Sweden
Västra Götaland

Here you’ll find travel reports about Västra Götaland. Discover travel destinations in Sweden of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

215 travelers at this place:

  • Day21

    On checking at Munich Central Station, I was advised that there were no 2 or 4 berth sleepers available. All I could get was a couchette in a 6 berth compartment. The thought of sharing a small compartment with 5 big Germans full of the joys after their World Cup match win did not appeal, but it was either that or sleeping in a train seat. I was pleasantly surprised therefore on boarding the 22.52 Nightjet train to be told by the attendant that, because of a mix up over booking, I had a 6 berth compartment all to myself - ya dancer!

    I enjoyed a good night’s sleep in my couchette compartment, as we thundered through the night from Bavaria in south Germany to Hamburg in the north. ‘Thundering through the night’ was an expression my good friend Jean McCormack used whenever we were driving in the dark, and she used to say it followed by a girlish giggle. She was a bit eccentric at times, but I still miss her.

    The attendant brought a welcome simple breakfast of coffee, crispy rolls and butter and jam. We arrived at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof exactly on schedule, and I was in ample time to make my next connection to Copenhagen. Similar to my experience in Sicily (which now seems ages ago), the train actually rolls onto the ferry at Puttgarden, Germany and crosses to Roedby, Denmark in 45 minutes. Another exciting experience. Everyone had to leave the train for security reasons. This time however the ferry was much more upmarket, with restaurants, bars and duty free. Elegant, blonde Scandinavians sat on deck and opened their neatly packed Ikea lunch boxes nibbling at carrot batons and the like, while I tucked into my grilled sausage on a bread roll with potato salad and lashings of ketchup and mustard - yecannaewhackit.

    An hour was all I had in Copenhagen before catching my next connection to Gothenburg. However I did manage to see some of the Tivoli Garden rides from the station platform. Some passengers passing through Copenhagen obviously had not changed any currency into Danish Kroner and were stumped at the entrance of the pay-as-you-enter loo. ‘It’s ok’ announced the efficient lavatory attendant ‘we take the credit card’. Well, I know Scandinavia is expensive, but who’d have thought you needed a credit card to spend a penny. I just hope it was Contactless for hygiene reasons.

    Less than half an hour after we left that Wonderful, Wonderful city, we were crossing the famous Oresund Bridge, at almost 5 miles long the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. I was particularly excited as the Oresund Bridge was the setting for the Nordic noir TV series The Bridge. (I meant to say that Split, Croatia was boasting it was one of the main locations for Game of Thrones, but I don’t watch that). A couple across from me, who were not in their first flush of youth, were very lovey dovey, and were constantly taking photos of each other on their mobiles with the bridge as a backdrop. I asked if they would like me to take a photo of them both, to which they reddened and explained that they shouldn’t be seen together. I decided not to press the matter further.

    Most of the trains I have been on have been very busy, and I was glad I had purchased a 1st Class ticket, as you were always guaranteed a seat, and sometimes extras like power sockets, free WiFi and refreshments. It was another sunny day as the railway hugged the coast as we sped up the Kattegat. On arrival at Gothenburg, I checked into the charming Hotel Royal, the oldest hotel in Gothenburg and family run. Complimentary coffee and cake was available in the foyer - a nice touch and very welcome.

    Had a nice walk about the city in the evening sunshine. It’s been many years since I was last here, and the place has changed quite a bit. A lot of folk were watching the World Cup on big screens. As I am only in Sweden for one night, I had brought some notes I had at home from my last visit, only to be told that they had been withdrawn last year! I therefore had to withdraw some cash from an ATM. When I tried to buy a bottle of water to get some change for the tram, I was told the shop did not accept cash. Swedish people pay everything by card I was told. Ah well, you live and learn…
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  • Day344

    The last day of Sue & John's visit was here, the sun was shining and we wanted to make the most of the short time left together. Gothenburg has a good tram system and a line ran close to where we were parked, through to their hotel. Unfortunately we spent almost the entire journey trying to get the ticket machine to accept our bank cards because it didn't take cash!

    Making our way to the Trädgårdsföreningen park we passed yet more students celebrating their graduation, dressed smartly and in high spirits, blowing horns and whistles. Once in the park we followed the river and came to a rose garden and cafe. Wooden chairs and tables were set up amongst the flowers, sparrows and ducks hopping and waddling close by in hope of crumbs. It was a peaceful place to spend 20minutes with a drink and a cake.

