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yes, it definitely looks like a mistake. The root cause is that the command ln -s <from> <to> will give different resuslt depending on the <from> (if it was a file or a dir) and depending on <to> if it exists or not and <to> is a dir or file.
usually creating link into a non-existing dir will give you surprising result. Using relative path may also lead to strange results (especially when the current working directory is not the one you need to use). I think that happened in your case.
Actually, you can't make a hardlink to a directory - it is already set. The problem with making hard links to directories is that it makes fsck fail (the directory tree is no longer a tree).
A directory file can only have two links - one pointing to itself (.) and the one from its parent directory.
During fsck, a symbolic link is treated as an ordinary file with data. Directories though must have a parent directory, and must have an entry for themselves. A parent directory must exist, and there can only be one parent directory.