Gothenburg 2: Revenge of the Goths

Brilliant greens of the forests in Sweden.

A lot of housing is in wood rather than brick.

Do you know where you're going?

Lounging about in the park.

We tried to get to the botanical gardens in Gothenburg (Botaniska Trädgården) taking advantage of the sun and took the tram out.
However if you ever want to go to the Botaniska Trädgården in Gothenburg make sure you go to the right park entrance which we didn’t. We went to the park over the road and missed the best (supposedly) botanical garden in the Scandinavian countries. But the gardens over the road featured gorgeous open parks and a zoo (penguins was a surprise) so it was a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. At the moment the landscape everywhere is the most brilliant colour green I’ve ever seen, probably because there are so many different types of green in the landscape (unlike Australia) that they all unite as one brilliant luminous colour.

Penguins looking extremely bored.

Luminous greens.

Open parkland is everywhere in Gothenburg.

Church like a hand pointing to the sky.

The parks are a combination of formality and naturalness.

Beautiful blossom.

Gothenburg’s another town that has maintained its old buildings in immaculate condition and any development that’s gone on has been designed to fit in with them. The Swedes seem to design their buildings with fantastic tact and sensitivity to the environment. And even the cheaper buildings are built with such awareness of people’s actual living needs, ie. they’re not paper thin walls so you can hear everyone else’s business like in the land of Oz.

In the city, Gothenburg.

Down by the docks, Gothenburg.

Most of the streets are cobblestoned. Except this one!

Gothenburg University

Multi-coloured balconies.

17th century buildings, Gothenburg. Many of the early inhabitants came from Amsterdam.

Decorative door.

The plush part of town, Gothenburg.

Public water tap. One angry fish.

Trams hurtle around so watch your step.

Gothenberg is not only visually different from Stockholm because of the more maritime style and lighter colour of the buildings but emotionally different too, though it’s hard to explain exactly how. There’s the constant sound of the sea gull’s screetching in the salty sea air plus there’s trams everywhere which reminded me of Melbourne. I got a case of déjà vu a couple of times because of those trams. It’s actually a gorgeous town but it’s got an edge, unlike Stockholm. There was kind of anger in the air which was noticeable as soon as we got off the train at central station which was dirty and noisy with the throngs of black clothed teenagers rampaging around. I thought there must’ve been some concert on but didn’t find out. We walked into a demonstration straight away in the main square and then 2 days later another demo. The accent people speak in is louder and faster and for such a small place (500,000 people) it seems to have a real creative intensity. You get the impression that the people are proud of being a bit different to the rest of Sweden and a bit more ‘contemporary’. But I love Stockholm for it’s old fashioned qualities.

Again the public transport here as in Stockholm is mostly incredibly reliable and frequent (except coming home there was an 2 hour's delay because of computer malfunction supposedly but travelling on the fast trains made up for the annoyance as it's so comfortable and a good way to see the countryside, admittedly at a brisk pace) and in my opinion it's a great way to travel.

All these photos below are taken from the train. It's a good way to see the country.

Barn painted in the quintessential swedish colour.

The lakes are pretty clean I've heard and good for fishing. Stockholm's water supply comes from Lake Malaren and it's the best water you've ever tasted that comes out of a tap.

Young birch forest. You see a lot of logged forests.


  1. Hi Sue,

    Regina here, for

    I would like to personally invite you to list your blog on our Expat Women Blog Directory ( so that other women can read about and learn from your expat experiences.

    Many thanks in advance for your contribution and keep up your great blog!



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