    Close by were the glasshouses, with yet more tables and chairs beside the exotic palms, mosses and climbers. People had brought a packed lunch or a book and were able to take time out and relax in the warm for free. What a fantastic facility! For us however, time was ticking on, so we marched off towards our next port of call; the Fish Church. This fish market by the river is so called because of its close resemblance to a place of worship (see photo). On our way we were approached by a guy with a packed lunch in hand, wanting to ask us a question. Considering the number of street sellers we've encountered, using a range of different techniques we were wary to begin with but he said he thought we'd been emailing him and introduced himself as Jandi, a coordinator of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in Sweden. We have signed up to stay and work at a farm at the end of August, via this organisation which is based in Gothenburg. Jandi had been eating lunch on the riverside when he'd seen us pass by and recognised us from our profile photo!

    Our last sight to see was a hill top fort, we didn't get time to climb up to it and explore but we got to see it in all its glory from the street below. The fort may have been built to defend the town from invaders, but the locals couldn't have been more helpful to us foreigners, with two different people asking if we needed help or directions (in English) when we weren't looking sure where we were going.

    To minimise the risk of any delay getting to the airport we drove out of the city to a lakeside layby Will had found on Park4Night. We loaded up one of the stone tables with food and enjoyed a last picnic with Poppy in the sun and wind before laying back on a wooden jetty being gently rocked by the waves.

    The time had finally come to say goodbye to Sue and John. We'd been looking forward to their visit since they booked it back in October and it certainly hadn't disappointed. Being just 3 nights we had managed to pack the time full of activities without ending up exhausted. It had been wonderful spending time with family and we were a little tearful when we left them at the airport, but we kept in mind that we were well and truly past the half way point of our first stint living on the continent and only had 5 and a half months to go before we would return to the UK and see lots of people back home!
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  • Day341

    Stensjön lake

    June 2, 2017 in Sweden

    Tomorrow we'd be meeting Will's sister Sue and our brother in law John at Landvetter airport near Gothenburg. We therefore wanted to stay somewhere close and being Sweden, there happened to be lakeside parking just 20 minutes from the airport!

    Stensjön lake is bordered by trees and a few houses. We chose a car park on the edge of a woodland estate. Despite the large numbers of people walking, running and cycling through, it was a quiet place, even when the groups of school children passed by the van! We can't imagine any British class making as little noise as these children did!

    Vicky set about cleaning the van and Will kept out of her way! We'd wondered how warm (and feared how cold) the lakes might be up here, but the water was a toasty 19°! Will walked round to the bathing beach and enjoyed a swim and a play with the GoPro camera underwater, although there wasn't much to see under there.

    One of Sweden's favourite foods is fish and one of the dishes we miss most is traditional fish'n'chips - (especially those from Netherton Fish Bar) so when evening came about, Will began making them. He can cook a lot of good meals, but the limited space in the van sometimes makes it difficult. We've currently got steamers from two different sets because they fit in the drawers. Unfortunately they don't fit well together and caused Will to spill a pan of hot fat over the hob and drawers. The tissues used to mop it up then set alight and Vicky returned to find them burning happily away on the gravel outside the van door! Needless to say it took significantly more time than planned to get the van spick and span for Sue and John's arrival the next day!
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  • Day341

    We have put together a film of the 7 days travelling between Slovenia and Sweden. It lasts a little longer than 15 minutes so if you'd like to see it, you might want to make yourself a cuppa before you click on the link! If you enjoy it, you can always subscribe to the VnW Travels YouTube channel to get notified whenever we upload something new!
    https://youtu.be/TIvOp2COrn8

    We were able to park at Landvetter airport and meet Will's sister Sue and our brother in law John at arrivals. We were so happy to see them after nearly a year! Earlier, we'd scoped out a nice looking café in the town of Landvetter so we all went there for open sandwiches, self service coffee and sweet treats of raspberry pavlova slice, cream doughnut covered in cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and a cardamom bun - delicious but a lot more expensive than we were used to!

    After investigating what Swedish goodies WILLY'S supermarket had, we drove into central Gothenburg. For Sweden's 2nd city it isn't big, but alongside the trams and buses there was a lot of traffic and the atmosphere was buzzing. There were several cars with music blasting and young people hanging out of them waving Swedish flags and wearing what looked like sailors' caps. It was Friday afternoon and whilst we knew the coming Tuesday was National Swedish Day, we didn't know that this weekend was also a big one for students who had finished 3 years at the 'gymnasium'. They wore the white caps with their names in gold lettering upon graduating.

    Leaving Sue and John as close to their hotel as we could get, we fought our way through the rush hour traffic to a car park about 5km out of the centre where we parked up for the night and cycled back in. The cycle lanes were amazing, with traffic lights just for us and priority crossing side roads. We even found they had separate street lights when we cycled back out later that night.

