Saturday, September 19, 2015

On the Second Day in Sweden: History in Gothenburg

After a very late start (because jet lag, and also finding out about my son's preschool teacher just before I was supposed to go to bed) we headed out to see the sites in Gothenburg.  Of course as soon as we got downtown on the tram I had to use the bathroom, but Clara knew of a nice one in a theater nearby and in the process... hello 400 year old original city walls!  These are underground here, but you can see some of them out in the open in other areas.

This is my cousin Clara, my lovely hostess for most of the week!  It was so fun to be with her because I felt like I got to really see Sweden and participate rather than just doing all the touristy things.

But of course some of the touristy things are quite interesting so we did those too. 

The government buildings and the original German Christian church, founded in 1623.  It was destroyed a couple of times, but what is seen now dates to 1783.

Not very big inside, but very simply beautiful.

There were candles you could light and so we each did, I in memory of Senor Martin.

Then we went next door to the City Museum where they had the history of Gothenburg and the area all the way back to the Vikings.

These swords were from somewhere around 700AD.

This is the remains of a Viking ship, discovered in the 1930's just upriver and most likely from the 900AD period. 

Much of the information in this museum, at least in the older history sections and the city sections, was also translated into English so my cousin didn't have to translate for me!

This is a depiction of Gothenburg when it was first founded.  The walls are those points sticking out into what was water.  The canals are still there and so is most of that moat area.  Now of course this area is only considered downtown and the city is quite a bit larger.  Clara lives off to the left and bottom.

After the museum we wandered through the back alleys on our way to a candy/souvenir shop.  It was pretty amazing to think that some of these buildings were close to 400 years old.

Lots of cobbled streets, courtyards, and rooflines that weren't quite straight.  I think this building with the green roof (copper and it takes at least 100 years to become that color) was perhaps an old guild meeting hall based on the signs.

When we finally got to the candy store I was kind of in awe.  There was another wall to the right of this photo, time and a half as long, as well as 3 or 4 large two sided stands in the middle.  Actually I think their taste in candy is quite different.  There was quite a bit of licorice and as much as I like licorice this stuff is NOT to my liking.  It's VERY salty.  Plus lots and lots of gummy/chewy candy and many with marshmallows in all shapes and flavors.  I tried a few of the chocolate covered ones, but mostly, I just like chocolate and there wasn't that much.

This was also the place to find all your cheap souvenir trinkets.  Surprisingly there weren't really any gift shops that I saw.  One "information center" that obviously did cater to tourists, but it essentially only had one small section of souvenirs, about the size of my kitchen and dining room.  The biggest "souvenir shop" was actually in the airport!

To end the day we went to the maritime museum where they had displays of the history of modern shipping and then a special exhibit about the Swedish American Line which ran from 1915 to 1975 and connected Swedish immigrants with their homeland.

The ship pictured above is actually a ferry that takes people (and cars) to Copenhagen or Kiel, Germany.  (And really I just took the picture because it has Curious George on the side and my kids would love it!)

And then we were bushed and went back to her apartment where she made some amazing salmon with lingonberries that I tried to recreate at home last night (yes, I brought home lingonberry jam!) and wasn't entirely successful.

The end of day 2!

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