Saturday, March 26, 2011
Gothenburg - impressions
3.55 is a time of day, when normal people usually sleep quite deep. But in my case it is simply beginning of the day when boat to Gothenburg is departing at 7. Waking up, taking shower, packing rest of the things that haven't been packed and departing from Viby at 4 something seemed to be a reasonable thing to do. But after putting to the navigation some random address in Frederikshavn, I received an information, that the time of arrival would be about 7:15 ... Which in that case, would be worse than bad, coz we supposed to be at 6:40 the latest at the terminal. So the only thing to do was speed up as much as it was possible.
Driving 150-160 for almost one hour was quite stressful, but it also surprised with one thing ... After crossing Alborg, which is placed something like 150 km from Viby, where I live, it started showing only 70 km left to Frederikshavn. Wait a minute! Navigation said that its more than hour after crossing this spot, and now some sign is saying that it's only 70 km? Let me have a minute and check the exact address of parking spot at the harbor in Frederikshavn. Taaaadaaa! It's only 20 minutes. Dammit! I'm not gonna comment, how stupid was it to just put some random address.
Frederikshavn woke up slowly and colorful sun has shown, what brought better mood.
After waiting 10 minutes for ship's departure, it was a real pleasure to go on a board and see the panorama of the city. It was such a relief, that all this waking up, driving and stressing wasn't a waste.
Ship itself was really comfortable. Except goodies, such as wireless connection and comfortable sofas, it also allows to go outside and admire the views from interesting angles.
Funny thing, that I noticed during exploring the board, was a sticker, placed right above the trash bin.
Doesn't it look familiar? The apple? Apparently designer of this sticker wasn't a huge fan of APPLE.
After couple of hours of spending nice time, some rocks started appearing in the middle of the sea. It was a sign, that Sweden is saying slowly "Welcome".
I definitely fell in love right away after seeing this lovely lantern and this cozy house next to it (pic. below).
First thought after we entered deeper into the Swedish harbor, was: "damn, it looks quite similar to Norway".
Rocky coast appeared from sides and without any doubt, everyone could say right away that we're in Scandinavia. Beautiful, raw landscape started having more and more buildings. The funniest thing in picture below is the small house in the middle of the picture. This house has its base on couple of wooden pillars and it doesn't look trustworthy at all. But it looks cute, doesn't it?
Moment full of emotions - going under the bridge in a superhigh ship. By the way - anyone has every wondered that Swedish flag is so similar to Danish one? Actually Norwegian is even more (coz they added only one cross inside of Danish flag).
So in other words... Nothing else left to do, but just ...
And enjoy the views from the ship, before the real trip starts. And both legs will be in pain.
The first thing that surprised me the most was huge amount of Volvo cars driving around. Seriously! They are everywhere! It doesn't matter how old it is. They are just all over the city. In one moment I started wondering if maybe Swedes have some nice discounts on them, but after taking to my hands local newspaper and taking a look on announcements - I couldn't see anything so much different from Denmark. Prices looked similar. Maybe just a little bit cheaper, but it wasn't much. Well - I cannot imagine any other reason, than patriotism, because Volvo is from Sweden.
Or ... Or maybe they are receiving them for free, because they are Swedes? Hmm.
Just try to count how many of them is parked on the pictures below, in compare with other cars ...
Oh well - but they are also addicted to Toyota Prius. So in other words - half of the cars in Gothenburg (as I noticed) was Volvos, 30% - Toyota Priuses and the rest all the other fancy cars. It's also kinda freaky, when some Prius is sneaking around without making any sound. And in this case you can have a heart attack when one appears right behind you and you have no bloody idea how come that this damn car is so silent.
Another thing that I could compare to Norway is the amount of these weird trees (pic below). They are as popular in Gothenburg as they were in Oslo. I do, like them, coz they are not so commonly seen everywhere else. But it just surprised me that they are also here. Maybe they are in the middle of the city because of its decorative aspect?
Oh, there is one thing more about the cars. It is also quite popular here to drive some unique cars, such as for example ... Low rider.
Hmmm I think that would be also a good idea to mention signs when I wrote already something about cars.
Well the thing with the signs is, that they usually don't have white background as it is in other places in the world. Instead of white color, they are using orange. It looks so weird and so unusual. Me not likie ...
