Days 12-13: Gothenburg

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October 11th 2016
Published: October 23rd 2016
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Malmo to Gothenburg by train is an unremarkable journey. Arriving around lunchtime, we orienteered our way to the docks where our hotel was moored. Yes, a boat that is a hotel. Boatel. The Hotell Barken Viking is an old schooner repurposed for accommodation, and a job really well done. Some things were a little cramped in our room, but the quality of everything about it was great, at a very reasonable off-season price. Apparently the place rocks over the summer.

I was feeling worse again by this stage, and opted to spend an afternoon in bed trying to marshal the antibodies while Helen took off for a ramble around the city, an opportunity to shop without feeling continual pressure either to buy something or move along. She scoped out several shopping and eating options for a return visit in the late afternoon, when I ventured out with her and we ate well at a pub-style place with an extraordinary range of beers.

Next day we awoke so late that we missed the 10am breakfast deadline. After about fifteen hours of sleep out of the past 24, I declared myself over the worst, while Helen, ominously, said she was feeling a little off-colour.

Gothenburg is a city beautiful enough to just walk around and enjoy, and we did a bit of that in the afternoon. Architecture from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century dominates in many areas, forming the kinds of streetscapes Melbourne might have boasted, had it only understood what it was squandering during our lifetimes. The city museum took our attention for an hour or so, as did the Haga old-style shop precinct. We finished up for an early dinner at Smaka, a local favourite that serves local-style food with attentive-yet-friendly service that was dialled up to 11 when we were clocked as Australian. They gave (well, sold) us a quickfire lesson in aquavit, the local version of schnapps, which was not really costly compared with, say, wine. Home early again, and Oslo to follow.

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