Gothenburg in fall

So far I’ve been to Gothenburg twice. The earlier trip was a theater visit in February 2017 when we met a Swedish media person Alexandra Pascalidou. She is a lovely lady and a great fan of public libraries. Mareetta knows her and so I’ve met her couple of times too.

Back to Gothenburg. It’s the second largest city in Sweden and a very nice one. It feels different to Stockholm and has lovely old city and city centre.

On Friday we landed around noon and then took the airport bus to our hotel near the Central station, found our room and relaxed for a while. Then we took a walk, visited a local mini library and continued to the Mr Cake cafe and had late lunch which was very good. We had first thought only to eat a light lunch there and go to dinner later but afterwards we decided to skip dinner all together.

We walked a bit on the shore side and went back to the hotel via grocery shop and bought something to the hotel room. Had a little lie down at the hotel and then left for the Scandinavium which was packed, there was 11 000 people. The crowds were quickly inside the arena and we found our places on the floor and the concert begun right on time. The Swedes are awesome in sing-alongs so it was great to be part of that. We were back at the hotel before midnight and watched a bit of tv before turning in.

On Saturday we slept a bit later, bought day tickets to the public transport system and took a tram to Mr Cake for breakfast but they didn’t have any so we ate a lunch, I had a lovely warm beetroot salad with goat cheese and as dessert I had a red velvet croissant. With our bellies full we took a tram to a record shop Mareetta wanted to visit. We got there and noticed people gathering around the walls in the shop floor but didn’t think much of it. Mareetta went on a hunt mode and I found two unwrapped Prince dvd’s (Purple rain and Graffiti bridge, I only have PR copied from a library dvd) and bought those. The people were queuing for a signing, a Swedish musician Thåström was there to sign his newest album and the masses queued around the block when we got out of the store.

Bengams record shop

We took a tram to the city centre and went to Science Fiction bokhandeln (bookshop) which I love, I always visit it in Stockholm and here they had better collection than in Stockholm month ago so I found a lot of books but bought only three from there. Tough choices had to be done.. Afterwards we were getting pretty tired so we decided to go to the shopping mall.

There we did a cursory round around the clothes shops but then went to the grocery store again and bought things to eat at the hotel room. We wanted to watch the Swedish music programme ’So much better’ (in Finland it’s called Just life and I absolutely loath it) and not move a muscle. It was good plan and we almost peed our pants when I tried to make us coffee with the Nespresso machine, I managed it in the end luckily.

On Sunday we had breakfast at the hotel and packed our things and then bought another day ticket and took trams to different parts of the city. One tram took us to the south to Mölndal and we found a big supermarket and did some gift shopping there.We bought some sweet buns and cake from Mr Cake to take home too. On the way back to hotel we had dinner and found another bookshop where I bought one book and Mareetta bought Christmas cards.

We managed to get most of our stuff into our bags and then took a taxi to the airport where we were in really good time. We had late flight and then my electronic boarding pass didn’t load so we had to wait on the counter to get it fixed before going through the security check. Afterwards we had coffee in the mostly shut down airport and I bought a pair of Dala häst ear rings from the gift shop as on the last visit I had not bought them and regretted it since.

We were back in Helsinki around midnight and Darling Hubby was waiting for us. I was happy to be at home.

It’s a living thing

Live music that is. I love live music, probably because as a teen I never got to go to any live concert, not even free ones. With my first long-time-boyfriend I managed to see some Finnish club live music nights such as Kingston Wall (my then-bf knew the Walli brothers from school) but then there was a long time I couldn’t go, kids were small and so on. Around these last ten years or so I’ve been going to live concerts again. One of the first was 30 Seconds to Mars which is still one of my faves and I also managed to see Prince perform here in Helsinki which was my dream come true, I was (still am) his long time fan from 1984.

Now though I think that two massive gigs is quite enough for one week.

