23 August 2009

Swedish Honeymoon, Day 5: Hello, Gothenburg!

Events of Thursday, July 16, 2009

Early in the morning we got up and rode to Stockholm's central station again. From there we hopped on a bullet train headed for Gothenburg, known as Göteborg in Swedish. The trains in Sweden are fast, efficient, and clean. People say we can't afford transit in America, but that's because we spend everything on roads. Sweden, like most of Europe, is easily 10 years or more ahead of the US in transit.

Melissa on the train as we prepare to depart Stockholm:

Me taking a nap during our scenic ride across Sweden:

Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden after Stockholm. Two of Melissa's relatives live there: Pär (her first cousin) and Birgitta (her aunt), so we were looking forward to meeting with both of them.

The trains in Gothenburg remind me of those in San Francisco:

They even have streetcars like we have in San Francisco:

A bustling square in Gothenburg:

When we got to Gothenburg, we had planned to eventually meet up with Pär's fiancée, Loulou. But at the train station in Gothenburg, we happened to run into her by chance! Along with Loulou, we met Loulou and Pär's daughter Ellie. Loulou helped us find a tourist help desk, where we booked a hotel for the night. After booking the hotel, we headed to a little cafe where we ate a delicious lunch of pea soup (pea soup is traditionally eaten on Thursdays in Sweden) and cakes.

Loulou and Ellie:

After checking into our hotel, which we were informed was one of the best in Gothenburg, we headed over to Pär and Loulou's apartment for a dinner of Indian food and wine. Loulou is originally from Scotland, so she is also learning to speak Swedish. She recommended that I try reading adult easy reading books in Swedish. I had read children's books in Swedish before, but they always ended up boring me with their simplistic stories. Easy reading books, however, are written with adult learners in mind, so are much more interesting.

The view from Pär and Loulou's window out towards Gothenburg:

Melissa with her backpack as we head to our hotel, with the Gothenburg water front in the background:

After saying goodbye to Pär, Loulou, and Ellie, we went back to our hotel and caught up with world events on CNN. Gothenburg is further south than Stockholm, so it thankfully got a little darker at night, plus our hotel room had black-out shutters!

A view of the Gothenburg waterfront on the walk back to our hotel:

Previous: Day 4: Applying for the Passport
Next: Day 6: Exploring Gothenburg

No comments: