The Epic Railway Journey

England to Sweden by Train

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Days 4 to 9 - Göteborg

Swedish flag
The river at Göteborg

As mentioned in the introduction, the main reason for our visit to Göteborg is the Rosicrucian World Convention. This is being held in the prestigious Svenska Massan conference centre. Over a thousand Rosicrucians from all over the world are attending. Our hotel, the Gothia Towers, is part of the same complex - we do not even have to go out of doors for several days if we do not want to! Our 9th floor room has a pleasant view over the attractive Liseberg amusement park; the hotel facilities are excellent, especially the superb restaurants. Nevertheless, it is nice to get out and about, see the sights, try some of the other local eateries, and so on. We have allowed a couple of days before and after the Convention to do just this. And what better way to get around the city than by tram?

Göteborg trams: 26km

Göteborg tram

26km is my estimate of how far we travelled on the tram system, mostly in short (1 or 2km) journeys, over the course of a week or so. The trams for the most part are not of the most modern type, although a few are now being equipped with wheelchair and baby buggy friendly low-floor cars. One special heritage line, the Liseberglinjen from the Central Station to Liseberg, uses exclusively vintage cars complete with conductors! But the service is efficient and easy to use, and (apart from walking) the best way to get around. The scenery varies from city streets to leafy suburbs. Well worth exploring some of the more far flung corners of the system, if only for the ride. One evening, the tram takes us to a little suburban restaurant we found listed in a local guide book, where we enjoy a very nice meal in spite of the fact that the proprietor speaks very little English and we no Swedish at all. Quite an adventure!

We start our sightseeing on the Wednesday, with a general look around the city. The waterfront is picturesque, the shopping good, eating places abundant and generally very good, parks very pleasant, (including the lovely Trädgärd­sföreningen in the heart of the city, with its outstanding collection of roses and its butterfly house), and museums interesting. There will be plenty to occupy us during our free time for the rest of our stay.

Thursday sees the start of the Convention. This is not the place for a full report on what took place, which would mostly be of interest only to Rosicrucians. However, the evening activities are worthy of comment:

Sunday marks the end of the Convention. After the closing ceremony, we feel like a complete change of pace so we visit the nearby Liseberg park.

Liseberg train

Unlike some of our friends, we are not "into" big rides, but it is fun to watch other people enjoying them. There are also beautiful gardens to stroll through and nice restaurants to take a meal or a snack.

On Monday, it is sightseeing again. This time we take the river ferry, the Älv-Snabben. I almost included this in the tram mileage, because it appears on the tram maps and uses the same tickets! The ferry takes us to Eriksberg, where a replica of one of the old Swedish East India Company's sailing ships is being built. It is planned to sail her to China in a few years' time (Click here for more details of this project).

On Tuesday, our last full day in Sweden, we have an out of town trip planned. More train travel is involved! Read about it on the next page.

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