After an incredible first dinner and wonderful night’s sleep on board our floating “home” for the next 13 days, we awoke in the port of Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a dreary, rainy day. Wet and very windy.
Buses were on a rotation every 30-minutes to take passengers to the city center. we just missed a bus, so decided to walk across the parking lot and check out the Volvo Museum. Yes! There is a museum dedicated to Volvo. Unfortunately it was a paid entry and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to pay money to see a museum about Volvo. In hindsight, it was a pretty cool set up and will definitely add it to the list for our next visit!
After about 20-minutes and a failed umbrella turned inside out, we were finally able to hop on a bus and head in to city center! Gothenburg was a beautiful little city. The buildings had beautiful architecture and everything was very clean. There must have been a Pride celebration because the city was decorated with rainbow flags everywhere and it had a very festive feel to it.
After a 15-minute drive on the bus we made it to the city center! Yay! We had about 2-hours on our own to explore. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it was raining very heavy on and off, with alot of wind, so it actually felt like a really long time.
We arrived around 10AM, so the only shops open were coffee shops and that was pretty scarce. I had the impression that the city may have just opened up to foreign traffic or in general after COVID closures. The people in Gothenburg were incredibly friendly and welcoming. Apparently we were the first American tourists since the shut down.
Of course, I had to use the bathroom already, so I stepped in to a clothing shop and asked the local worker if there were any public toilets? She was very nice and spoke/understood perfect english. Thank God! I had already prepped my handy google translator, just in case… “vart finns toaletten?” LOL! Stick with me and you will probably learn how to ask for the toilet in at least four different languages throughout this voyage!
From our drop off point, and quick toilet visit we walked over to Haga, which is a charming area of Gothenburg with the traditional cobblestone streets and wooden buildings. Lots of cafes and pubs with charming courtyards everywhere. The local food in this area is fish (shocker). Of note, everyone here is absolutely beautiful. Very tall and fair skinned. Also, very fit and in shape. The food, was also beautiful. Even the average construction type worker was eating plate lunches that consisted of baked fish, boiled potatoes and what looked like hard boiled eggs. So different from our American fast food lunches. Also, NO ONE was on an electronic device while eating. Even when eating alone. They were in the moment…not distracted. People actually talked (gasp) to each other and looked each other in the eye!
One of our trip mates decided to get his hair cut at a local barber in Haga! It was amazing to watch the methodical attention to detail, he looked 10-years younger after walking out. Our two hours went by very quickly and it was back to the ship for us.
During our trip back our bus escort expressed gratitude for “us” coming back and visiting Sweden. He said it had been a very difficult time for the economy and they were grateful for American visitors. I wonder if he realizes how grateful we are to them for opening up their city to us? Even though it was not an ideal weather day, we had a wonderful time visiting! I definitely recommend a trip to Haga. Because this location was a last minute itinerary change, I didn’t get a chance to research the local food or restaurants, but NEXT TIME I will be prepared!
After returning to the ship, we met up for tea time. What a fabulous production. But honestly, I was just happy to sit, get warmed up and think about the day. After today, we have a fabulous dinner planned at Privee! A private, exclusive dinner table in an undisclosed location on the ship! I am super excited to share our experience!