Wednesday 20 June 2018

#11 Cruising The Baltic with #Fred Olsen’s Balmoral - Gothenburg


This is the second last destination on my Baltic cruise and the weather has turned rainy. After so many days of wonderful weather, I had to work hard not to let it take the shine off visiting this wonderful new city.

Sailing into Gothenburg harbour on the Gota alv River (forgive the lack of proper accents), the city ranges on both sides of the river its buildings nestled into low and craggy foothills. Remnants of the city’s shipbuilding past are still arresting on the skyline, some of the large cranes left as reminders of the golden days of Gothenburg shipping and maritime history.

Once again, I was onto a coach to do a 3-hour tour of the city’s highlights. The viewpoint at the Masthuggskyrkan (church) affords fabulous views of the city, even on a rainy day.

Botanic Gardens Gothenburg Sweden
After a short photo stop at the Masthuggskyrkan, I was whisked off through narrow city roads to the Gothenburg Botanical Gardens. Wandering up the pathways towards the summit of the gardens, the plantings were spectacular the drizzly rain not a problem at all. I’m not convinced the guide took us up as far as we could possibly go, and we only covered a small area of the whole gardens, but the walk of close to an hour was really excellent since I’ve been cooped up on coaches for a lot of the time on this trip. That was my choice, and I’m not complaining about what’s been achieved, but the fresh air today was lovely. It was light rain, and not cold at around 14 deg C. I’m sure The Botanic Gardens are a very popular spot on a sunny day. The tour guide pointed out other public parks as we traversed the city, in part giving the city its name of being a ‘green’ city.

Another stop took us to the fantastic Fish Church - Feskekorka. What a plethora of fish there is for sale in this cute building that really does resemble a church. The tour guide joked that people go there not to worship God but to worship COD. And I did see cod being sold among the many other fishes that I couldn’t identify since the names meant nothing to me as I read them.

Poseidon Gothenburg
We stopped for a very quick photo stop at the top of the Avenue (Kungsportsavenyen) at Gotaplatsen to admire the cultural area. Buildings around this square include the Museum of Art, Concert Hall, the City Theatre - with the main Library close by. The highlight of this square is the Statue of Poseidon. It’s a fairly large sculpture by  Carl Miles, the naked Poseidon having quite an arresting face that has a ‘fish’ quality to  it that I find hard to explain.

After a few more photo stops and a very interesting commentary, I was almost back to the Balmoral. One last stop was made to an area that had an interesting past. David Carnegie (not Andrew) came to the area to set up a sugar industry on the quayside and in doing so he imported both personnel to run his operation and also reminders from Scotland. He built a tiny community around his industry with housing, school and other associated buildings. One of the fine remains of his community is the small church he built which is said to have been a replica of a church in Balquhidder, Scotland.

As I sail out of Gothenburg after yet another whistle stop tour I’ll be dining at ‘The Grill’ the more exclusive dining experience aboard the Balmoral. It isn’t the last formal night- that’s likely to be tomorrow or the last night on board but my husband and I will be sprucing up for our special dinner.

One more port to visit tomorrow and that will be Oslo, Norway! Another city I’ve never yet been to.


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