Saturday, March 7, 2009

First stop: Göteborg

Gothenburg was for a while in a close competition with Wellington for the title of most beautiful city I've ever seen. They both have that unique quality of soothing the lonely, of making one feel at home and quite welcome. But being that Gothenburg has the added bonus of a solid history behind it, I'd say it will be the winner.

It's hard to describe all the feelings the city gave me, but if I had to put it in one word, it would be "home". If I somehow had the opportunity to live there, I would start packing tomorrow. Looking at the pictures now, I realise they barely capture the idea I'm trying to put across here. The light was rather dull most of the time; serves me right for travelling to Scandinavia in winter! And I also failed to take pictures of the things I loved most: the cute narrow streets of Haga and their overwhelmingly tempting shops, the ginger cat begging for cuddles from each passerby, the almost mystical white lights in all the windows, all the stuff I've eaten, the timid stripy light over a certain wine-red couch, so many original paintings that I couldn't believe I was actually seeing for real... But how about I stop babbling and show you some pics?
First thing I visited: the Maritime Museum. Nice view of the harbour. The statue is the sailors' tower, with a generic and solemn looking woman at the top, waiting for her husband/brother/son to return from the sea. Her fixed stare and the dress billowing in the wind do give you quite a feeling of gloom and longing, especially against those gray skies. The seagull didn't seem to be so impressed though:
This is what I called "the happy church". I don't remember its name, but I was in awe at the mental complexity of whatever architect designed it. Would have looked awesome with a shiny copper roof, but such a thing is impossible there, hence green roofs and green statues are for me a trademark of the city. Not to mention it made this cathedral look... well, happy! :>
The cathedral in the Haga disctrict I mentioned above:
One of the highlights of my trip - the fish church! Apart from looking pretty, it's filled with yummy fish dishes, as well as not so friendly looking whole fishes, staring up at you from their beds of ice. I bought fish prepared in several different ways, which got eaten way before I thought of pulling my camera out.
Behind the fish market... just a normal block of flats. On a cliff. In the centre. Don't you just love this city?
The city hall building and the flag of the city. And a beautiful sunny day, which made me feel like saying "in your face!" to all the people who had warned me about the nasty Scandinavian weather this time of the year.
Founder of the city, with the city hall in the background.
A very pretty street along one of the canals, on the same sunny day.
Can you tell the sun has an instant positive effect on my mood?
Poor sick bird on the side of the road. I felt like a big meanie. Why? Well, how would u like it if one day you couldn't fly and someone took pictures of you instead of calling an ambulance? Nice view of the frozen canal and some more architecture in the background.
At the city museum. Viking treasures galore.

There were some nature walks too (cold memories of snowy paths, wet feet and grumbling, followed by a compensating hot bath).Turns out I did take a pic of at least one thing I've eaten - the semlor. I wasn't impressed with the taste, but they are common fare in cafes, and this tree is quite pretty.
Doesn't this look a bit Transilvanian? The mist, the tower, the naked branches... boo!
I just liked the colours in this one.
The only half-decent pic I have of lamps in the windows. It's taken from a moving tram, so excuse the quality. I loved the look, though, so homely.
The old city gate (obviously) at night.
I know, this last one has nothing to do with history, or architecture, or anythig of the sort, but it is one of my strongest memories. Ladies and gents, meet Billy-Bob. He has a very intelligent expression, doesn't he? He lives at the Natural History Museum and whoever stuffed him was demented. I spent about 10 mins in front of his display case, laughing. One could say this stuffed animal is totally stuffed!
And this was my week spent in the city of the Goths. I have way more memories than photos, but I hope you have seen at least a part of what made this city so cool for me :)

My trip started going downhill from here. Stay tuned for next stop: Brussels!


Anonymous said...

Hey Anca, its Jethro:) Long time Wow i havent been really keepn up to date with ur blogs due to lack of internet at our flat but i just went thru and read all bowt everythn ive missed out on and it really sownds like your keepn busy! Haha ur photo in the newspaper was great, you should have shown them ur shitface dolls i can just imagine the headline. Well im living in a flat in auckland with my cousins and im in a weird sorta rock band kool aye. Weve had a few gigs so far and wer havn heaps of fun. Any way its good to hear from you regularly and ill try to keep up to date with your ramblings:) Okay C U Later!

A said...

Great to hear from you, dude! Glad you're interested in my ramblings. But... no net at home? That would kill me in like 2 days! Any videos/demos/recordings of your band? Would love to hear you guys. Cya! :>

Sanda said...

The place that spoke to me "this is home" was Toronto, ON, so I can understand your feeling. Goteborg looks indeed like a beautiful warm city, though it was sooo winter there (some pictures really look frosty but they are very nice) :-)