To not to complain only, I would like to also say that Sweden has very pretty trash bins in the middle of the city. I really do like them. Especially because of the design.
Crossing the streets in order to get to the center of Gothenburg let us see many interesting things, such as: someone's head built-in the wall ...
Interesting lamps (hat-shaped lamps)...
Unique 'green' person in the "Kawaii" shop ...
Frozen canal (because of that we couldn't take a 'canal boat trip' - such a shame)...
Old, classic, beautiful building like this one ... (I think it was some kind of University)
Unidentified things like ...
Finally center of the city and popular here Trams, which look a bit alike as Polish ones.
The main promenade was full of fancy dressed people, 7-Eleven shops (almost at every corner), McDonalds, H&Ms and there was even already a line for a new iPad 2 in a front of MacStore. Geek corner - something for me.
The ice is still visible on a water.
After some time, it was a real MUST to go and take a look on Swedish "London Eye" - which is called there: "Wheel of Gothenburg".
At the beginning it looked really scary and with my fear of heights, I had little doubt if it is a good idea. But it appeared to be a real pleasure to go up on it and take a look at the Gothenburg's panorama.
Well - it was a bit weird to see another wagon which was filled by canisters. But I believe it was connected with the balance of this attraction in general ... Any other ideas?
It was pretty amazing to see the city from the top. The attraction was about 50 m high, so perspective on pictures below shows all the possible views...
And multitasking in my edition...
Near the aforementioned Wheel of Gothenburg, there is a beautiful (from the outside at least) Opera:
The highest skyscraper in this area is placed just next to this Wheel. And it's 80 m high. Entry costs 30 SEK per person and you are allowed to go by elevator at 22nd floor, together with guide at full hour, as it was written: 11,12,13,14,15. We decided that it's not a great idea to spend 10% of time which we had given in Gothenburg on waiting 45 minutes for full hour, so unfortunately we decided to skip this attraction. But anyway - the architecture of this building was quite impressive.
And there is also huge shopping mall with more than 200 shops. It looked so crowdy and messy inside.
4 hours of walking and sightseeing was quite exhausting, so perfect idea popped up out of our minds and we decided to make a stop and drink huge latte from, ofc, 7-Eleven. Well, after waking up at 3:55, additional coffee is an amazing thing. So in this case we totally agreed with: Oh thank heaven for 7-eleven.
Break for coffee regenerated the energy and a good idea seemed to be to go and visit museum of Design, Fashion and Decorative Arts - Röhsska.
I found there the most amazing desk, I've ever seen. I fell in love of course and decided to buy it in the future, when I will be superrich.
Except the desk above, apartment from my dreams will be full of lamps, chairs and other designs by Verner Panton:
There was also quite beautiful antique mirror.
After we left the museum, we crossed the streets and saw interesting monument, which says something about stopping the war... I can bet that I've already seen it somewhere before. But now just question where ... Hmm.
In general - Gothenburg seems to be really design-friendly place, where you can all the time admire something new and interesting. Except beautiful restaurants, coffee shops, which are incredibly designed, you can also be under big impression of places, like theater:
And the most impressive sculpture I've seen for a while, which changes the perspective every time that you're walking around of it. Isn't it incredible?
Please don't ask why we went so high and then went down right away ... But at least view from the top looks quite nice.
Gothenburg is full of beautiful places, that's for sure. But you can also be surprised by unexpected, opened doors and weird sounds coming out of the street. Then you're just taking a look what the hek is there and you see something like that:
There is also quite mysterious Skansen near the harbor, which we planned to see at the beginning of our trip. But we quite quickly changed our minds, when we saw how high it is. Nevertheless at the end of our cruise through the city, we decided to make a stop and see it.
And? Damn, it was such a good decision! Look at the views below.
Mysterious castle (?) appeared to be some kind of restaurant.
On our way back to the ship, we also crossed next to the beautiful, gothic-like church:
Gothenburg is a place, where you can find really fancy places. Prices there are incredible, but interior looks so amazing, that you can forget about whole wide world. Sneaking around one of the pubs (or maybe it was restaurant?) we stopped to take a sneaky picture through the window. It was amazing. This chandelier together with fancy wallpaper made a nice impression. Take a look:
Being back on the ship to Denmark let observe, how many tracks are entering all the time ships like that. It's incredible, how heavy weight can handle such a ship... Well - of course, there is still a limit, but it's still quite amazing, what human can make, isn't it?
