Last weekend, I decided to venture North with a couple of friends on an impromptu day trip to Gothenburg (locally known as Göteborg), Sweden’s second largest city. This again meant an early start, meeting at Lund C station just before 7 am. I was even more tired than usual, having seen a friend perform at Café & Le’s open-mic night the night before and ending up talking with some other people until the early hours of the morning. However, we managed a few hours of kip on the train, and arrived in Gothenburg for the late morning. Aware of the fact that the days are becoming shorter and that we had a limited amount of sunlight left (welcome to Sweden!), we quickly sought after the main attractions – after grabbing a much-needed coffee of course!
Walking through the central station in Gothenburg, it became clear that this was a city already in the Christmas spirit, as the station was full of Christmas trade stalls and performers. We strolled through the main shopping district, admired one of the many churches and found a great platform on a hill that overlooks part of the city.
We then walked through the highly recommended Slottsskogon in the south of the city, which is a vast expanse of forests and parks and home to an array of wildlife. We managed to see, amongst other animals, some elks, seals and geese, but, to our disappointment, we never managed to find the penguins.
After lunch, we continued to walk around the city, taking in the fantastic scenery.
At the end of one of the main streets is the art museum (Konstmuseum) which focuses on Scandinavian art as well as housing famous works of Van Gogh and Picasso, and includes a few odd examples of taxidermy. Arriving very late on in the day, we only caught a glimpse of the museum and were hurried out by one of the security guards, but it was great to look around.
Just as the sun was setting, we ventured towards the Christmas market at the Liseberg amusement park, the largest theme park in Sweden and the largest and most popular Christmas market, and this place immediately banished the thoughts that this was the “wrong time of year to visit Gothenburg”. The place was heaving and it was fantastic to just walk around and soak up the Christmas spirit.
Before we knew it, it was time to get our train home. It had been a long day, but it was great to spend the day in Gothenburg.
Next up, I am flying to Helsinki on Friday (which happens to be Finish independence day) and embarking on a cheeky day trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I can’t wait and it looks as though it will be snowing when we are there!