Sure Sweden is known for their contribution to compact furniture design, cheap hot-dogs and tea lights, but a week in Gothenburg revealed that the country has many other treasures worth discovering.
Idyllic landscapes sweep the countryside and with the use of the Simonsson family car, we set out to discover (some of) them.
Step number one was an obligatory stop at a local loppis, essentially a Swedish garage sale that operates on a semi-permanent basis out of someone’s house. Here we learned that you can find great buys on kitschy Swedish crockery from the 60′s that sells for ridiculously high prices in the city (and even higher ones in specialty shops in Canada).
Sadly not the most transportable item.
Next up was a stop in Skärhamn, a picturesque little town an hour outside of Gothenburg that features an archipelago dotted with classic red Swedish houses that sit atop of rocky outcrops. A perfect locale for a coffee and an ice-cream.
But the real highlight was our final stop of the day in the Pilane Sculpture Park, located on the beautiful island of Tjörn. A historical site with 90 judgment circles, raised stones and other stone circles dating from the Iron Age, the ancient remains are surrounded by a cultural landscape that traces back to the Stone Age.
This ancient landscape that provides breathtaking views over the sea north of Gothenburg is juxtaposed with an annual exhibition of contemporary sculptures by some of the world’s leading artists. Wandering around the park we were equally charmed by the local sheep who graze freely as we were by the sculptures, which are even more delightful in this natural setting.
Lesson learned: Not only can the Swedish make a mean Börje dining room chair, they’re pretty good at art too.