I’m a bit shaky right now since the fire alarm just went off in the hostel I’m staying at, and I have no clue why. It has since turned off, but I’m not sure if something really happened or not so I’m just waiting right now.
Other than that brief scare, today was a pretty good day. I actually woke up pretty early today (without an alarm!) which was a great thing. The first thing I did today was walk to Slottsskogen which is a large park near my hostel. According to Wikipedia, it’s 137 hectares large. What that basically means (and what you can tell by looking at it on a map) is that it’s pretty big. I thought the sculpture garden in Vigeland was the largest park I’ve been to before (I guess I’m not counting Stone Mountain in this), but Slottsskogen definitely could be bigger.
One of the main features of the park, besides walking trails and a few playgrounds, is the zoo which actually takes up a fairly large part of the park. The park itself is very scenic, especially in the snow. There’s a lot of open spaces and trees around, and the walking trails are easy to follow around. I actually saw a group of moms doing yoga this morning in the park which was an odd thing to see in such cold weather.
The zoo had a large variety of animals ranging from swans to elk and reindeer. There were even penguins! I had a good time looking at all the animals even though it felt like there were too few exhibits. The zoo is open year round which is nice since it’s something you can do no matter when you come to Gothenburg! My favorite animal to look at was actually the elk because the one I saw was so big, it surprised me.
After the zoo, I went to the Naturhistoriska museumet which is also in Slottsskogen. It’s free to enter the museum if you’re under 25, but even if you’re not, it’s only 40 SEK for the entrance fee and it gives you entry into four other museums (I think). This museum was a natural history museum and was actually fairly large. I haven’t been to a natural history museum in a while, so it was a nice change of pace. There were basically models everywhere of every species of animal you could think of. Some things were translated into English while others were just Swedish. The just Swedish things were mostly the placards for some of the models, but overall, I could read most things and piece together the rest.
One of the most impressive parts of the museum, besides the 200 million years into the future projection of the world, was the sheer amount of bird models they had on the third floor. I have never seen so many birds in my life. I didn’t even know that many existed to be honest. It was really something. There was also a cool exhibit on the first floor where an artist took normal items and recycled them into art pieces in the shape of animals (for example, a T-rex made of a heater or insects made from capacitors). It was awesome!
By now, it was around lunch time, so I headed towards the city center to get something to eat. I had two places I wanted to hit today. The first was called Strommingsluckan and is famous for its herring with potatoes and lingonberry. Apparently there’s a “street food scene” in Gothenburg (reminds me a bit of Austin), and this is one of the food trucks that is part of the scene. It’s also pretty affordable too for the amount you get and when compared to other places. The food was pretty good, although I did get some of the small bones in the fish stuck in my throat a couple times which sucked. The taste was great though, so my only gripe was with the bones. Not sure if there was really a way around it either to be honest.
The next place I went to was called Wrapped Burrito Bar. I haven’t had mexican food once since I’ve started traveling (at least not that I can recall), so this was my comfort pick of the day. It’s very much like a Chipotle type of place where you can make your own burrito. The cost wasn’t that bad either. Definitely a bit more pricey than Strommingsluckan, but still pretty good. The burrito was a burrito. There’s not much more to say, but it was also pretty good. I think I prefer the taste of the potatoes and fish more, but if I only had the burrito, I would’ve felt fine. And yes, I had both of these for lunch.
After lunch, it was time to start wandering around again. I wandered into a store called Sci-fi Bokhandeln which was recommended to me by my friend. It’s basically a sci-fi/fantasy/anime store with lots of merchandise, books, and movies. There’s even a large board game section in the store where I found both Hanabi and Avalon. I’ve been wanting both of these games for a while, but I’m probably going to have to wait on getting them until I don’t have to move quite as much. I started to feel nostalgia for Japan because they sell gatchas at the store, so I looked high and low for Yuri!!! on Ice merchandise, but there was none to be found. Pretty sure this is because it takes about a year for merchandise for a new show to make its way over.
The church was nearby, so I went there after that. Gothenburg Cathedral, or Domkyrkan Goteborg, is a large building in the middle of the city center. It looks quite big from the outside and is actually quite big on the inside as well. What was definitely different was the brighter color scheme found inside. It was a blinding white and gold scheme that I don’t normally see inside cathedrals. I believe this one was more modern than some of the other ones I’ve been into, especially because there’s an electronic sign outside. It was still impressive as far as cathedrals go because the brighter color scheme lent itself to a more “hopeful” feel.
The last thing I did today, as I was walking back to the hostel, was stop by 4 Gott for candy. Candy is a big thing in Sweden, especially loose candy and chocolate. I had bought some loose candy before from a 7-11 in Stockholm, but I had a slightly bad experience with it feeling a bit “stale” for some of the gelatin candy. I was a lot more careful this time when picking candy to make sure what I got wouldn’t be too bad even if it was a little stale. The selection at 4 Gott was pretty insane when compared to the 7-11 selection. I thought 7-11 had a large selection, but this store had a whole wall (and more!) of candy to pick from. I ended up with a kilo of candy even though I should be watching my sugar intake.
It’s been a while since the alarm went off and everything seems back to normal now. Not sure what I’m doing tomorrow, but I’ll probably do a lot more sightseeing walking. Walking around Gothenburg is a little hard though since there’s ice everywhere. I bought my boots for the express purpose of having shoes that wouldn’t slip on ice when I walked…and they slip anyway so that didn’t quite work out.