Driving through Sweden on the bus from Copenhagen to Gothenburg (Göteborg) the landscape changed from rural flatlands to large rocky outcroppings and the fjords which more prevalent across the Scandinavian peninsula. We noticed the difference a couple hundred kilometres north made, with a strong wind chill in the evening sun, we had to get out all our layers. Taking a walk over the bridge, we quickly found our accommodation moored at the waterfront. The Barken Viking, a large barque sailing ship with four masts and reportedly the largest ever sailing ship built in Scandinavia. Over it’s career it ferried wheat and goods as far as Australia under Danish, Finnish and Swedish flags. It now serves as a refurbished hotel bar and restaurant. We got accommodation at good value discounted rates being prior to the peak tourist season. Gone are the days of viking warships, but lining the docks were plenty of military and fishing craft all freshly painted and docked.

Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, but most of it’s attractions are centred within the middle of town, making it an easy walk. Due to it being a quiet Sunday evening, we again struggled to find somewhere open. We were hoping to see the Fish Markets, Feskekôrka (Fish Church), but they closed early Sunday and all day Monday. We did however, find a small fish place in the boutique Haga district, Sjöbaren, where we had a traditional meal of poached cod and wallenberger (fish pattie).

Daylight again extended long until about 9:30pm, rising early at 5:00am. We didn’t rise that early, but managed to get out for a brisk 10km run to Slottskogen (Castle Forest), the main park of Gothenburg and the lungs of the city. Here we found a few red squirrels darting up trees, a small petting zoo, seals and a couple moose! The moose we saw were too engrossed in feeding to pay us any attention. Tam tried making “twig noises” with sticks to trick them over, much like you would entice a pet horse. They didn’t buy it.  Apparently the moose can get quite inebriated in autumn when they eat the fermented apples that have fallen from the trees.

With some time left for retail therapy, Tam managed to buy a new pair of jeans, a dress and some shoes. Mitch bought a giant cinnamon roll that was bigger than his head. These are famous in Gothenburg and are big enough for lunch for two people. We didn’t even finish it. The streets of Gothenburg were  a real shoppers town that will no doubt be humming in a couple months.

This weekend we are in London for the Sevens. Supporting the All Blacks Sevens team in their title bid.



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