Destination: Gothenburg Sweden
Date: May 2013
Gothenburg Sweden or Goteborg is an old Swedish community that dates back to 1621 when it was founded by Sweden’s King Gustavus Adolphus. Located on the west coast of Sweden it is the busiest port that side of the country. When we arrived in Gothenburg I didn’t know what to expect. Though I liked Stockholm well enough I felt it was kind of a “vanilla” type city compared to the other cities we had visited on our cruise. I was delighted to see that Gottenburg had a little more to offer than Stockholm.
When we arrived at port we had to pay $15 to take the round trip shuttle into town. This was necessary since walking into town was not an option and there didn’t seem to be any taxis in sight. Before taking our shuttle bus however, we stopped over at the Volvo Museum that is located right at the port and we took some time to tour the facility.
Trent and the other men in our group really enjoyed going through the Volvo museum. I must admit that I found it to be very interesting to see how diversified Volvo has become over the years. At a cost of 60 Swedish Kronas about $10 US dollars we obtained entry, and its open 10-5pm T-F or 11-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Once inside we were then able to see how the Volvo product made its evolution from cars, trucks, jet engines, sail boats and all kinds of motorized vehicles. It was a pretty neat hands on experience.
They even had trucks, buses, cars, a firetruck, and a simulated sail boat to get inside of and see how what kind of product Volvo has produced over the years. I think my kids would have even enjoyed going through this exhibit. It gave me a new appreciation for the Volvo especially since my very first car I drove when I was sixteen was a 1972 Volvo. It all took me back to great memories even though I kind of detested that car! Finally we were ready to get on the shuttle and make our way into town. Gothenburg has some great water ways and boat rides just like the cities of Copenhagen or Amsterdam. However this time we decided to walk straight over to Old town and experience some of the authentic old town feel of this city.
After walking for about a half hour we found the old town street of Haga Nygata. This street boasts some great little bakeries, delis, restaurants, and lots of local shopping. It seemed to also be a place where the locals gathered to take their kids on walks in their prams, or see the street performers. Since we hit Gothenburg on a Saturday there were lots of children in the streets and even a face painter with someone playing circus music in the back ground. It set the stage for a very memorable experience.
Our group decided we had seen enough cathedrals and castles and so shopping and meandering the local shops was our activity of choice. We had fun trying out the local baked goods that none of us could pronounce but looked delicious. Another great things about Sweden is eveyone’s ability to speak English and speak it well. Asking for directions or how to pronounce our baked desires was never a problem.
We again relied on Trip Advisor for our lunch time meal. Unfortunately we were led to a restaurant not far from Haga Nygata but it didn’t have the charm that other restaurants we had seen on the street so we decided not to risk it and made our own choice. Part of our group ate at En Deli Haga which had a great variety of vegetarian courses. They also had a very delicious hummus and lentil soup that made me happy as a fat cat. Others in our group decided to eat at Cafe Kringlan a local waffle and crepe house not far from our little deli. Those who choose food at Cafe Kringlan were also very pleased with their selection. The best part for me was taking a table right on the street and enjoying our food fare while doing a little people watching.
The families that were meandering the street were fun to watch and seeing the little children with faces painted did make me miss my own crew who were at home. At the end of the day we did more shopping and walked our way back over to the town center. There at the town center was even more shopping but with franchises like H&M, Espirit, and United Colors of Benetton. I preferred the little Swedish shops of Haga Nygata. Though our stop in Gothenburg was short it was a beautiful sunny day. Probably a great kite flying day. If I was to do it all over again I would have rented a bike and seen the city on bike rather than walk. There were bike rentals all over and it would have been an easy thing to do. I guess that is why I write this all down so that maybe I can remember this all for the next time I’m in Gothenburg or for any of you who may find yourselves visiting there in the near future.
Safe and Happy Travels!!