The land of brown horses and red houses

Arrived in the land of brown horses and red houses yesterday morning shattered after a late night and early morning. It was a bit of a dash to get onto the blue and yellow flight but I made it and the journey went smoothly from then on including catching the airport bus the to the centre of Gothenburg. They now give you a free ticket for the city buses when you get the coach ticket – it lasts for 90 minutes from the time they issue it. I say it was all going smoothly but that was up until the time I realised my phone just wasn’t going to work and I couldn’t quite remember if K was meeting me or if I was supposed to go back to his. I waited. I decided to find a pay phone. There was no answer. I waited a bit more. I tried to buy a mobile phone. The whole fiasco cost me 600 kroner and left me swearing I would never use 3 again. Mainly as they sold me a sim card and a top up that didn’t work in my phone or the cheap phone they recommended me to buy from Clas Ohlson. When I went back for help they only shrugged and murmured that no it wouldn’t work as it wasn’t a 3 phone. Oh the blighters! On the plus side the chap at Clas Ohlson was lovely and charged up my new phone for me and the girl at PressbyrÃ¥n opposite was really kind and got me sorted out with a new sim that wasn’t 3. Finally after far too long I managed to ring K. He’d been waiting at the bus stop for over an hour. Typical!

It’s nice up here in his student accommodation in Masthugget. Built sometime in 60s or 70s it’s got a nice sort of solid feel to it. The students here clean the kitchen and have recycling bins. It’s a different world from English student accommodation.

Today we cycled out to the coast and along a part of a cycle network called Ginstleden. We cycled all the way to Kungsbacka which we reckoned was a good 25 miles. It was fantastic to see the Swedish sea again. The sparking blue, the distant islands, the little beach huts and the beautiful houses that overlook the sea. Paradise! Even inland the cycle paths through fields and over relatively flat terrain made it a joyful ride. We whizzed along. Only near to Kungsbacka did the hills start and by then we were pretty tired. In the town most of the shops were shut as by now it was 7 in the evening but a few eateries were open and we went to Cryano and munched down pizza cooked in an open oven. Cyrano is mini chain and they have have four places in Gothenburg as well as one in Kungsbacka and one in Alingsås. The pizza is good and the staff friendly so it was a nice place to end up after our ride. There was a steady stream of locals coming in for takeaway pizza.

We wimped out of the cycle ride back and got the train instead. For students it’s 69 kroner. Only on the train did the ticket collector inform us that bikes cost the same price as a child so it was another 80 kroner for both of our bikes. The train has a large area with seats that it used for bikes, pushchairs and people who just want more space. A neat little clip comes out from between two seats and fastens easily over the bikes. No fuss, simple, Swedish design. The train journey took about 20 minutes and then we were in central Gothenburg next to the giant wheel, the harbour with its modern opera house and on our way home back to Masthugget.

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