Last views from the ship...
The way from Denmark to Sweden we spent on a ship called: Jutlandica, but on our way back, we had even fancier and bigger one - Danica. I like the second one more, but the company of drunk Swedes, which are going from Gothenburg to Frederikshavn each Friday and they are starting party on board, makes it a little bit annoying. Thankfully they were at the floor below us, but still - sometimes some girls with prostitute look were walking around or drinking youngsters made some sounds.
So it's a right time to make conclusions.
It was an amazing trip. Without any doubt. It was a real pleasure to see Sweden and famous Gothenburg. Place has surprised me from many different point of views.
Definitely the biggest minus of this city is, that no matter where you going (doesn't matter if you buy something), you always have to pay for using the toilet. And it gets irritating, when you don't have Swedish coins, because most of the toilets are closed and secured by the machine which accepts only coins. Even in McDonald, after buying food - you have to pay for using the toilet. Well - maybe for them, it's something normal, but it becomes annoying for tourists who pay mostly by credit cards.
Another thing - internet. Well - in Denmark you have an access almost everywhere to free cloud where you can connect to this wireless connection. But in Sweden it's different. After spending 20 minutes on a bench, when I was setting up my account on some kind of Gothenburg "free" WIFI Cloud, as a result I could read, that if I want to use internet for 30 minutes I have to pay some money. None of the connections that I caught, was possible to connect. And for a geek as me, who is addicted to being on-line for 24/7 it's a real disaster, when I must have a phone in Airplane mode and the only practical function is camera. Dammit!
But stop with complaining! People there are so polite and nice! You wouldn't believe it! Woman behind the cash register in 7-Eleven, except asking only what would we like to buy, asked also where are we from, what are we doing in Sweden, how long are we gonna stay, and if we hungry, etc. Another one - for our question about getting to Design Museum, spent more than 15 minutes on explaining us politely how to get there, instead of give away all the fliers that she had and that was her job. So sweet! Also service in the aforementioned museum was very, very polite. And the best thing is, that when you're crossing the street - drivers are stopping no matter where are you - to just let you go! Damn, Danish drivers could learn something from that, hehe.
There is also a thing with alcohol in Sweden. After visiting Netto (small supermarket), I was surprised that they almost don't have any alcohol there! Seriously! The strongest beer (one of 3 kinds...) had 3,5%. Rest of them was like 2,5% or something similar. I was told that they are not selling alcohol in shops. They have special shops for that, which are opened and organized by the government. It's like liquor store. You can see there a lot of different people - kids who are trying to cheat to get a beer, people who are buying tones of beers for party, granny who is willing to buy a good wine, etc. The thing with alcohol in Sweden is, that it's so damn expensive! For one box of 24 cans of Carlsberg - you have to pay about 250 SEK, which is like 28 Euros. It's so expensive that people who live in place that has a harbor, are rather going for shopping or partying to Denmark, because the ticket for a cheap trip both ways to Denmark (or Sweden) costs only 100 DKK. That's why you're meeting drunk people on a board...
Sweets, however, are cheaper than in Denmark. When we noticed that in Netto you can buy 100g of random Candies for 3,9SEK, we were like: "fuuuuuuck, we have to take at least one kilo!" - so that's what we did and you can see the result below ...
Another thing that made a huge impression on me, was a way how Swedes are dressing up. They all are soooo damn fancy! Seriously! We decided to don't care about what we have when we were making decision what to wear during this day and having comfortable shoes was much more important for us than being fancy... Well - we regretted. We felt really bad among all the other people. Next time - no matter what, it's a must to have something fancy, hehe. It's also amazing that most of the people that we met on the streets, had really great taste and sense of aesthetics. They can join things in different way than Danes. All in all - I really thought that Scandinavian fashion is quite much similar, but well - it's not. And it's amazing.
Some people in Gothenburg care about the brands ...
That was really great trip and I'm looking so much forward to visit Sweden again. I don't care that I don't understand much when it comes to the language... It's just an amazing atmosphere there. About the language - well, it's not difficult for me to understand Swedish, when I'm reading... But when someone is speaking - damn, it sounds so weird! I would almost say that Danish sounds pretty in compare with that.