After a late afternoon and evening visit to the center of Stockholm and a good night’s sleep in the prison, it was time to hit the road. What lay ahead of us was the longest leg of our road trip. Driving down in approximately South-West direction we passed a number of “köpings” – word that can be equated to “burg” as in Edinburgh, Hamburg, etc.

000One of those places was also Norrköping, home of the SAAB corporation, probably most known for the cars, but also a rather large aviation manufacturer and so driving down south by the town, we were greeted by pairs of aircraft posted on the display by the highway – Tunnan, Lansen, Draken and Viggen could all be seen as well as Safir, 105 and if I am not mistaken Saab 340. Halfway through our leg, we reached Sweden’s second biggest lake – Vättern.

001-1We decided to take a break from driving and made a stop at the highway resting place near the town of Gränna. I must admit, that while visiting Stockholm I didn’t yet have that inner feeling I am walking around Scandinavia. But as soon as I took a breath of fresh air at that place it immediately hit me – here we are! Granite rocks, birch and pine trees, everything clean and tidy – this can only be one of the Nordic countries. Standing across the highway were the ruins of some sort and since the signs were pointing towards the pathway to the ruins it would be a sin not to stretch the legs a bit and experience some history in the process.

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001-5Brahehaus castle was built in 17th century. It was intended to be a country retreat mansion, but soon became a dower house for the owner’s wife, which died only after a couple of years living here. After her death, the castle was used as a guest accommodation until it was destroyed in fire in 1708 and fell into decay.

001-3A view from the Brahehaus – typical Swedish countryside, with lake Vättern and island of Visingsö in the background. The island was the residence of Swedish kings in 12th and 13th century, right after the Viking era. 

001-0After a long drive from Stockholm, we finally arrived to our hostel in Göteborg in Kviberg area. It’s placed on the outskirts of the city and has a great tram connection to the city center – a few kroner and some 15minutes of ride and you are there!

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001-11Probably one of the most photographed objects in Göteborg is this huge sail ship called Viking. She was built in 1906 and is reportedly the biggest sailing ship built in Scandinavia. It was used as a training ship for Danish merchant navy and in 1929 registered under the Finnish flag. She sailed around the world for many times, also participating in the so called grain races from Australia to UK and won one in 1948. In the late forties, she was destined for scrapyard but Swedish government saved her and moored her in the Göteborg harbor. Today it serves as a hotel and restaurant. 

001-6One of the other boats in the harbor – named by the patron saint of Sweden – St. Erik.

001-9The so called “lipstick” building, or Lilla Bommen as it is officially named. It is an commercial 83-meter skyscraper built in 1989 and there’s a bar at the top offering great views of the city, but unfortunately we arrived to late, to visit it.

001-10Walking down the coast from the harbor we were greeted by this modern Göteborg opera house.

001-12Remember when I said we were to late to visit the restaurant? Well we were too late to visit this ship museum, too. There are several military (including a submarine) and civilian ships moored together which you can visit and get a feeling of working on this steel beasts at sea. Tightly scheduled road trip sometimes prevents certain visits, but that’s the price you have to pay.

001-13One of the red bricked buildings built on the rocky massif with walkways connecting the coast to the urban area, spreading down the road.

001-14Weather! We woke up into sunny morning in Stockholm and enjoyed the sunshine the whole trip to Göteborg. But as soon as we started approaching the city, the low clouds started to gather and not long after our rival to the center, we had to seek dry shelter for the shower to pass. This photo of a busy port and shipbuilding was made on the run.

001-15A view of the canal, spliting Nordstaden district in half.

001-16Göteborg’s city museum – one of the permament exhibitions hosts the only exhibited viking ship in Sweden – Äskerkärrsskeppet – unfortunately again, due to time limit, we couldn’t visit it.

001-17Did I mention our fortune with weather, yet? Well after dodging a few showers, one hit us on our way to 2112 restaurant. But we had to make another unplanned stop – or scrap the 2112 idea and had over the street to Pizza Hut – NOT!

001-18Patience paid off and we finally reached this restaurant, or better said burger and beer bar. What’s so special about it, I hear you ask? Well for starters 2112 is a legendary album by a Canadian progressive rock band called Rush – so the atmosphere in the bar should be great. The other thing is that this restaurant is owned by Björn Gellote and Peter Iwers – guitarist and bassist of the famous Göteborg melodic death metal band In Flames. Both me and my wife are big In Flames fans and this restaurant is a must for any In Flames fan. Offering great selection of burgers and local and imported beers along with nice ambient rock music while the dim lighted interiors are decorated by artistic posters of rock legends (we were sited under Johnny Cash one) and photos of Björn and Peter with famous rock and metal artists.

001-19It was hard to choose just one burger from the menu, pa I went for Jester’s Choice one – and I got one of the tastiest burgers I’ve ever had, with tender medium roast-beef in the middle just oozing with delightful tastes, not to mention a nice little frying basket of fries and a small creamy salad to finish the meal.

001-20Being a big fan of  beer, especially ales and when I visit other countries, I prefer tasting their own brew so a choice wasn’t hard. Flying Dog’s Snake Dog IPA and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale were our choices to finish our meals and I can easily say I could stay in this restaurant for another day or a lot!

001-21Despite a slight fear of cold – after all we were in Scandinavia in the middle of September, it was a nice 9 degrees Celsius that evening and the rain stopped while we were having dinner.

001-22But not for long as it seemed, because as soon as we started walking, some rain drops hit us on our faces and even before we reached the canal, light raining became solid and all we did was to head towards the tram station and head home. On our way I took a snapshot of the City House and the Court house.

I have to admit Göteborg didn’t leave us with some positive vibrations, but I have to admit, we were tired from the long drive and got soaked a few times, so that might be the cause. Hope I will be able to give this city another chance sometime in the future.

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