Last Friday I and my friend Mareetta took a plane to Gothenburg, Sweden, to see a concert by three of Sweden’s top musicians from the 80’s. They used to have solo careers but then started a project together called GES in the 90’s, then went on a pause but reunited for a friend’s birthday party and now they made a tour together. There were 11 000 people in the Scandinavium in Gothenburg and it was so much fun! I even remembered some of the lyrics to some old 80’s songs in Swedish. Here is a compilation of their previous gig in Stockholm as I couldn’t find anything from Youtube. If you like there’s some videos in Instagram at GES.se

Yesterday I was on a totally different kind of concert here in Helsinki. One of the most beloved and gifted Finnish rock musicians Ismo Alanko had his 40-year-long-career celebration, 9 concerts at a club which had been postponed from last year. I had tickets to one night, some people had tickets to all nine concerts… I’d be plain dead after such a marathon. I danced so much my legs were literally killing me all of the last night, luckily I had my osteopathy session in the morning. Underneath is the song from the beginning of the gig. If you know where to look you can see a certain person dancing in front of a taller woman (that tall woman is my friend Heidi, she’s right in the middle).

I’m going to write another post about the trip to Gothenburg tomorrow.

Visiting Stockholm

By request I’m updating about our trip to Stockholm. Stockholm is a nice city, Sweden’s capitol. Stockholm and Helsinki have nice ferry cruises between them and on the cruise you can buy tax free shopping so it’s very popular in both countries I think. Finns buy cheap alcohol and Swedes the other things. The ship leaves on the evening, arrives to destination in the morning and leaves again in the evening so one has about 6 hours to visit the capitol cities at each end.

We usually make the cruise every spring and fall and use the VikingLine since hubby does some IT-things for them in the company he’s working. In Stockholm VikingLine is located a walking distance from the city centre and the shopping streets which is nice. The Stockholm Fotografiska is also on the route from the dock to city if it interests you. If you are a walking-kind of person the SiljaLine is also on easy walking distance but the underground trains are also easy from their dock.

This time we took a small ferry from Viking’s dock to Djurgården since it’s easier to travel between the small islands and walking to Djurgården takes almost an hour. Djurgården has many places to visit, i.e. the ABBA museum, Gröna Lund’s amusement park, Junibacken for everything Astrid Lindgren, Skansen’s outdoor museum and other things (i.e. Christmas market), Nordiska Museum and the Vasa Museum which we wanted to visit this time.

The Vasa museum consists of the ship Vasa which sank on it’s maiden voyage about 500 metres after leaving the dock. It was found in the late 60’s and now it’s been under conservation about 50 years. I’ve visited the Vasa first time in 1982 when it was still sort of outdoors experience, there was only a light shelter around it.

This time we spent few hours in the museum and then walked to the Old town which dates back to 13th century. I just adore it but it’s choked up with tourists (I don’t blame them). It has many nice little shops and cafeterias and it also hosts my favorite shop in Stockholm: The Sci-fi Bookshop. It’s a must for me since I can find books, films and tv-series there which are not available in Helsinki. There’s also lots of role playing games and things for them and anime and so on.

Finland and Sweden share a common history since Finland used to the Sweden’s dependency until Sweden gave it to Russia and that is probably why Finns feel a sort of envious towards Swedes. Sweden has also managed to avoid wars the last two hundred years unlike Finland.

Last December I spent some nights in Stockholm with my friend Mareetta. We were going to see BoyGeorge perform since Mareetta is a huge fan of his but the concert was cancelled. Mareetta got us invited to the shadow-Nobel literature price evening as she is a great fan of Alexandra Pascalidou, a Swedish columnist, television hostess and author, and we’ve been to watch a theater programme by her in Gothenburg.

Mareetta introduced me to a wonderful cafe called Mr. Cake in Stockholm and now also in Gothenburg. If you want to enjoy really great cakes and light lunch go there! We had cake overdose with Mareetta one night when we bought cakes to go so be careful. The ’Mr. Cakes’ themselves are Roy Fares who has made several cake books and is a cousin to film director Fares Fares and Mattias Ljungberg, several times awarded confectioner.

One other nice cafe is located in the Old town and it’s called Sten Sture, who was a real nobleman in the 15th century and the Lord Regent. The cafe is next to the Nobel Museum and it’s in the basement floor of the house. It used to be a prison in the 18th century. Unfortunately this time we couldn’t visit it since they were under construction, maybe next time will be better.