Sweden: Nordic Cities I – The Road and Göteborg
Today we begin our new series on Nordic cities. For following 11 Saturdays we tell you where the traveller Magdalena Radostova went and what saw there.
At around 15 o'clock I leave home and I cannot wait to sit on a bus to Sweden. My coffer is absolutely full. I packed some food as well. Everybody says that groceries are very expensive in Sweden and Norway. A lunch casn cost as much as 600 crowns. The bus made several stops before it reached Prag. It leaves from Znojmo, then it stops at Brno, Hradec Kralove, Pardubice and than finally at Prague. The last clients get on in Teplice. Then there is an obligatory stop before the state borderline and than we enter Germany.
Weather is beautiful and sunny. The road is quiet and easy. Lets go to the north! We ride quite long, almost four hours. Watching a movie about Sweden makes our travelling shorter. What caught my attention is different pronounciation of city names in the movie and names our guide uses.
Around 10 p.m. I fall asleep. My dreams are about trolls but I don't sleep for long. At 2 a.. we are weoken up. The town of Puttgarden is ahead. There we get on a ferry which would take us to Denmark. Unfortunately, the ferry supposed to leave at 2:45 a.m. will not be cleared for departure. We had to wait an hour before we finally get aboard. It is still pitch black outside. Wind blows strongly on the upper deck. Even souvenir shops are not open yet...
Only people who love coffee are satisfied. Local restaurants has this delicious bev
erage in large qunatities. The 45 minute cruise goes really fast. Then we hop back on a bus... 2,5 hours and we get on another ferry. This one gets us from Denmark to Sweden. We ride from Helsingor to Helsingborg.
The crossing takes only 15 minutes. Meanwhile the weather worsened. It is raining cats and dogs, there blows strong wind and it is very cold. We arrive at Göteborg at about 10 p.m. We have to choose different place to park. The usual one - "At Lipstick's" has its pavement being repaired. So we head towards Ullevi sports stadium. The driver must take the obligatory 9 hour break. We use it to explore the city.
The second largest city in Sweden is sitauted at the Straight of Kattegat. Göteborg is the largest Nordic port and also home of the largest Scandinavian university. The city doesn't have rich history. It was founded only in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. The architecture of the city was largely influenced by the Dutch who ruled the city for a long time. It was only in late 17th century when the Swedish finally got the city under their control.
Many fires damaged the city in the past. Original mostly wooden buildings are mostly gone, unfortunately.
The once important shipyards are now used only for repairing ships. There are many zones of rest and beautiful parks across the city. Trädgardföreningen is the most famous one. There are held over 2 500 varieties of rose.
I need to mention important info on the name of the city and its pronunciation - we use Göteborg (read "yeteborg") but locals mostly call it Gothenburg (read Gophburg).
Next time we tell you more about the city and interesting places there.
GPS: (Göteborg) 57°42'31.4"N 11°58'28.3"E
Text: Magdaléna Radostová
Photos: Magdaléna Radostová, Wikimedia Commons: Fred J
For the first time after thirteen nights in the tent we wrapped a blanket around ourselves. Me and Dominika got at a farm south from Norrköping. For ten days we worked there in exchange for food and shelter.
We visit Lillehammer today which was the place where the Olympics took place in 1994. The bus takes us to ski jump bridges. The entire town is right at our feet. We climb down metal steps and we are lucky. There is a ski training taking place just now. We can see skiers in action.
We are in a camp near Stockholm. We set off for a walkthrough in the city yet first we make a stop at Vasa Museum.
We sail along Djurgården island, a home to several itneresting museums. One of them is the Vasa Museum (we wrote about it the last time). The island used to hold the game and was fell right under the king. Nowadays, there is Ekoparken Park. The only park in the world situated at the heart of nation's capital. There is also the oldest amusement park in Sweden and Rosendal, a beautiful chateau. Moreover, the ABBA Museum was founded here in 2013.
Beautiful moments pass by quickly. Now we are in the last place of our Scandinavian tour. The Danish capital is situated on the eastern coast of Sjælland island and partly it lays on Amager island. Copenhagen is a beautiful, modern city. People love it and return back gladly.
On this day, our journey across Nordic cities comes to its end. Last time we visited Copenhagen and we would continue in our today.
