December 14, 2007


I spent a week in Sweden, more precisely in Gothenburg (Göteborg in Swedish), to visit my old mother and some friends. The weather was rather typical for the end of the autumn; grey, some light rain / fog, temperature a bit over freezing… Gothenburg is on the west coast, rather south in Sweden, and does not so easily get any snow.

The city is not yet four centuries old. Its place on the map at the mouth of the Göta River, squeezed in between what was Norway and Denmark until 1658, and difficult ground conditions led to several unfruitful attempts to build a town here.

The city plan owes a lot to the Dutch. The town used to be full of canals and many of them are still left. Its major importance has been to be a port, the leading Nordic one, and the port used to be part of the city life. Most of the Nordic immigrants to the States left from here.

The port activities are now closer to the open sea and what you still can see close to the centre is now rather like a museum. Gothenburg was also a leading shipbuilding centre until the 60’s.

Today, it’s still the home of e.g. SKF (the world’s largest bearing manufacturer) and of Volvo (which originally was a subsidiary to SKF), but the city is less and less industrial and is now e.g. the biggest Nordic university town. Totally some 500 thousand people live in the city, some 900 thousand with suburbs.

The apartment buildings I show below, close to the city centre, are mostly from the 19th or the very beginning of the 20th century (and my mother still lives in one of them).You can find some of these photos on my photo blog.


lyliane six said...

De beaux immeubles cossus, le tram, le voilier dans la ville, la forme des clochers,les ponts et lampadaires, la couronne royale, on se croirait à Stockholm,c'est fou ce que j'aime ces villes nordiques, j'ai dû y vivre des moments de bonheur dans une autre vie!!

sonia a. mascaro said...

I am glad to see you on my blog, Peter!

I hope you had enjoyed your time with family and friends!

Good pictures and interesting reportage as always!

Neva said...

Glad you are is the painting arm feeling! I like the photos!

Jessica said...

Sweden looks cold! I like the pictures of the shops, especially. And thanks for the history lesson!

Mona said...

Ah! a new country to see!

I was hoping you would post some photos from Sweden

I hope your mother is doing well and that you had a good time with her!

di.di said...

From your pictures, seems like a fairly good holiday even though you were computerless... :P

alice said...

Je suis contente de te savoir de retour, Peter. J'espère que ta maman se porte bien.
Comme le dit Lyliane, ces villes du nord ont un charme fou!
As-tu terminé tous tes cadeaux de Noël, les idées ne doivent pas te manquer pour les petits. Pour les grands, c'est souvent plus compliqué...

Anonymous said...

I wish you happy weekend and thank you for your good Sweden post!

Cergie said...

Bien sûr Göteborg est surtout universitaire, Patrick y est passé lorsqu'il était étudiant.
Tu diras que non, mais on sent beaucoup de nostalgie dans ce message. Lorsque tu parles de l'évolution de la ville, lorsque tu évoques ton "old" maman...
Les bâtiments sont assez hauts. J'aime énormément la photo de la façade en angle bas gauche du 2ème montage à partir du bas.
Peter, tu sais aussi nous faire aimer ton pays natal et ta ville....

SusuPetal said...

Välkommen hem, Peter:))
Jah har varit i Göteborg bara en gång. Såg Ullevi och sen Liseberg för några timmar, ingenting annat.

Göteborg verkade nog att vara en stad av lämplig storhet, inte för stor, inte för liten.

Delphinium said...

Oui notre petit Peter semble un peu nostalgique. Je n'ai vu Gôteborg que de loin alors que je montais dans un gros bateau sur Oslo. Tes photos ous fait toujours découvrir quelque chose de nouveau. Dis Peter, je suis en train de lire du Henning Mankel (la 5ème femme) tu connais? Le héros, policier Wallander, habite en Scanie. Je t'embrasse bien fort et te souhaite un très bon WE.
P.S. Tu sais, pour mon cadeau de Noël, je ne suis pas difficile. :-)

Anonymous said...

I like your city in Sweden and also I liked your story about it. The photos are interesting for they fill in the blanks left out by the text. Neat post Peter.

Peter said...

Oui, il y a un charme particulier..., disons très particulier.

Same pleasure to see you visiting mine! Yes, mum is OK and of course enjoyed seeing her and friends!

The painting arm is now - at last - OK!

Peter said...

The "shops" are actually some closed market places (better be closed ones during the winter)!

Thanks for your comments and I can confirm!

drama div@:
To be computerless is somehow a condition to really be on vacation!

Peter said...

Non, je n'ai pas fini... mais il me reste toute la semaine prochaine! Le weekend dans les grands magasins à eviter!

Thanks and nice weekend also to you!

Merci! Nostalgique? Oui, mais pas trop pour le pays, plutôt pour le passé... le temps qui passe!

Peter said...

... och jag som inte ens nämnde Ullevi och Liseberg!

Tu as bp voyagé en bateau! Croisière ou ferry Kiel / Oslo?
J'avoue ne pas avoir lu Mankell, mais je sais qu'il se vend bien aussi à létranger. Je peux éventuellement reccommender d'autres histoires policières suédoises: Sjöwall/Wahlöö, toute une collection en poche 10/18.

Thanks for your nice compliments!

Anonymous said...

It looks like a nice city. I like seeing where my Volvo was built (don't have it any more, but what a great car it was).

I hope your mother is healthy and happy. Nice to have a week with her.

hogrelius said...

Härligt att se lite Göteborgsbilder."Feskekyrkan" är en underbar upplevelse , tänk bara på doften därinne.Saluhallen går inte av för hackor heller....ville flytta till Göteborg men det var så svårt med bostäder då .Det blev Stockholm istället.

Olivier said...

c'est comme Paris, sauf a la place des pigeons, il y a des mouettes ;o)).
Superbe, j'aime beaucoup ce marché en bois. c'est tres beau, j'aime bien

Annie said...

Peter, I hope you found your mother well. I'm sure she was delighted to see you.

And thank you for the photos of Göteborg. Some of my ancestors left from there for the U.S., many many years ago.

Noushy Syah said...

Hi Peter,

Happy reading and enjoyed your description abt Sweden as I co-relate it with my FIL to be back in Malaysia whose using A VOLVO :)

Looks like pretty descent city to me!

Have a lovely w/end Peter.BTW,how about the final look of your painting?Perhaps you might wanna share with us...

Azer Mantessa said...

nice photos as always and mother's apartment looks nice :-)

stromsjo said...

I always wondered why Gothenburg doesn't have a daily photoblog. Good to see you highlighting this city!

Peter said...

I must be one of the few Swedes, especially "Gothenburgers", who never had a Volvo!

Fint att se att Göteborg var "first choice"!

Tu trouves des mouettes aussi à Paris! (Un peu.)

Peter said...

Yes, I guess that a large part of the Olsons etc. left via Gothenburg! ... and my mother is doing fine (for her age: 90)! Thanks!

noushy syah:
Maybe I will show you the result of the painting one day.

Well, mums flat (I did not tell in which building) is in the one where I have pictured the entrance with some lamps etc...

I cannot daily handle Gothenburg and Paris, so hopefully someone else will volunteer!

Cuckoo said...

Good account with beautiful pictures of cold Sweden, Peter ! How is your hand and back after painting ?

Anonymous said...

Goteborg, est vraiment une très belle ville, les photos sont superbes, très agréable a regarder
Jack NYC

hpy said...

No comment.

Peter said...

I'm fine now, thanks!

jack nyc:
Thanks for the visit and the kind comments!

No comments!