovision Song Contest on 18th May 2013. If Sweden follows the lead of just about every other Eurovision host nation, you can expect many pretty shots of the Skane towns and rural landscapes to flash across your TV screen between the musical performances.
Around the medieval town of Ystad there are a number of pretty fishing villages such as Kåseberga that make for a great day out in the summer months, exploring the region with little more than a camera and a picnic basket. Spend a leisurely afternoon visiting the artists’ workshops and studios (the tourist office in Ystad can helpfully point you towards Art Circuits that guide you around the cottages of the local craftsmen. Skane is a place where life is enjoyed at a slow pace, and with plenty of walking trails between villages and around the region’s natural attractions you will have every opportunity to slip into the local rhythm.
With April’s premiere of Wallander The Troubled Man in London’s Leicester Square, you will have even more chances to enjoy the best of Skane’s beautiful countryside. This time it won’t be Kenneth Brannagh, but rather the Swedish actor Krister Henriksson who plays the lead role, with a supporting cast that will be familiar to anyone who has watched the original Swedish version of the Wallander adaptations. Look out for the movie as the reviews so far are very positive. With Eurovision following shortly afterwards, you might see enough inspiration on the screen to be tempted to visit Skane and see the place for yourself.
Visit the Sunvil site for more information about holidays in Skane, including a 7 day itinerary that takes in the highlights of the region.