It’s officially 30 days to Christmas! I’m starting to learn that no one does Early Christmas like the Swedes do. Shop windows are laden with Christmas wreaths and mistletoe and lights are strung on trees across the city. It’s easy to be carried away with the spirit of Christmas.
Clarion Hotel in Gothenburg during the Christmas opening
In this festive mood, the Welcome Services at the University of Gothenburg decided to take an eager group of international students on a day trip to Tjolöholm Castle also knows as Tjöloholms Slott in Swedish to experience a little Swedish Christmas magic.
The Castle is open to the public for tours during the summer and over all weekends throughout the year. It has gardens that face the Sea which make for a breathtaking view.
The view from the Castle looking out to the Sea
Interesting Fact: The castle was built for James Fredrik Dickson and his wife Blanche in 1904, but sadly James never lived to see its completion as he died from blood poisoning shortly after construction began.
The tour takes you to various parts of the castle and my favorite part of the tour was seeing the instant hairdryer that was used by Blanche, Frederik’s wife and the shower that sprayed water from all directions. I noted that Blanche had a flair for the most interesting contraptions even if it was the 1900’s. She must have been one cool lady.
Blanche’s instant hair dryer
After all that walking a hot cup of cocoa and some churros covered in chocolate were in order. The atmosphere was enchanting with all the Christmas trees and lights strung on the trees and all over the castle, however if you’re not such a fan of the cold, I suggest visiting during the summer.
My first Churros
However, despite the weather, I loved the authentic feeling with horse carriage rides for the kids and the Christmas markets filled with all sorts of wares from animal hides, handmade chocolate, home brewed Julmust to baubles and tinsel.
Keep warm and keep checking in to learn about all the fun Christmas and Lucia festivities in the weeks to come!
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From Sweden with Love!
Today I went to Slottsskogen (the big park in the middle of Gothenburg) with some friends with the idea of playing mini golf, we did not plan ahead this but we thought it would be fun to go there. As soon as we arrived we found out it was closed…what a bummer.
But we didn’t let that affect us, at the other side of the park there is a place where you can play “disc golf”, so we went there. First of all, whaaaaaaaaaat? “disc golf” you said? what the hell is that?
What is disc golf / frisbeegolf?
Disc golf is actually played like traditional golf, but instead of having clubs and a ball you have a flying disc, commonly known as a frisbee (feels so weird when I use the word “disc”, so let’s stick to frisbee from now on). The rules are very simple. A frisbee is thrown from a tee area to a target, which is the “hole”, in this case the target was an elevated metal basket.
Just as a golf course there are 18 metal baskets spread across the forest, some of them are very hard to reach because of the trees and rocks, or maybe I’m not very skilled when it comes to throw a frisbee. For me it was very fun, and at the same time I got to explore a little bit the park (I saw some seals in the distance, I’ll go to that part of the park another day so stay tuned).
When I woke up I never thought I would end up playing disc golf, which is the interesting part of improvised plans you never know what is going to happen. Finished in 4th place but it didn’t matter, because it was SO much fun.
For those of you who want to try this as well this is the location of the frisbeegolf course. The price is 40kr for playing and 10kr for the disc. Also here is the website where you can get more information about it (it’s in Swedish tho).
So if you are looking for a weekend activity, I strongly recommend playing frisbeegolf!
Så, my Canadian comrade Matt Prokop (who is working in U.K. at the moment) swam across the North Sea to Göteborg (2 hrs to London Heathrow). Matt and I studied Mechanical Engineering together back in University of Waterloo. We also lived together during our internships in Toronto. So, let’s say we have many common interests.
It was nice having him around for the weekend, as I was forced to not spend my entire weekend in the computer lab with Chalmers Formula Student guys. So I got my life back, and I decided to capture it on tape. If you are studying in Chalmers and your friends are coming, here is your to do list.
The weather was unrealistically great that entire weekend. Perhaps I gave him a false illusion of rainy Göteborg… so he promised to come back in the summer.
Tentative summer plans:
1/ Sail around Göteborg
2/ We will mountain bike & camp & bike somewhere towards the north.
I’m sure the only reason he is here is to see the Swedish girls, visiting me is his cover..