Trip Start Jul 01, 2007
29Trip End Nov 25, 2007
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Gothenburg is Sweden's 2nd largest city and I am going to train Aikido for a few days at the dojo of Ulf Evenas Sensei, before catching a flight to Scotland. Ulf Sensei is a good friend of my Aikido teacher in Melbourne, Michael Field Sensei, and I have met him and trained at several seminars as he has been to Australia several times.
He very kindly has invited me to stay at the dojo, which is equipped with kitchen, showers, and even a sauna. Unfortunately Ulf Sensei cannot teach as he has an injury from a seminar he just conducted in Estonia, but his senior students run the classes, and I am made very welcome by everyone. It's great to move the body again and work up a bit of sweat
Gothenburg has a population of around half a million people and has Scandinavia's largest university. It is very prosperous-looking and there is more than the usual amount of music, theatre and other cultural activities than a city of this size would normally have. In between training Aikido in the evening I attend the Gothenburg Festival, the Museum and Art Galleries, walk around town, and go to one milonga, where I meet a few people that had been in Stockholm.
It's a much needed R&R (rest and recreation) break after nearly 2 full-on weeks of tango and late nights in Copenhagen and Stockholm.
In the food market at the festival I try things such as wild boar rolls, drinks made from small orange berries, and taste artisan-made smoked meats, cheeses and bread. At the fish market I eat Swedish oysters, which are flat in comparison to the more common type of oyster, and are green in colour - very delicious though, as are the fried herrings with mashed potatos and lingon berries.
Just as a bit of interesting trivia the holiday entitlements in days in EU countries are as follows:
Finland 44, France & Lithuania 40, Estonia, Austria & Malta 38, Greece 37, Spain, Sweden & Poland 36, Denmark 35, Germany & Portugal 34, Italy & Czech Republic 31, Netherlands & UK 28.
I'm not sure what Australia's figure is but I would expect it to be about the same as the UK. It just goes to show the amount of holidays has no correllation with economic performance, so we might as well all have longer holidays :)