A view from the water - Goteborg canals and harbor

Gothenburg Travel Blog

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This morning was a spectacularly sunny morning on Marstrand. I needed to take the car back to the airport and begin the epic journey back to the island. Traffic was with me an I made it to Landvetter in about an hour. The rental return was quick and easy (Avis) and only took mere seconds. Yeah, Avis!

I went to the information desk in the airport and bought a ticket to Goteborg (80 kr). The bus was waiting and left within about 10 minutes. As I made the 30 minute journey to Goteborg central station, I noticed that the amusement park was not operating. I had planned to visit. It’s the largest amusement park in the Nordic countries.

Exiting at central station, it was still mostly sunny and warm.

I went to the information desk to determine which bus to take and the schedule. It turned out that it was cheaper for me to buy my one way ticket to Marstrand (62 kr), which is purchased on the bus. The only ticket that can be purchased at the station is a return ticket (150 kr) which more expensive.

I reviewed the bus schedule and decided to spend a few hours in town and take a later bus.

I walked the main shopping street and the park area near the larger canals. Many people were out enjoying the bright breezy day. On the main canal, I found the boat tour of the canals and harbour. I had read about it and wanted to see the city this different way. The tour was operating every 30 minutes this time of year so, I book the next tour that was English speaking (140 kr).

I had about 40 minutes until its departure so, I walked around the park and got a cup of ice cream.

At departure time there were just a few of us boarding the boat. Great, we should enjoy a peaceful journey. Just then, 50 - 60 kids, probably a school tour, boarded. Ok…..so now it would be a bit louder. We were taken along the 17 century canals, showing it’s many parks and beautiful buildings. The one remaining loche from it’s Dutch construction is in the center are. We taken under the many, many bridges over the canals. The two lowest ( the cheese slicer and the hair dresser ) required us to actually get out of our seat and squat so that our heads were lower than the seat backs……seriously!

Out in the harbor, we were shown the historically rich waterfront.

There are steam boats that travel the canal to the Baltic, The “lipstick” building with it’s panoramic tower, and the 4-masted sailing ship built at the turn of the 20th century and purchased by the city of Goteborg in the 1970s. It is now used as a hotel and restaurant. It’s tallest mast is 55 meters tall (165 ft) and as the tallest bridge clearance is on 45 meters, it will never sail, again.

The newest sight in Goteborg is the ferris wheel. It is set to open on May 22, 2010 and will be here for 2 years. It’s a shame as I will just miss it.

On the hilll in the distance, the Skansen Kronan, a fortress topped by a golden crown. It was built in 1687 to protect the city from attack from the south. It is now a military musuem displaying uniforms and weapons.

The huge wall in the middle of the harbor is the floating dock. It’s the largest floating dock in Scandinavia. It fills its center area with water lowering its threshold below the water. The ship enters and then the water is pumped out and the ship is raised out of the water entirely.

Also, a monument to the fallen in World War I, “The Fishermen’s Wife. She is looking out to sea, waiting for her love to come home. The oddity is that she is not facing the sea. She is facing the island of Hissingen, the second largest island in Sweden. This island was largely a farming area used by the residents of Goteborg and had a population of around 175,000. The story goes that she is longing for her lover who is a farmer……not her sailor husband. The other possibility is that the artist wanted for her to be see from the water showcasing her profile……so no consideration was given to the meaning behind the direction she was facing.

There is a floating parking garage on the waterfront, as well. It was purchased in the 50’s and by the 70’s was no longer needed Now its for sale, if anyone is interested.

The last point of interest before docking is the “Fish Church” across form the King’s Park. The women working the fish market asked the city for a structure to shelter them form the rain and cold. The city hired an architect that was used to designing churches so……..he built the market to with the general design elements of a cathedral…..hence its name.

The boat docked and I made my way back to the central station. I boarded the bus to Ytterby, with the local school children. I made a connection there with only a 15 minute wait.

I picked up some supplies at the Coop grocery store before making the ferry back to Marstrand.

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photo by: Biedjee