    After a quick trip up to the roof terrace of Sue and John's hotel for a birdseye view of the city, we enjoyed wandering around the wide streets flanked with understated decoration on the tall, straight sided buildings. There were plenty of places to eat and an eclectic range of cuisines; burgers, sushi, falafels and pizzarias to name but a few. We always like to sample food typical of the country we are in and John's guidebook recommended a nice Swedish restaurant who luckily were able to fit us in. Gothenburg thrives on its reputation of innovative chefs who prepare traditional dishes with a modern twist. Familjen restaurant, with its emphasis on locally sourced food, certainly fitted the bill! We were brought dishes by the people who prepared them with an explanation of what they were. After bread and crisp bread with dips we had a starter of raw mackrell with cold jungle cucumber soup followed by pork with asparagus, green tomato and spruce shoots with a middle course of local cheeses and a desert of salted caramel ice cream on fresh strawberries with an almond flower topping. The whole meal was amazing and contained several things none of us had tasted before. The drinks menu even had the notation DFB- distance from brewery!

    As a post dinner treat, John and Will found a pub to sample some Swedish ale, while Sue and Vicky had fun at Liseburg amusement park; a permanent setup close to the city centre.
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  • Day343

    Today was wet. Very wet. We therefore decided it was a good day for a drive and our destination of choice was the Gothenburg Archipelago, about 50km away from the city.

    As we approached, the terrain became more rugged. Fewer trees were able to keep a foothold on the smooth rocks, their rounded grey masses emerging from the thin layer of earth like hippos' backs poking up above the water.

    We island hopped over bridges, until we came to the large Koön island where we picked up a few bits for lunch in the van, including a tube of fish paste or 'Kaviar' which seems to be very popular over here. Different brands vary and the taste is good but both types we got were too salty for Vicky.

    Leaving the van we took the cable ferry to the smaller Marstrand island. The rain was still heavy but we persevered with waterproofs and umbrellas. After having a look round the small gift shop we climbed through the town to explore the fort. Its hilltop position afforded us views over Marstrand, the surrounding islands, big and small and the sea channels between them, along which white dinghies zipped back and forth. Swathes of grey rock swept down to the water's edge where occasionally a traditional red or grey wooden board house was perched. In a way, the rain added to the feeling of being on the edge of civilisation where nature was raw and demanded respect. It also meant we had the trails to ourselves! The paths were lined with a wide range of pines, many in flower. We even spotted some spruce shoots like we'd been served in the restaurant dish on the first evening.

    There were maps of the routes but we chose to wander, making decisions when we came to crossroads. Sue led us down a path whose stone steps cut between two towering rocks that leant over above our heads. Beyond this we found a cave with a couple of wooden planks for seating around a recently used campfire. We were just about to take a photo when a group of Swedish people turned up with their dog. They didn't want to get in the way but were happy to be in the photo when invited. Before we came to Sweden we'd heard the Swedes weren't too outwardly friendly and would look at you strangely if you greeted them without knowing them. We are happy to say this couldn't have been further from the truth if our experiences so far are anything to go by!

    Back in the little village where we'd landed, John and Will went to the cosy hotel where there had been beer tastings throughout the day to celebrate the launch of a new brewery, Inlands Cooperative Brewery, opened only 3 weeks ago over the water on Koön Island. They'd missed the last session but the hotel owner was happy to serve them up each of the four new tipples. Sipping each drink from a separate glass they got to chill out on the comfy sofa chatting to the owner who had saved the best to last; a strong double IPA who's name translated as 'Hijackers'.

    Meanwhile Sue and Vicky were tucked away in a quaint café with a cuppa and home made sweet treats! As well as the launch of the brewery, the village had organised herring tastings from 12 different establishments, one of which was the café. Along with the pastry, bun and marzipan cake, they were given a free sample of herring pickled with beetroot on a small slice of dark bread. All very tasty!

    Joining the boys in the hotel we all had another drink before hopping on the ferry for the short ride back to Koön. After completing our mission to find Inlands brewery which had unfortunately closed for the day, we returned to Gothenburg and took the tram into the city centre for a Mexican meal that included octopus burritos! Not wanting the last night with Sue and John to come to an end we went in search of a bar. Being a Sunday night, many places were quiet but The Stage Door bouncer seemed keen to get us in and even shifted a few tables and chairs so we could sit together. There was a young crowd inside and we could hardly hear ourselves talk over the chatter and laughter. The drinks were more expensive than promised but being there did a good job of pushing aside the impression we'd formed of the Swedes being quiet and reserved!
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  • Day342

    Back to Stensjön Lake

    June 3, 2017 in Sweden

    Sue had been looking forward to canoeing with us, so we returned to Stensjön lake where we had stayed the night before last. On the way we dropped by a supermarket to pick up some goodies for lunch. A lot of Sweden's supermarkets have separate fish stalls outside, housed in units a bit like portocabins.

    There was a bit of a breeze but the sun was shining when we arrived at the lake so we packed up a couple of bags of food and had a picnic on a rocky platform at the shore.

