Thursday, September 14, 2017

Four Countries Tour - part 3

Scandinavia - Sweden and Denmark

Depart Prague on Czech Airlines propeller plane ATR 72-OK MFT. We fly north over a large off-shore wind farm, nothing is turning. We arrive Landvetter Airport, Göteborg. Get rapid cash and bus ticket, then Volvo bus to downtown train station, travel time 30 mins approx. Short walk to hotel. Back in streetcar world.
Hotel Eggers, Drottningtorget 2-4, 411 03 Göteborg, Sweden (a traditional old-style hotel).
Lunch at Wayne's Coffee - Ostra Hamngatten 30-34/149.
Evening at hotel - 3 x Vega Azalea Lager 5.2%, 2 x veggie burgers, 1 x lemonade, 600 SEK including tip.
Thursday 20 July
Station Announcement: "Beware of pickpockets. Never leave your luggage unattended." Not the Sweden I remember.
To Trollhättan - direction Karlstad. 09:15 train 356 Vasttrafik SJ regional, track 8. 248 SEK for 2 return tickets - ticket with QR code - travel restricted to chosen train out and back. Castle on left at 09:26. Walk to Saab Museum past Erik Carlsson Roundabout.
8th June 1980 - last 96 off the line at Saab-Valmet, Nystad, Finland. Total of 730,607 made 92 + 93 + 96. V4 engine introduced August 1966. Raymond Baxter film at Mantorp Park, described as the drag race HQ of Sweden.
Walk via canal to Trollhättans Arbetareforening, Stifford 1867, Strandgatan bistro and bar for lunch outdoors: fish and chips, juice, 300 SEK. Watching boats on the canal, then walk via lift bridge to:
Jarnvagsstation 14:07 platform (spår) 2, delayed to 14:15.
Supper from Netto near hotel, a bit grotty - picnic on bench by the canal, then hotel bar.
Friday 21 July
To station to buy day ticket x 2 for bus-train-boat, SEK 90 each.
#16 bus to Eketragatan (baffled while we discover no trams are currently running on this route), then #32 bus to Arendals Skans (Volvo hybrid bus). Motor cuts out at stops, sounds like electric launch (initially intriguing but streetcars have been doing this for over a century).
Volvo Museum: entry 100 + 80, total 180 SEK. Volvo 1927-2017 - 90 years of innovation. Horrible litter outside the museum.
Founders Gustaf Larson, Assare Gabrielsson. Open-door management policy.
1st car - OV4 of 1927 (sidevalve, 3-bearing crank, 1940 c.c.)
Volvo PU444 - 1947.
PV544 Fixlight 1180 accessory.
Volvo P1900 - 1954, fibreglass, 67 off.
Volvo 66 - 1976, ex-DAF, CVT transmission.
Volvo 480 - 1st front-wheel-drive.
Volvo "Lego" car.
Nedcar in the Netherlands.
Boat engines:
Some great models in cases.
Wittenborg coffee machine, multi-language, touch-screen - with Volvo images. Coffee/tea SEK 25 each.
Huge Volvo campus. Altogether a more corporate feel compared to the Saab Museum. Grupo bus tours arriving - mass tourism. Litter had gone when we left.
#6E M.A.N. bus back to town.
We take the antique tram to Liseberg and back.
Saturday 22 July
We are disappointed to learn that the streetcar museum is closed on Saturdays. But the "just show up" mentality kicks in and we head out to see what we can see. After getting on the wrong tram to Gamlestaden, we backtrack to Göteborgs Spårvägmuseum, J Sigfrid Edströms Gata 2, Gårda, Gothenburg.
By chance we arrive at the rear of the streetcar barns and bump into Gustav Gotthardsson, who greets us cheerily and takes us on a tour of the museum. (A different approach to that shown by the execrable Škoda Museum - see PunchBuggy Passim.)
Up until 1967 trams boarded on the left, but then Sweden switched to driving on the right. The collection includes #15 from 1902, the oldest electric tram. We also saw the Czech Tatra T7 B5 party or conference wagon, decked out for special events.
Afterwards we walk past the new streetcar barns at Göteborgs Spårvägar, then birdwatching in the cemetery at Stampens Kyrkogård.
We cannot resist taking the antique tram to Liseberg once more as Gustav shows up in uniform. SEK 25 each rtn.
Lunch at Rosenkaféet - prawn open-face sandwich, prawn salad, lemonade - outdoors in the flower garden, SEK 301. Recommended.
What looks like a JAS-39 Gripen jet fighter flies overhead, waggling its wings.
We tour Trädgårds Föreningen, a botanical garden with greenhouses. Appearing in the park that evening Per Gessle solo tour (ex-Roxette: "It must have been love" etc).
Supper at "Pane Fresco" in the Nord Mall: Pizza, Carlsberg x 1, SEK 179, SEK 200 incl tip. Evening at bar in Eggers Hotel. Beer: Melleruds Utmarkla Pilsner Ekologisk from Mellerud.
We talk to bar manager and actor, David Lindström, seen on History Channel "Vikings." Turns out there is a local film industry in Göteborg and Trollhättan (aka Trollywood).
