One of my biggest reservations about going on exchange to Lund was the fact that it was a small town (population of around 80k) and I had not imagined myself to be a small town person. In fact, I once thought about Vancouver as the smallest town I would ever consider living in.
That was until I came to Lund.
As soon as the bus took us from the train station to the student union building, I had the opportunity to pass through the city for the very first time and marvel at the charm that the city holds. It is quaint, historical, and very well-designed. On top of that, there are many buildings that just take your breathe away:
This cathedral was built 900 years ago!
The cobblestoned and narrow streets are lined with historical buildings. The closest that Vancouver has to this would be Gastown (which is still relatively new compared to Lund’s architecture and street design).
Although I have no pictures of them, surrounding the city’s downtown are houses that are quite reminiscent of Vancouver’s less affluent section of Shaughnessy’s houses in design (yes, that exists between King Edward and 33rd despite the fact that most people associate Shaughnessy with houses between 16th and King Edward).
For such a small town, I was pleasantly surprised with just how many streets there were for shopping. In Lund, there are no malls in the city center, so all the stores and shops are on the streets (think Robson or South Granville in Vancouver). As a result, there are tons of streets that are dedicated to just shopping. Here, many streets are narrow and pedestrian-only, which creates a very communal atmosphere that is lacking in many other cities (ahem, Vancouver).
In summary, I was overwhelmed with the charm that this little city possesses, and I was floored immediately when I saw the city for the first time. I guess my skepticism over small towns and suburbs may hold weight in the towns around Vancouver, but coming to Lund has totally reshaped my image of what small towns are capable of being.