We can sleep a while longer. Today is a different day. We are about to climb the Bessegen mountain ridge. Its highest peak is Veslfjellet (1 743 m). It is situated in the Jotunheimen mountain area which is the highest in all Norway (there are 29 of the highest peaks of Norway). A third of the area covers the Jotunheimen national park. It is a beautiful place of steep mountains, glaciers, and beautiful valleys.
After a visit in Oslo, there is a long way to our next accomodation - Faksfall camp near Dombås town. Partially, the road takes us along Mjøsa which is the largest lake in Norway. Its total depth is 468 meters.
We are heading towards Rådhuset which Oslo's townhall built in the Classicist revival style. Its two rectangle towers are hard to not to see. The east tower is 66-meters high. Inside, there are chimes consisting of 38 bells. The northern tower is 63 meters high. The astronomical clock is situated on the south side. The clock is unique and also one of the largest in Europe. Its dial has 8,6 meters in diameter. The hand is 5,7 meters long. To be honest, I didn't like th town hall at first. And I learn the locals also needed some time to adjust. However, they consider it an integral part of their city which is partly given by its beautiful interior.
It would be unthinkable to skip another Nordic city - Oslo. We devote two articles to this city. First, we see the most interesting museums there and next time we'll see the city itself.
We begin with a tour in Domkyrkan, a Lutheran church which was destroyed by fire two times. The first cathedral was constructed between 1624–1627. The church was consecrated in 1633. Unfortunately, on the night of April 15 1721 a huge fire broke out. 211 buildings from the surrounding area were destroyed. Many people died as well. Consequently, there was a search for a suitable area which would serve cemetery. Eventually, the cemetery was constructed in the park adjacent to the cathedral. Over 20 thousand bodies were laid there.
Together we go to Götaplatsen square. The city is very quiet. We encounter almost no one. The rain stopped. However, wind still blowed unpleasantly strong. Slowly we approach an interesting statue. It is a revolver with twisted barrel. It was made by one of the foremost personas of modern Swedish art – the sculptor and painter Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. This artist lived in the US for a while. In the 1980, the shock of the shooting and consequent death of John Lennon inspired him to create this statue which he calls Non Violence. The original one is situated in front of the OSN HQ in New York. Another clones you can find in Berlin, or in the Swedish cities of Stockholm, Malmö, Lund, and Boras, or in Caen, France and Kirchberg, Luxemburg.
Eighteen kilogram backpack on our backs were bent me and Dominika down at a station. We were looking forward to Swedish dream, a month worth of travelling on our own. A yellow bus was the means of our transport from Brno to Göteborg. After almost 20 hours of comfortable ride we got off the bus to see seagulls, ferry two ferry boats and cranes idling at the port. Visitor centers were buoys giving us always necessary information in the Swede’s second largest city. The first thing we actually did there was a visit at one such a center. Maps, leaflets, information – this is tourist’s fodder. One even doesn’t realize how remote is the land he trod on. Especially when passersby smile at him/her when he/she asks for directions. The smiles were still there regardless where we were.
We commenced the hiking part of our Swedish journey “deep in the north”. It was in the territory of Bohuslän which is eleven hours from Göteborg. Prices are same in Sweden as in the Czech republic. Nominally, at least. The most expensive part of our journey is travelling itself (had you your own food from the Czech Republic). However, there are many train and bus lines in the country.
While travelling along coastal trail from Ljungskile to Uddevalla, we saw Halle-Hunneberg forests, Västergötland region. It was tiresome to carry heavy backpacks which in turn didn’t bring us much joy when travelling. Therefore, we left them at a visitors’ center.
Last days of travels with Dominika we spent at the city of
Örebro, the history of which dates back to the 15th century.
You can literally cross a bridge from Copenhagen, Denmark to Sweden. But it is quite a long bridge. One may think both cities would be similar due to small distance separating them but you couldn’t be more wrong. Malmö has different feeling – it is calmer, more monumental, and more adult. You will feel its industrial history as well as present high-tech direction.
Stockholm belongs synonymously to most beautiful and most green metropolis of the Europe. The lovers of history and arts will be surprised at existence of more that 100 museums, dedicated really to all subjects which would occur to you.
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One can say Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and Malmö, Sweden, would be similar cities becaus...