Earlier this week Dr. Darling and I decided to take advantage of the summer weather that has FINALLY showed up in these parts to get out on our bikes for a bit. Our destination was Lund, the college town roughly 18 kilometers northeast of Malmö that also happens to be home to my new (as of Oct. 1) employer (more on that later.) We haven’t done this particular ride in a number of years and pedaling there together was good preparation for one of the multiple transportation options I will have for my eventual commute.
The ride was basically as I remembered it … fairly flat and quite straightforward to navigate. The only real challenge was the wind, which has a tendency to change directions mid-day ensuring that you are riding against it both on the way to and from Lund. After successfully completing the trip to my future office, we cycled into the city proper for fika, selecting what had been the Espresso House closest to central train station. But as you can see by the image below, there is now an Espresso House even closer by virtue of it being attached to the train station ... which is directly across the street from the original Espresso House.
It used to be that I would only ever see two of THE SAME franchises of any given business in such close proximity in BIG cities like New York or London, where presumably there are enough people to support a pair of Starbucks a stone’s throw away from each other. But this strategy turned up in Malmö (population about 300,000) a few years ago when a 2nd Espresso House was opened in the city’s central train station, which also boasts a Starbucks and several other eateries that serve decent coffee. And miraculously, they are all still in business.
Then again, this is Sweden, which is 2nd only to Finland in terms of the amount of coffee consumed per person annually (and the Finns only beat us by 41 cups.)