Touring Gothenberg (Goteborg)! Sweden

It was a cloudy day when we arrived in Gothenburg, Sweden this morning, but the clouds must have blown out to sea because the day turned into a warm and sunny one.

Lonely Planet recently listed Gothenburg as one of the top ten cities as a value destination in the world.  At first glance it seems very old world with 1960's style trolleys on the street, but that only makes it more interesting.  Our first stop this morning was the City Museum. It took us on a journey from prehistoric times to present day.  What was refreshing was they had many items they did not know their purpose so they posed thought provoking questions for the visitor to think about.  They also pointed out that one piece of history that will always be missing is the life of poor people because they left no possessions behind.  The museum had the skeleton of a Viking ship that surfaced out of the mud in the 1930s. 

A significant exhibit in the museum told about the lives of children who had lived in a children's home in town. Many of the actual people who lived there told of their time there through pictures, stories, and artifacts.

The  art museum was another interesting stop with paintings ranging from a Rembrandt and several Edward Munsch and many other Nordic artists to modern art.  It was a beautiful museum, but they wrote about each painting on the wall about a foot from the floor. While this looked pleasing to the eye, I didn't like it because your eyes were drawn to the floor rather than the artwork.

In its heyday this city was a vibrant shipping port which later became a dry dock, but the industry is now closed. We learned about this on a hop on hop off canal boat tour which took us on a scenic tour of the town through parks and pedestrian walkways. "Everyone duck down low," our enthusiastic bilingual  guide called out cheerfully when we came to a low lying bridge. Seeing the city from the water is a great introduction to any town.  We spotted a tall modern red and white building that we thought blended in with a port theme. Our guide disagreed.  "See that building over there?" she said shaking her head. "The locals call it the lipstick building."

Dinner tonight was at Vapiano. We have eaten there in Stockholm and there's actually one in Boston too. It's a great concept where you order your food right from the chef who makes it for you on the spot. Your order is then recorded on a card you turn in when you pay your bill.  We shared pesto pasta and a large salad all for under $30. Sweden's restaurants can be expensive, but this one is so affordable fresh and good, we'll head back over there tomorrow night too.


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