Friday, February 16, 2007

Goat-burg Part One: Leaving Ronneby

After getting all of my office stuff tidied up on Wednesday 20th, and cleaning the apartment well into the hours of the following morning, on Thursday 21st I had my rent inspection and I was free to go. Here I am just about to depart with five layers of clothing on.
I walked into the centrum for the last time, dragging my suitcase behind me. It was considerably lighter than when I arrived, because I had organised to send a big box (11kg) of stuff home beforehand for 500SEK. I stopped at the turistbyrå (tourist bureau) for a couple of souvenirs. Then I walked along Strandgatan to the resecentrum to catch the bus to Bergåsa, which is just before Karlskrona. Unfortunately, I did not plan my day well at all. I arrived at the station at midday, and the Kust Till Kust train I had the ticket for was not due until 4:50pm. There really is not much to do in the town of Bergåsa, particularly when dragging a suitcase around. I did however manage to get a photo of the cemetery, since it's right next to the train station.
Apart from a visit to a deli to buy lunch, I spent the next five hours huddled up as much as I could at the open-air train station. It was 3 degrees at midday. If anything, I think it would have gotten colder as the afternoon progressed. It was definitely NOT a fun experience.
It was thus with great delight that I saw the train approach. You can read more about the train service at and there's also a map of their network. I was happy that I could say I'd been to Växjö (pronounced something like Veckwhir) because I think it's a cool name. The many Christmas lights impressed me as I passed through each town. They were in general a lot fancier than Ronneby's, because they were larger places.
Eventually, around 9pm I arrived at Gothenburg's central train station. The English name for the second largest city in Sweden is Gothenburg, while it is Göteborg in Svenska. It's moderately difficult to pronounce...something like Jerteboy is what I heard most. I have also heard it referred to as Goatburg. Anyway, after I disembarked from the train, I walked in the general direction of my hotel. I knew it was only about a block from the station. Travelling through the square near the station, I found the light displays so impressive that I wanted to take a photo...a photo I never ended up taking. As I was getting my camera out, I was approached by a beggar. Great! Been in the city all of two minutes and I'm already being hassled for money. I made up a story about having only Australian money and gave him the slip. I hurried off in search of my hotel so I wouldn't be confronted again. Fortunately it was not far away at all. Here you can see the sign for it - the Scandic Europa. In the lower right corner you can see one of the lit up trees. The blue lights looked really funky.
And here's my room. It was pretty good because it cost under $100 Australian a night. The bed was SOOO comfy. My major complaint was that I was unable to get the shower working. It was one of those contraptions where it's a bath, unless you do some special move on it and only then does it become a shower. Well I couldn't work out what that special move was. And the bath plug wouldn't fit in the hole! In the end I had a "shower" by using the water coming out of the bath tap. Best I could do in the situation.
The next morning, I set out to explore Gothenburg. I had obtained a map from the hotel. I walked eastwards on Slussgatan. Here is the Central Station seen from the south side of the river (Fattighusån).
The river seemed to use an elaborate system of lochs. There's also a tram in the background. This reminded me of Melbourne.

Walking south on Nya Allén, I found this statue of an engineer. Unfortunately, I didn't record his name anywhere.

My aim was to get to the Universeum. This will be the subject of my next entry, as there are too many photos just for one post.