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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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How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans

After long months of lockdowns and curfews Europeans are looking forward to jetting off for a bit of sun and sand -- only to find that their long awaited holiday plans go awry due to a shortage of rental cars.

How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans
Tourists wait outside of rental car agencies in Corsica. Photo: PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

In many areas popular with tourists cars are simply not available or subcompacts are going for a stiff €500 euros.

Car rental comparison websites show just how expensive renting a vehicle has become for tourists this summer.

According to Carigami, renting a car for a week this summer will set tourists back an average of 364 euros compared to 277 euros two years ago.

For Italy, the figure is 407 euros this summer compared to 250 euros in 2019. In Spain, the average cost has jumped to 263 euros from 185 euros.

According to another website, Liligo, daily rental costs have nearly doubled on the French island of Corsica. At the resort city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca, rental prices have nearly tripled.

Today’s problem is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faced with near absence of clients, selling off vehicles to raise cash made a lot of sense for car rental firms struggling to survive.

“Everyone drastically reduced their fleet,” said the head of Europcar, Caroline Parot.

Until the spring, most companies still had fleets roughly a third smaller than in 2019, she said.

Car rental firms are used to regularly selling their vehicles and replacing them, so rebuilding their inventory should not have been a problem.

Except the pandemic sent demand for consumer electronics surging, creating a shortage of semiconductors, or chips, that are used not only in computers but increasingly in cars.

“A key contributor to the challenge right now is the global chip shortage, which has impacted new vehicle availability across the industry at a time when demand is already high,” said a spokesman for Enterprise.

It said it was working to acquire new vehicles but that in the mean time it is shifting cars around in order to better meet demand.

No cars, try a van

“We’ve begun to warn people: if you want to come to Italy, which is finally reopening, plan and reserve ahead,” said the head of the association of Italian car rental firms, Massimiliano Archiapatti.

He said they were working hard to meet the surge in demand at vacation spots.

“But we’ve got two big islands that are major international tourism destinations,” he said, which makes it difficult to move cars around,
especially as the trip to Sardinia takes half a day.

“The ferries are already full with people bringing their cars,” he added.

“Given the law of supply and demand, there is a risk it will impact on prices,” Archiapatti said.

The increase in demand is also being seen for rentals between individuals.

GetAround, a web platform that organises such rentals, said it has seen “a sharp increases in searches and rentals” in European markets.

Since May more than 90 percent of cars available on the platform have been rented on weekends, and many have already been booked for much of the summer.

GetAround has used the surge in demand to expand the number of cities it serves.

For some, their arrival can’t come fast enough.

Bruno Riondet, a 51-year-old aeronautics technician, rents cars to attend matches of his favourite British football club, Brighton.

“Before, to rent a car I was paying between 25 and 30 euros per day. Today, it’s more than 90 euros, that’s three times more expensive,” he said.

In the United States, where prices shot higher during the spring, tourists visiting Hawaii turned to renting vans.

In France, there are still cars, according to Jean-Philippe Doyen, who handles shared mobility at the National Council of Automobile Professionals.

“Clients have a tendency to reserve at the last minute, even more so in the still somewhat uncertain situation,” he said.

They will often wait until just a few days before their trip, which means car rental firms don’t have a complete overview of upcoming demand, he added.

He said business is recovering but that revenue has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels as travel is not yet completely unfettered.

SEE ALSO: British drivers will no longer need an insurance ‘green card’ to visit Europe, EU rules

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