Sunday 23 July
Dep O8:40 Göteborg Nils Ericson Terminalen, #1051 Mercedes-Benz bus to Göteborg-Mölndal. Then train #1051, wagon 11, seats 14-17, Öresundståg 1 Klass, destination Copenhagen.
Annette enjoys crossing the Øresund Bridge.
Check in to Absalon Hotel, Helgolandsgade 15, 1653 København (3 nights). In room at 12:51. Hotel has good buffet breakfast, bike rental, Duralex glasses.
Walk to Dansk Bank. We witness a bicycle accident - lady hit by car and decked - fortunately not serious. Rainstorm.
Thai supper at Poonchai Thai Restaurant, Istedgade 1, 1650 København V. Singha beer DKK 39.00, total DKK 406.00 plus tip.
Monday 24 July
07:21 First Class train København to Rungsted Kyst. Stops Nørreport, Østerport, Hellerup, Klamenborg, Skodsborg, Vedbaek, Rungsted Kyst. Then "Togbus" (rail replacement) to Helsingør.
Statues: Hamlet and Ophelia by Rudolph Tegener; end of pier HAN by Elmgreen and Dragset.
Elsinore town walk with 20 signposted stops incl Kronburg Castle. Build-your-own Lego ship at the Maritime Museum.
Kitchen shop Snork Maiden spoon SEK 79.95.
Kaffe Juice Fabrikken (JFK), Stengade 52, 3000 Helsingør - curious American-themed coffee house, 25 x 2 filter coffee, Bodum cup. Shakes and drinks named for U.S. Presidents, including Trump. "Better Latte than never!"
Ferry Helsingør to Helsingborg 11:28 Mercandia IV. Very rapid turnaround of car ferry for 20-minute crossing back to Sweden. The boat is a floating duty-free grogshop. Hop the 12:11 train to Malmö, riding in quiet car.
Stops: Landskrona, Lund C, Malmö C. Grafitti: "Bust the Boom and sleep til Noon!"
Quick lunch at La Pasta Veloce, Neptunigatan 28, near station, 2 x Pomodoro SEK 128.
Walk to old police house used in filming "The Bridge."
14:33 (dep 14:37) Malmö to København. Second crossing of Øresund Bridge. Back at hotel 15:29. Beer at hotel bar. There are hookers lurking about outside. Lidl supermarket total DKK 44.75.
Tuesday 25 July
Walk to Polititorvet (another location from "The Bridge"), then Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall. We have come to see the Bryggebroen (The Quay Bridge), a bicycle and pedestrian bridge. Parts of it are bicycle only but we also observe runners and a drunk with a skateboard. This is a top place for bike watching - Riese and Muller, Bullitt, Nihola cargo bikes etc.
09:28 boat Bryggebroen to Nordre Toldbod. On arrival we can see the Little Mermaid in the distance, but mass tourism drives us away. The cruise ships dock beyond.
We head for the Design Museum Denmark - Dursley-Pedersen Cykel (also produced the world's first internal-gear-hub for bicycles).
Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) architect SAS Hotel - first skyscraper in Copenhagen. "Gesamtkunstwerk" - designing the building and all the contents.
Via Staerekassen, August Bournonvilles Passage, to lunch at Café Diamanten, Gammel Strand 50, 1202 København K: crabcakes, smorgasbord (also Duralex glasses).
Then to Kunstforeningen, Gammel Strand 48, 1202 København K, for the Tove Jansson Exhibition. Moomin cartoons first appeared in 1947 in the newspaper "Ny Tid" then the Evening News in England, 1954-1960. Jansson hated school, dropped out. Produced political cartoons during WW2. Her brother drew some of the Moomin cartoons in the same style.
Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix, 5-6 August.
Wednesday 26 July
We are determined to make the most of our last day. We walk to Aldi, Ingerslevgade 60, following the railway line past the international bus stops. Next door we spot bicycle store, rentals etc. We chat to Neils Bonefeld who tells us about the African connection. They ship old bikes to Mozambique for re-use (apparently there are 500,000 bikes abandoned in Denmark each year). Unfortunately this relationship has lately gone to the bad, and they are considering hooking up with Bogota, Colombia, where the Mayor is apparently doing good things. Across the street is home to Generally in Copenhagen you see few bike helmets, perhaps 50/50 male/female riders.
Drinks at Espresso House, Fisketorvet: "Dear Tea Society - Very Merry Rooibos", Coffee El Salvador special. At Elgiganten electrical store we admire a Moccamaster coffee machine "Handmade in the Netherlands."
At Dybbølsbro we spot a Puch motorbike. We note a district heating scheme is being installed nearby:
Walk back to hotel, then 2 x 36 Zonebillet tickets for train to airport. 14:35 take off, last view of the Øresund Bridge.

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