Monday, June 16, 2014

Holiday in Sweden - Day 4 (Gothenberg)

We caught the 12.05 train to Gothenberg, saying goodbye to Malmo. It’s was a two-and-a-half hour silky smooth journey in one of the most comfortable trains I think we’ve ever travelled in - reaching 202 kph at one point.


Bye-bye Malmo - hello Gothenberg!

On arriving at Gothenberg, we attempted to find our next hotel for this leg of the holiday - the ‘Scandic 25’ -  or as it became known once we’d checked in - Stalag 25! More about this place later, but first we had to FIND IT! Clearly, the Scandic chain has its eyes on world domination and seems to have hoovered up every other hotel in the city. In spite of common sense telling us otherwise, on leaving the Station, we headed for the big Scandic sign in the distance - and it turned out to be the wrong hotel. Then it was onto the next Scandic sign.... wrong hotel again. Finally, after  finally revisiting the map and allowing logic to prevail, we found the one we’re staying in. Uh-oh! I always worry when I see air-crew in a hotel, as it’s often a reminder that the hotel may be ‘budget’ in style. We were NOT wrong!

Prisoner Cell Block 709!
Stalag 25 - Cell 709

What a dump!!! The staff were pleasant enough, and they did all they could to make us as comfortable as possible, but really!!! where do I start?

OK, here we go...

- We booked ‘superior rooms’. That meant fluffy robes and sandals over and above the the normal room. Both missing from the room on arrival, and when Reception arranged to supply them, Housekeeping confirmed they ‘didn’t do slippers anymore’.

- An in-room mini-bar was advertised. Sure, the room had one, but it wasn’t plugged in and it didn’t have any stock in it. Reception said that it wasn’t company policy any longer to provide mini-bars in the rooms.

- Ventilation. It was 25 degrees outside and by the time we’d found the hotel, it felt much, much hotter - we were melting! That’s when we discovered that the room didn’t have any air-conditioning. To keep things interesting though, they’d provided under-floor heating in the bathroom with the temperature on the thermostat set at 27.5!!!

- The room promised ‘one of our largest’. Presumably the others must be full of hamsters on treadmills, because ours was tiny!

- Free wifi. Yes there sure was if you could figure out the antiquated method of signing on! You had to ‘sign-up’ for an account - and that only lasted 24 hours. Then we learned it was only ONE device per separate signup, so anyone with say, a smartphone AND a laptop spent more time filling in forms than actually surfing

I guess the learning point is: be aware when hotel chains switch owners (as this one did). On the plus side, at least the room is quiet!
Winking smile

Anxious to escape the sauna in our room, we headed for a short mooch around the Dock area to get our bearings - and to cool down. As soon as we got into the town, it became immediately obvious that one the main differences between here and our previous stay - Malmo, was how much busier everything is. Whereas Malmo was a sleepy-hollow, here was really buzzing with people and cars!!

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Scenes from around the Docks at Gothenberg

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The Kronhuset

Then after getting all ‘docked-out’, we headed back towards the town, taking in some of the view of the old town (and a beer!) including the oldest building, The Kronshuset, constructed in 1643 and used by the military for storage.

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King Gustav Adolf II

It was now 4pm and with the Sun still high in the sky, it was turning out to be another boiling hot day. We soaked up some rays in the town square under the watchful eye of King Gustav Adolf II before heading into the shopping mall for our final coffee of the day.

We’ve no idea what we’ll be up to tomorrow as we’ll see what the forecast is like when we get up - it’s likely to be hot, the question is: how hot??