The next stop on our travels was Gothenburg, where my friend Stina lives. Gothenburg has been on my “top places to visit” list ever since Stina came to live with my family for a year awhile back, so Toby made sure it was on our itinerary! Thankfully it is a fairly quick train ride away from Copenhagen, so after leaving Denmark in the afternoon we got in just in time for a delicious home cooked dinner at her parents house, along with a sampling of Swedish beer.
Then, on our first full day we got a tour of the city from Stina’s sister. She showed us a lot of downtown, including Haga, a cool area of the city with nice shops and cafes. There we got a delicious light lunch, which definitely beat out most of what we ate in Copenhagen, and was a much better price.
Afterwards Toby and I took a boat tour of the city, where we lucked out with a very funny guide, so it was a great way to see everything. Some of the bridges we went under were so old and so low that we had to get off our seats to sit on the floor so that no one lost a limb.
We ended the night meeting up with Stina and her friend and going to this really great restaurant and bar where we grabbed drinks and caught up. Drinking in Sweden is pretty expensive due to high taxes on alcohol, a small glass of beer cost around 55-70 Swedish Krona, which is about $8.5-$11. Wine seemed to be even more expensive, so we stuck to beer, which we enjoyed on the nice outdoor patio.
We managed to see most of the city on our first day, so on day two we decided to venture outside the city center. We grabbed a quick lunch of Swedish meatballs, lingonberry sauce and mashed potatoes (all very delicious) at the local market, along with some picnic supplies, and then we took the tram (Gothenburg has trams instead of an subway since the ground is too muddy for an underground system) to the coast where we caught a boat to one of Gothenburg’s many outlying islands. We decided on Bratten island, where we got off and wandered around. We found a nice bench overlooking the small harbor and ate our freshly bought snacks while enjoying the sites.
The weather was absolutely beautiful, nice enough that several locals were swimming in the water, and even a few tourists sunbathed on the shore. I tested the water and decided to stay dry, as it definitely wasn´t what I would consider warm…. So we passed on the sunbathing to take a leisurely walk around the island, passing some lovely houses and lots of locals driving around in golf carts. The island reminded me a lot of Maine, very peaceful with lots of beautiful old houses and well kept gardens. After our walk we grabbed a quick beer on the island and then headed back into the city. There we had a delicious Mediterranean dinner and enjoyed some drinks at a packed local bar. Then it was a late night train ride back to Stina’s house so we could get some sleep before heading out early the next day to Stockholm.
I’m so glad I finally made a visit out to see Stina, even if it was a very brief one, and hopefully she will get a chance to visit me soon in Germany!