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Gothenburg, Sweden (Göteborg)

Gothenburg was a really nice place on many levels. As noted in a prior entry, we stayed at the Hotel Barken Viking, an actual boat in the harbor. We later learned on a canal tour of the city that the Viking can no longer physically leave the harbor because bridges have subsequently been built which are lower than its height.

inside the barken viking gothenburg sweden

The above photo is of my kids in the lobby of the hotel. You can find more pictures of the ship on their blog.

Hotel Barken Viking

If I look really thin and sickly in the above picture it is because I was. Although I had a great time anyway, I’d love to do this trip again now that I’m no longer sick, jetlagged, and tired but unable to sleep. I had not slept for over 30 hours when this shot was taken. And the last time I had slept was for only a few hours.

exterior of the barken viking gothenburg sweden

You can’t really trust the reviews in guidebooks or on sites like tripadvisor as the Viking was totally restored and remodeled in May of 2008. We were told that it used to be somewhat hostel like, with small rooms, shared bathrooms, etc. The rooms are now larger than they used to be. They are also nicer and each has a really nice bathroom (made completely out of wood). The prices are also higher now and a free pass to the amusement park is not included in most rooms.

Breakfast is included though (and is very good!). The scrambled eggs at breakfast were, by far, the best I’ve ever had. I didn’t realize scrambled eggs could have flavor like that. I wish I knew the secret ingredients.

hotel barken viking gothenburg sweden from bridge

The staff at the Hotel Barken Viking were all very nice and helpful. They all speak perfect English (as does everyone in Sweden it seems). The Danes speak good English as well, but the Swedes are even better.

In other non-English speaking foreign countries when you ask someone if they can speak English you either get a blank stare, a “no,” or an answer of “a little.” In Denmark the answer is usually “yes.” In Sweden it is usually “of course.” And they aren’t kidding.

To say hello in Sweden you say, “Hey.” You shouldn’t stop there though (unless you speak Swedish), or the reply will be a load of Swedish. I found that saying, “Hey, do you speak English?” was the best greeting as it started in Swedish, but didn’t result in a response in Swedish.

hotel barken viking room porthole

Morning came after a nice 10-hour sleep on the Viking. The above is a view from the porthole in our room. The room smelled so good. I don’t know if the nice smell was due to the new remodel or if it will always smell like that, but all hotels should be so pleasant to the nose.

I actually have quite a few more pictures from Gothenburg so our less-than-two-day trip to Sweden is going to turn into a five-day blog with tomorrow’s final installment.

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