A September 2002 trip
to Gothenburg by Kun-chan
Quote: My family all went to Gothenburg, Sweden, for the marriage of my brother to his Swedish wife. We took some time out from the wedding to see nearby parts of the beautiful country and its historical sites.
If you're not into seeing the beautiful countryside, Gothenburg itself is a good place to visit both for seeing historical sites and for shopping!
In the city itself, you can walk or take the canal tour of the city!
Attraction | "Bohus Fortress"
Going around the fortress feels like walking back in time - everything is so old, so much older than anything I was used to at home. It was amazing to be able to walk around and touch something so old.
Originally built in 1308 by the Norwegians, but it was blown up in 1789 and eventually used as a stone quarry in later years. Today it is a rather well-preserved tourist attraction, for something that was once blown to kingdom come!! This is because of the restoration work, started in 1898, which continues to this day.
After paying for entry, you can get a map of the fortress for a self-guided tour, which we took. Some of the more interesting parts of the fortress were the very black underground dungeon (Droppstensgrottan, the "Stalactite Cave" - it was pitch black in there in the middle of the day!), the well built in 1616 (Slottsbrunnen), and the cannonball that is still stuck in one of the fortress walls!
The restoration work is so good that you can walk around the wall tops of the fortress. The views of the countryside are magnificent!
April: Sat-Sun 11am-5pm (including Easter)
May-August: daily 10am-7pm
6/25 (Midsummer Eve) - Closed
September: daily 11am-5pm
Last entrance ½ hour before closing time
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2004
15 kilometers north of Gothenburg
Kungälv, Sweden 442 81
+46 303 99 200
Attraction | "Tjolöholm Manor"
When entering the manor house, you are given little foot coverings to wear over your shoes, so you don't damage the floor! But wear it you must if you wish to take a walking tour of Tjolöholm Manor and see everything from the Smoking Room (with it's hot air vents for heating) to the fireplace in the Main Hall with it's fantastic painting of the Queen of Sheba. It is a beautiful, old mansion that has been well preserved.
The bathroom has a shower that I wished we had today -- it doesn't just shower water down, but from the sides and below as well! An all-round shower!
It has beautiful gardens surrounding the mansion, and the back of the manor house has views of the ocean. There is also a cafe, perfect to finish off your tour of the mansion as you head out.
Unfortunately, you cannot take photos inside the manor house.
April-June 14: Saturdays, Sundays 11am-4pm
June 15-Aug 31: Daily 11am-4pm
September: Saturdays, Sundays 11am-4pm
October: Sundays 11am-4pm
More information can be found on the Tjolöholm Manor website.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2004
Fjärås, Sweden 430 33
+46 300 544 200
We found it a great place to meet when everyone went their separate ways. The entry to the mall is right near the central tram stop for Gothenburg, Brunnsparken. When you get off the tram, look around. . . you can't miss it!
Thankfully, our mobile phones from Australia worked in Sweden (with international roaming turned on); there were so many people going in and out of the shopping centre that we sometimes needed to call each other to find out where we all were!
You'll find everything from department stores to cafes and McDonalds to shops specialising in Swedish gifts, and everything in between. It is the place in Gothenburg to go shopping!
See the Nordstan website for more information, including a list of shops and opening times.
Gothenburg, Sweden 404 29
My family and I travelled from Australia to Gothenburg to go to my brother's wedding, so our trip involved a lot of wedding preparations and, of course, the wedding itself. My brother Stephen married a lovely Swedish girl, Lena.
During our stay in Gothenburg, we stayed with Lena's family at their house just outside the city itself. The house and all the houses in the area were all set in a forest. During a quiet time in the wedding preparations, I even went for a walk on one of the forest trails by the house. It's such a beautiful place and the houses don't seem to upset the natural balance of things. One day there were even deer in the backyard who'd come from the forest to eat their flowers!!
Unfortunately, a lot of time was taken up by getting ready for the wedding, so we were often at the house or at the local shopping centre getting things we needed for the wedding or the wedding reception.
The up side was that we got to experience the way that the Swedish people normally live, from the food they eat (their cheese is to die for!) to listening to their language to watching what they watch on television.
Oh, we also learned -- much to a friend's mirth -- that horses don't say “neigh” in Swedish. . . they say “gnägg gnägg!!” If I say “gnägg” to her now, she still laughs!!!
Other than the shops in Gothenburg, we did go on a few tours. One of them just involved my friends and I wandering around the town and seeing the sights by foot.
