Update! Now with names and a detailed map, thanks to Toni and Marga! 😀
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Wow! At last we could sleep until late. No worries. No hurry. Just rest. After getting up the last 10 days between 7 and 8 o’clock in the morning, waking up at 11 was a complete luxury. I think we deserved it. After all, we were in holiday. To celebrate it, we even took an English breakfast, with eggs and sausages. Mostly because the night before we were so tired we could only eat a yoghurt!
After that, we headed to Marstrand, on the coast, where we saw a beautiful stone fortress, Carlsten, built by a Swedish king in 1658. However, due to our busy schedule, we had no time to visit it. Instead of that, we stopped several times on our way to take pictures of the coast. Sweden has a lot of small creeks and islands on its western coast. People go there to sail and fish. You can see a lot of small boats all around, and some people from the city have a second residence there as well. Fortunately for us, Marga had a friend in one of those islands, who invited us to have dinner with her family. That was very kind! 🙂
First we stayed on a lovely creek in the island of Tjöm, and played with her kids. We tried to catch some crabs, and amazingly, that was quite easy. The only problem where the wasps. They were very annoying. Well, personally, I’m afraid of these insects. I don’t like them at all. So just seeing them made me worry. Bees are ok, but wasps… Anyway, we had a great time, and we even tried the cold water. 😉
– Come on, the water at sa Costera is colder!
Staying for one day with a Swedish family was a great experience. We ate with the whole family, grand parents and children included, and then we went outside to play all kind of games with Anton (2) and Simon (4). They had a garden plenty of grass. It was so nice to roll down there. We even saw a squirrel. I felt like a child again, and I wished my nieces were also present to enjoy the moment. At the end of the day, Marga was a bit sad, and I understand it. Once you get to know each other, it is hard to leave. We came back home late at night, after a lot of hugs and kisses.
Once home, we made a backup of all our pictures (more than 12GB!) in 3 DVDs. We also looked at our map, to figure out how many kms did we drive each day. That’s where I took the information from to put all these Google maps at the bottom of each post. After that, “a fer nonitas”!
Friday, 11 July 2008
Next morning, while Marga was at the university to handle some bureaucracy work, Toni and me went to a nearby park to walk a little bit. Well, before that, we had some trouble with a parking machine, but we finally got our ticket.
The visit to the natural park Änggärdsbergen was quite relaxing. We saw some people running, and Toni told me that Sweden was very safe, and people could go to parks at night without fearing to be attacked. On our way, we also found a lot of “lost objects”. Swedish citizens tend to hang all the objects they found on a branch, fence, or wherever they can. You can find gloves, scarfs, or even pacifiers (translation of “chupeta”). I was quite surprised by this tradition, and I took a lot of pictures about it.
Then we visited the botanical garden, and walked through all the flowers. I tested my “macro” settings, and Toni explained to me what were all those plants. Tux also enjoyed the tour!
After a while, and realizing that Marga will probably be busy for a long time, we decided to sit down on the grass. What a great idea! I can still feel the fresh grass underneath. A couple was getting married, and I made a photo to both the photographer and the bride.
She was a beautiful girl. Both were beautiful girls. 🙂
At 14:00 (finally!) we got a call from Marga. We were going to meet on the centre to do some sightseeing. Oh, ja! Now I remember. We met in front of that French café, where we had a delicious French-style breakfast (with croissant and juice and café au lait) that morning. We walked through the centre, like perfect tourists. Some things got my attention, like Snus, a tobacco that you don’t smoke, but you put it on your mouth instead. We found a box on the street, and Marga explained to me that it is a common practice here in Sweden. You don’t have to smell tobacco smoke anymore, but it doesn’t seem to be very healthy either.
Then, walking along the canal, we arrived to a fish market. It was big, like in Spain, and there was plenty of fresh fish. We made a tour and bought a lot of fish to celebrate our return to civilisation.
After our first shopping, we stopped to drink a cola. Just in time to capture a raven (or black bird, to be sure) that was looking at us. Then, we continued. We still had a lot of things to see (and to buy). Göteborg is also a bike-friendly city. You can find bike lanes, and cars are quite respectful. 😉
Next stop, the commercial centre. As all commercial centres, it was crowded, but we survived. We first bought
salmon caviar in a kind of toothpaste tube. Toni was very enthusiastic about it. It is a very common way to package products in Sweden. They put everything in tubes. If you think about it, it is practical, because you only need to press and you get your mayonnaise, ketchup, margarine, caviar, or whatever you can imagine. You don’t need a knife or similar tom extend it. If you go on picnic it can be very useful. We already tested it during our Scandinavian trip. However, personally, I prefer a glass pot, at least to use it at home. Maybe I’m not used to it.
Next, the alcohol supermarket, called Systembolaget. That’s really amazing. You cannot buy any alcohol, not even beer (with more than 3.5%) or wine, in any other store. I guess it is to stop alcoholism, quite elevated in Nordic countries. You can tell the day of the month by looking at how many people are in. During the 25th or 26th (when people get paid) they are crowded. Priorities are: pay the rent, buy food, buy alcohol. Don’t ask me in which order. After the 12th, they are almost empty, which was the case when we came in. Everything is in perfect order. There are all sort of vodka, whisky, etc. Everything in his section. There is even a catalogue! However, you cannot find any offer like “take 2, pay 1”. That is prohibited by law. In addition, taxes for alcohol are really high. That’s why some people use the ferry to go to Denmark (where it is much cheaper) and fill their car (or van) with plenty of bottles. After walking all the corridors, we went to the “Red Wine” section, and decided to buy a Spanish wine, a “Gran Sangre de Toro” from Torres.
Once our shopping was complete, we went to the haven through a catwalk suspended in the air. We saw a beautiful ship, and walked along the docks, until we arrived to the city hall. It was almost 17:30, and we were so tired that we decided to go home. Of course, we had our usual argument about walking or using public transport, but reason finally won and we took the tram.
Once at home, we prepared a luxury dinner. Salmon, prawns and other delicious things I don’t remember. I wonder why we didn’t took a picture of the dishes. Maybe we were too hungry… :O
Last day together
This was our last day together. Next morning, Marga and Toni would fly to Majorca, and I would take a train to Stockholm, at 8:04. Thus, after dinner, we prepared our luggage, cleaned our mess, and went to sleep soon (well, at 23:00 instead of 2:00).
So far, it had been a very exciting trip, but we didn’t know what was going to happen next. Everybody, except Tux, was quite nervous. Would Marga and Toni be able to return our rented car and catch their flight in time? Would I miss my train?
The answers, next week!
More pictures on the Göteborg set. I seriously wonder which criteria did I follow last year. I left some nice pictures on my local disk, and I upload some ugly instead. I’ll try to fix that in a “near” future. Yes, you got it, probably when I get retired. 😛
Map? There is no map today! We stayed in Göteborg the whole day! Well, for the nostalgic, maybe I’ll put a map of the city… 🙂