The Gothenburg Videos

Trip Start Mar 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 29, 2011

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Flag of Sweden  , Swedish Lakeland,
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

After we left Norway, we stopped off in Goteborg (or Gothenburg), Sweden. I can't lie, the primary reason for this stop was to watch hockey. It has been over a year and a half before I’d watched a live hockey game and after seeing that the Swedish Elite League was just starting up I just had to go.

 Anyways, we showed up in Gothenburg and met up with some Couch Surfing hosts, Jonas and Pauline. They were a bit different than some couchsurfers we’d stayed with, in the sense that they hosted many people at once. So, in addition to us, there were them, an American guy and two Australians in the apartment which made it seem almost like a hostel, where there was always someone around to talk to.  

 We probably ended staying a bit longer than the average visitor to the city on account of the hockey game being about five days off, but it turned out there was plenty to do in Sweden’s second largest city

 We started by doing what most backpackers do, which is seeing a lot of the main free sights, like the old town, the fish market, various lookouts, etc. There was one free sight though that was particularly impressive, which was Slottskogen, a park/zoo in the centre of town. This place was quite a good spot to kill some time, because it had deer, moose, elk, goats, and all kinds of other animals to go and see, plus a seal tank, with a feeding you can go and watch. 

 After we’d exhausted most of the free options in town we moved onto the ones you had to pay for, but fortunately they all turned out to be well worth it. The first was the Universeum, which we went to with Jonas. It’s basically like a large science centre with a rainforest and an aquarium. To give you a picture of how good it was though, Jonas, who had never been there since he hadn’t lived in Gothenburg too long, enjoyed it so much that he decided to get himself a season pass after visiting. 

 The next day, we happened to get an incredibly sunny and warm day, which was ideal since we were heading to Liseberg, the city’s theme park. Brooke was wary about spending too much money on something she might not enjoy (since she’s gotten sick on rollercoasters in recent years), but she took a motion sickness pill and next thing I knew, I was the one who wanted to slow down on the number of rides we were doing. So, after getting pretty familiar with the rides there all day, our Liseberg experience was not finished yet… that night the venue was also hosting a concert by one of Sweden’s favourite musicians, Hakan Hellstrom. He sings in Swedish, so he’s not particularly well-known outside of the country, but that night I’m pretty sure the whole city of Gothenburg showed up, and given that it’s his hometown, it made the evening seem a bit like seeing the Tragically Hip play in Kingston – only Swedish. So, while Brooke and I didn’t necessarily understand what the hell he and the other 30,000 people were singing about, it still made for a good concert. 

 Finally, we wrapped up our Gothenburg experience with a Swedish Elite League hockey game. The team in Gothenburg is Frolunda, who have had some famous NHLers like Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Lundqvist play for them. Having only ever really watched hockey from a North American perspective it was interesting to see the Swedish league game. The crowd was one of the most impressive parts, because they kept singing pretty much the whole way through the game. It was still early in the season, so maybe that excitement wears off over the course of the season (especially if the team sucks) but I was pretty impressed. Frolunda ended up winning 2-1 late in the game too, so it was a fairly exciting match overall, and a good ending to a good few days in Gothenburg.
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