    Next came canoeing! Sue was so keen she started paddling before Will even had a chance to get in! Brother and sister set off along the river and under the wooden bridge to circumnavigate the large adjoining lake. The canoeing widows John and Vicky knew they would be gone hours so John went for a stroll while Vicky sat on a bench at the beach with Poppy, relaxing in the warmth of the day. When the intrepid adventures finally came back, Vicky and John had their turn and paddled round the smaller (but still sizeable) lake. When they returned they found Will amd Sue had been unable to resist a swim in the lake and were ready for another. Once we'd acclimatised to the water temperature (see video) the four of us enjoyed a splash under the sky with the trees and rocks around the water line. The clouds even treated Vicky to a few spots of rain!

    Back at the van we turned the heating up, had a warming cuppa and some cinnamon and cardamom buns before taking a stroll along the river to the lake Sue amd Will had paddled round. Will cooked a meal of meatballs; a Swedish speciality, before we headed back to Gothenburg.
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  • Day13

    Solvik am Skagerrak

    June 19 in Sweden

    Heute haben wir ein paar Kilometer mehr gemacht und sind durchgefahren bis zur Schärenbucht in Solvik am Skagerrak. Wundervoller Schlafplatz für die Nacht mit umwerfender Aussicht.
    Wir sind ein bisschen betrübt, weil wir ab heute nicht mehr nordwärts, sondern südwärts und damit zurück Richtung Heimat fahren.

    Ergänzung: Nachdem der Wind heute Nacht auf 30 Knoten hoch gehen soll, haben wir uns spontan dazu entschlossen, uns hinter einem Häuschen zu verstecken 😉
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  • Day10

    Jetzt sind wir doch schon in Göteborg, weil wir in Kungsbacka nichts gefunden hatten, wo wir hätten übernachten können, und auf Lindas Angebot nicht eingehen wollten, die uns auf ihr Zimmer schmuggeln wollte.
    Außerdem war das Wetter schlecht. Wir hatten zwar Rückenwind, aber ab und zu kam er doch von der Seite - mit Regen. An sich war ich einfach platt und meine Beine wurden immer schwerer.
    Am meisten Zeit vertrödelten wir am Schluss in Göteborg, als es uns nicht gelang, den besten Weg in die Innenstadt zu finden.
    Wir dürfen hier bei meinem Sohn Benedikt übernachten, der in einen Haus wohnt, das König Oskar II. auf der Rückseite seiner Göteborger Residenz (siehe Bild) für seine Maitressen erbauen ließ.
    Nachtrag: Gestern hatte uns Linda noch zum Essen eingeladen und wir trafen zwei Segler aus Hamburg, die uns, obwohl sie die Gelegenheit dazu hatten, nichts von ihrem Wein abgaben, sich aber interviewen ließen.
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  • Day13

    Torp Köpcentrum

    June 19 in Sweden

    Ultramegariesen-Einkaufszentrum ;-)

    Da wir auf dem Weg an die Westküste eh noch ein wenig einkaufen mussten, haben wir hier einen „schnellen“ Stop eingelegt. 3 neue Shirts, 2 Kleider, einen vollen Kühlschrank und 2 Stunden später konnten wir uns dann wieder auf den Weg Richtung Kungshamn machen.

  • Day14

    Nach einer stürmischen Nacht und dem vorhergesagten Regen haben wir uns für zwei Städte-Trips entschieden.
    Nummer 1 war Kungshamn, ein sehr netter und bei Regen sehr ruhiger Ort. Die übereifrige aber liebevolle Dame in der Touristinfo hat uns wahrlich mit tollen 2do‘s zugeschmissen. Auf Grund unserer Reiseplanung hatten wir aber nur noch Luft für 2 km entfernte Örtchen Smögen und das war die Fahrt zu dem für uns nördlichsten Punkt wert. Auch bei starkem Regen.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Västra Götalands län, Vaestra Goetalands laen, Västra Götaland, مقاطعة فسترا يوتالاند, Лен Вестра-Гёталанд, Вестра Йоталанд, Kotar Västra Götaland, Provincia de Västra Götaland, Västra Götalandi lään, Västra Götalandeko konderria, استان وسترا یوتالاند, Länsi-Götanmaan lääni, Condado de Västra Götaland, וסטרה ייטלנד, वेस्त्रा योतालान्द लैन, Županija Västra Götaland, Västra Götaland megye, Daerah Västra Götaland, Contea di Västra Götaland, ヴェストラ・イェータランド県, 베스트라예탈란드 주, Konteth Västra Götaland, Provincia Gothiae Occidentalis, Vestra Jotalandas, Vesterjētlandes lēne, Вестра Јеталанд, Västra Götaland koān, Lehn Westgötland, Вестрæ-Гёталанд, Вестра-Гёталанд, Västra Götaland Coonty, Oarje-Götalándda leatna, Västra Götaland ili, Вестра-Йоталанд, واسترا یوتالاند کاؤنٹی, Götaläniän Vesüdik, 西约塔兰省

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