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Day 3: Gothenburg

For some reason blinds in Sweden don't do a good job of keeping out the daylight. That somewhat defeats the point, especially in a country where the summertime daylight hours start so early. I get up with the sun, so for the third night in a row, I had four hours' sleep. Not that I'm really complaining, since it meant that I could get up and see the view. It's the same one I shared with Clare several hours later when we had breakfast:


Isn't that fabulous? And we didn't have to leave until noon, so it meant that we were able to savour the view at leisure, before going on our final stroll and catching the train back to Gothenburg.

One of my missions was to buy a copy of Asterix och hans tappra galler, the Swedish version of Asterix the Gaul. I have that in several languages already and I had read Asterix och britterna before we came on holiday, so it was natural to me to want to increase my collection by one. We therefore headed out from the train station with the aim of finding bookshops, with one in particular in mind. And food too; we hadn't eaten the previous evening, so our breakfast of a pastry and, um, garlic bread wasn't really filling a hole. We got to combine both activities, searching for something to eat and a bookshop. As luck would have it, we found both in the same place. Not the best luck, either.

This was the shop I'd been looking for:


It was closed for renovations. So close! Fortunately, my itty bitty Swedish was good enough to be able to read one of the signs in the window, explaining that the shop had moved. Phew! That still left the other mission. Neither of us will eat fish, which limits things in a seaside city. The burger we ate on Saturday made us both swear off them. And although the pizzas we'd had were very nice, three meals in a row is pushing things. Our options were clearly limited. Fortunately, I spotted an Indian restaurant not far from the out-of-bounds bookshop, and so off we headed.

I should've suspected something was not quite right when the price was about £6 for a chicken tikka masala, including the rice, naan and drink! It turned out that this was a cheap-and-cheerful place, where you take a tray and the food is ladled onto your plate, like at school. I think this is probably the first time Clare has ever left a curry!

We still had hours to kill and, having removed the taste of the curry via some chocolate purchased at a nearby 7-11 (the same trick we pulled on Saturday after the burger), we navigated ourselves to the bookshop. We found Tintin on display, which boded well, so headed downstairs, which was full of comics. There was even an Asterix one. It might not have been the first in the series, but I'll consider it mission accomplished. For some reason it was about a third the price that they sell for in the UK and France too - it's not often you could say that about Sweden!

On Saturday we had walked as far as a huge park, the Slottsskogen [Castle Park], which we had decided we would visit when coming back. We still had hours left and so time wasn't a problem.

The trees were tall and different colours:


We found a small maze to explore:


And there were several lakes, one of which featured a prominent jet:


What we hadn't expected was to find animals in the park too. There were seals, penguins and even moose:


This was all over the course of several hours, so we can't be blamed for taking a rest every now and again:


Clare soon had us climbing:


Which culminated with a view from above the trees:


That left us with one more task: On Saturday we'd visited Esperanto-plasen. What we'd found out having Googled it afterwards is that a prominent Esperanto-related thing had escaped our notice, so we set off to find it:


And that was Gothenburg, a perfectly delightful place to have visited. Somehow we squeezed an awful lot into our three days. One thing's for sure; we'll definitely be coming back to this beautiful, clean country. And, if we can, we'll be based in Ljungskile at that spectacular house that we stayed in over the second night.

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