he weather had been a little towards the gloomy side over the penultimate week of my work assignment in Gothenburg; and I was extremely relieved when I woke up on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. I had planned to make the trip to Marstrand the week before because the colleagues at office assured me that it would be a worthwhile experience. I quickly checked the train schedule and prepared for the day ahead of me!
It was King Charles IX, popularly known as the King on the Stallion (Kopparmärra) at Kungsportsplatsen, who decided to build the city of Gothenburg in 1607. Unfortunately, the city was burnt to the ground by the Danes in 1611. Then in the year 1619, King Gustavus Adolphus rebuilt the city in its current location. A statue of King Gustavus Adolphus, by artist Bengt Erland Fogelberg, has been erected at the Gustaf Adolf Square forever immortalizing the moment that His Highness pointed at the ground and proclaimed “Here, the city shall lie!”
Göteborg; or Gothenburg in English, is the second largest city in Sweden with a population of over a million people inhabiting the metropolitan area. Rough 470 km away from the capital Stockholm, Gothenburg is located on the West Coast of Sweden bordering the Northern Sea. King Gustavus Adolphus founded Gothenburg as a heavily fortified Dutch trading colony in 1621.
As kids we never really had an opportunity to experience foreign food, especially food that originates from Europe. I still remember the time when going to Pizza Hut was somewhat of a luxury reserved for special occasions like my parent’s wedding anniversary and the ONE time I won a prize at the school prize giving. Nowadays, we have many foreign franchises established in Sri Lanka; home cooks have easy access to a variety of scrumptious recipes from across the world. But, in my experience, to experience the real authenticity of food you must have the ingredients and spices from where the recipe originates.
What threw me off the most about spring time in Stockholm was the extended day time. I woke up at around 6:00 AM and the sun was already up, I went to sleep around 10:00 PM, the sun was still up! The first few days I had mini panic attacks thinking that I’ve overslept!
Excited for the second day of sightseeing, we had breakfast and made our way towards the Tram stop! From SicklaUdde we enjoyed a nice morning tram ride to Globen and walked to the Ericsson Globe. The Ericsson Globe originally known as the Ericsson Globe Arena is the largest hemispherical building in the world! It has a diameter of 110m and an inner height of 85m with a seating capacity for an audience of 16,000 for shows and 13,850 fans during Ice Hockey games. This iconic Stockholm landmark is home to SkyView, where you can get on a gondola that departs every 10 minutes and scale up the side of the globe to get a fantastic view of Stockholm. A Swedish work colleague who interned at an elevator company told me that the gondolas on the Globe are categorized as roller-coasters because of the curved track that they move on.
When I logged into Facebook this morning, I saw a memory from three years ago. The memory included a photograph taken at the Bandaranayaka International Airport during my first foreign trip! And it dawned on me that I’m yet to do a write up about my visit to Stockholm Sweden.
I, along with two work colleagues, traveled to Stockholm on a work assignment. But, we arrived in Stockholm three days prior to initial meeting with the clients, so that we would have an opportunity to do some sight seeing.
When we arrived in Sweden, we took the Arlanda express, and traveled from Stockholm Arlanda AirPort to Stockholm Central Station. Next, we took the subway to “Slussen”, followed by a short bus ride to “Henriksdal” where we settled into the apartment that would be our home for the next two weeks. After having a bite to eat, we walked around the neighborhood, and did some grocery shopping before hitting the sack.