Well, our stay in Gothenburg has been… different than anticipated. I’m not going to say disappointing, because it really hasn’t been. The city is a lot of fun to wander around in (we do not get “lost”; we just purposely wander with no particular destination in mind) and we’ve seen some very interesting things. It’s just that we didn’t get to see any of the things we’d planned to either.
For example, Liseberg. This amusement park is allegedly “more fun than Tivoli”, and looked it from the map. It incorporates a huge green area (through which some of the rides wend themselves) and I am actually very sorry not to be able to go, but it wasn’t open the days we were here.
Next door to Liseberg, we headed to the Scandinavium, also known as the home of the Frölunda Indians. (For those wondering, this is the Swedish Elite hockey league team that Alfie used to play for, and thus the goal of our pilgrimage.)
While we did make it to the arena, it was not open, thus barring us access to the shrine to pillar of Daniel Alfredsson. Worse still, the Indians giftshop, where The Boy was hoping to acquire a jersey, seems to be open only during the hockey season. Apparently it is possible for a city to support two sports (in this case soccer and hockey) and I guess they each only get one season.
So, what did we end up doing then? There was definitely no shortage of sights, as we discovered the previous evening.
After breakfast (complete with very tasty bread), we took a moat-tour of the city which was informative — it’s always nice to get a brief history of a city from someone; it gives a better appreciation of things you run into later — and which served to educate us as to some of the buildings and sites and things we’d seen the night before.
We headed up to the top of the “lipstick tower” office building to take pictures of the city and its surrounding shipyards. Mostly this experience made me grumpy that I didn’t have a wide-angled lens. Also, it made me wonder why the tourists who came up the elevator with us kept closing all the little windows (visible behind me in the picture) that we opened as we went around. Any place hot enough to inspire me to remove my hoodie is definitely in need of an open window or two. It doesn’t really seem it in the picture, but it was very sunny, and quite hot.
Unrelatedly, the floor of this tower platform, much like the floor of the pedestrian walkway over the road, is made of wood which is nice both because it is softer to walk on, and because it smells good when heated up in the sun. I’m not saying that concrete isn’t a useful material; merely that wood is also nice on occasion.
Anyway, the tower. While many pictures were snapped, most of them were really not that great; we got better pictures from a later vantage point, albeit one that wasn’t as high. I did, however, get a good shot of the Opera House (GöteborgsOperan) which we’d walked past the previous night.
While I will say that the picture above is nicer because it is complete, and shows the harbour, blah blah blah, I also think the picture I’d taken the night before is prettier colour-wise. See?
One of the many bits of trivia we amassed on the moat-tour is that part of the reason for the opera house’s strange shape is that in order to fit in with its marine surroundings, the architect had tried to make it look, depending on vantage point, like a lighthouse, or a ship. Hm. And here I’d just thought (after seeing Copenhagen’s opera house) that Scandinavian countries just like really bizarrely angular opera houses with the occasional round bit. Who knew?
After that, we wandered through the town, and up some quite-hidden, overgrown stairs to a lower vantage point within the city. I tried to take appropriate shots to stitch up a panorama; time (and software) will tell on that front.
After that, we continued our ramble through the town, including the even-more-cobblestoney streets of Haga, which was nice. We stopped at a café (does that sound pretentious? Well it shouldn’t; everyone here stops at cafés, all the time, apparently, and basks on their patios, given how many of them exist — we were just blending in) and got to watch three pink-coveralled frosh (or so we assumed) from the local college interrupt what seemed to be a scavenger hunt to chat with friends.
More meandering, more snacking; our stay here has definitely been on the more relaxed side. I don’t feel guilty about that though (we are on vacation!) and I’m fairly sure that our time in Stockholm will be busy (unless everything we’re planning for there too doesn’t pan out!) so it’s nice to get a little break in somewhere.
Finally, I have a completely unrelated clothing-inspired rant:
I am, as might have come up before, a light packer when travelling. My goal in life (travel-wise) is to become an extremely light packer. Because of this, it is extremely rare on a trip that I ever think to myself “Oh, I should have packed [some article of clothing that I was considering, but left behind].” On this trip however, I sorely regret my decision not to bring leggings.
Despite the fact that it’s August, it’s actually been quite chilly here some days. My heavily skirt-biased wardrobe choices would have been improved by some extra coverage. Also, for reasons unknown to me, girls in Scandinavia (but more so in Sweden than in Copenhagen) seem to wear leggings like it’s the 80s. We even saw a girl in plaid leggings today. This is extra disappointing to me because I have many, many pairs of awesome leggings (the awesomer of which were gifted to me by aunts from Hong Kong) which I rarely get the chance to wear (in Canada) because I would likely get stared at. But here, here! I would have fit right in! Boo!