One of the more interesting things we saw was the old fortress, Skansen Kronan (Crown Fortress). This was a medieval tower built on top of a hill for defense of the city. It was a long, long climb up a large amount of steep steps to get to the top, but the view was worth the climb! (There is apparently a museum inside, but it was closed when we went.) It is called Skansen Kronan because there is a golden crown on top of the building.
We did not see the other fortress, Skansen Lejonet (Lion Fortress). It was another medieval tower built for the city's defense. It is called Skansen Lejonet because -- funnily enough -- it has a lion on top of the building!
The other was a canal tour of the city, recommended by Lena's family. It was a good way to see the city, and to figure out where you wanted to go later on. The thing that sticks most in my mind about the canal tour is the bridges. Some of Gothenburg's bridges were built very low to the water. At certain points on the tour, you have to duck down in your seat otherwise you'd get a bridge to the head!!!! Obviously, the original builders of the bridges had not envisioned a group of tourists wanting to travel under them on a boat!
Gothenburg is a thriving city, surrounded by beautiful forests, many lakes, harbours, islands, canals, and the ocean. There are so many things to see and do that I can't go into them all here, but more information about Gothenburg can be found, in English, at Göteborgs Stad.
By the way, one important thing that we discovered in Gothenburg is why the local's don't really drink there. We went into a nightclub one evening and found that alcohol there is very expensive! We each bought one drink, then realised the price, and decided not to buy another! I recommend bringing your own duty-free alcohol into Sweden. (Though the pear cider is really nice. . .).
When everyone finally got to the church, the wedding went as you'd normally expect. There was the bridal march, the minister marrying Stephen and Lena, some singing of hymns (some in Swedish, some in English and some a mix of both!), and some singing by the soloist. It was a beautiful wedding, with the bride looking wonderful, and my brother scrubbing up well for the event. After saying the vows and exchanging the rings, they kissed and were married without another hitch.
Moving on to the reception was where the culture shock really happened. It was a Christian wedding and apparently in Sweden, the Christians don't drink and they don't dance -- it's more liberal for Christian weddings here in Australia. So there was a whole reception without dancing, which was very odd. There was no bridal waltz, no space for dancing, no nothing. They did, though, have a few light (low alcohol) beers and some pear cider. I discovered that I love pear cider, the decent stuff they have in Sweden anyway.
What do the Swedish do at a wedding reception (from lunch time and continuing on into the evening) when they don't dance and there isn't much in the way of alcohol? Well, they have speeches, songs, skits, and games!! There was even a booklet about the couple, filled with photos, song lyrics, and an interview with the couple!
It was pretty much like going to a games night at your local church rather than a reception! There were the normal wedding speeches -- some in Swedish and some in English -- talking about the bride and the groom from friends and family.
As for the rest of the reception? There was the food, stopping to get everyone singing from the booklet (I can't even begin to pronounce Swedish!), and playing a strange game where you put a plastic bag on your head, plastic cups for glasses over your eyes, two sugar cubes for teeth, and paper plates over your ears!! There were people going up on stage to do various skits and sketches about the couple to playing a game where my brother and two other guys went behind a curtain, and Lena had to be blindfolded and guess who was Stephen by feeling hands and the like! And there was even a magic show by two people all dressed up as clowns!
Culture shock. I've never ever seen a wedding reception like it, but apparently all the games and skits are quite normal in Sweden. It is meant to be a celebration of the couple, a fun party for the wedding couple. It was a fun afternoon and it was an interesting insight into the Swedish culture.
Celebration of the Wedding Couple
Hylla Lena och Stephen, fyll med glädje vart bröst.
Sång till dagens brudpar tolkas nu av var röst.
Mäktigt vi saluterar, med allsång och bröllopsdagslåt,
Brudpar ty ni skall firas här med pompa och ståt!
Brudpar ty ni skall firas här med pompa och ståt!
Lena och Stephen nu firas, se er omkring nu och le.
Se hur ni fått oss att trivas, känn hur hjärtat är me.
Jubelsången nu klingar från oss alla idag.
Vi vår hyllning er bringar på er brö-ö-llopsdag!
Vi vår hyllning er bringar på er brö-ö-llopsdag!
(stand up and blow up your balloon)
Glada vänner omkring er nya, gamla är här.
Sådan vänskap förgår ej genom livet den bär.
Bröllopssången skall ljuda, sång och salut i vårt lag.
Vi vår hyllning vill bjuda på er brö-ö-llopsdag!
Vi vår hyllning vill bjuda på eeeeeeeeeeeeer. . . brö-ö-llopsdag!
(pop the balloon!)
Hipp hipp. . . Yeää!