When I left Zurich this morning it was dark and pouring rain. Hearing my alarm go off at 6:30 was painful, but I was grateful that I had packed last night and I knew that if I dragged myself downstairs there would be one last breakfast buffet. Now I can admit how sick to death I am of salty scrambled eggs, undercooked bacon, croissants (no matter how delicious), muesli, and yogurt. Some days the food was better than others, but it was just the fact that it was the same food for more than 3 weeks straight that made it so tiresome. After breakfast it was into the cab and off to the airport. I feel that I am becoming a very good traveller now. By the time I reach security my belt is off, electronics are out, and I always have my liquids and gels in a plastic bag. I fell asleep on the plane before it even took off and have no recollection of take off. But I’m glad I slept then so that I could enjoy the rest of the day without being too tired.
I had a couple of hours to kill at the Stockholm airport, which I mostly spent checking emails and chatting online. I thought about shopping but decided against it because, well airports are pricey and what’s the point of buying souvenirs from a city you didn’t really visit?
Then it was off to Gothenburg. One thing you need to know about Gothenburg is that it doesn’t know how to spell its own name, and neither does anyone else. In various places it is Gothenburg, Gotenburg, or GÖTEBORG. So many options! I took the bus from the airport to the main train/bus station in the city where I met Peter at the only Starbucks in town. He says its the best place to meet someone because if they get lost its not like there’s one on every corner and everyone knows where it is.
We ventured back to his apartment long enough to drop things off and then made our way to Liseberg. Liseberg is basically the Playland of Gothenburg, but in December it re-opens (with only some of the rides operational) and hosts a Christmas market, skating rink and ice show, and other Christmasy things like oodles of Christmas lights. Very very cool. We spent the evening walking through the shops, having some food, watching the world’s most ridiculous ice skating show which featured green rabbits in Santa suits dancing to a bad remix of “When you Wish Upon a Star.” It was kind of amazingly cheesy actually. Cheesy enough that I bought a green rabbit in a sant suit Christmas ornament. I had my first cup of grog, complete with raisins and almonds, tested many flavours of fudge, and attempted to win a 2kg toblerone.
We only went on two rides. First was the big ferris wheel type thing. Giant and blue you can see it for miles around the park and from up top of it you can see for miles around the park. It was really lovely. Of course, our mistake was accidentally buying too many coupons for the ferris wheel, so we went on a ride that was like of Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, and Swedish Fairy Tales all fell in a blender. We rode in flying pirate ships through a world of Swedish interpretations of Fairy tales while small robotic dolls shouted things in Swedish. It was totally bizzarre, but also kind of perfect.
Tomorrow I continue the adventure, using my handy Gothenburg City Card – a pre-purchased tourist card that gets me free public transit and free admission to most museums, attractions, etc in town. Amazing.