I spent the weekend exploring the west side of Sweden, including Göteborg/Gothenburg and a grouping of islands made up of Öckerö, Hönö, and Fotö (which translates to the word ‘foot’, since that’s the shape of this little island).
To see the islands, you drive to Hisingen in Göteborg, take the 11 minute car ferry, and arrive on Hönö, one of the islands that makes up the Göteborg archipelago. The islands are connected by bridges, and all of the islands are absolutely charming, with tiny little narrow roads and cottages overgrown with lilacs and colorful gardens.
Back in the city of Göteborg, you can wander through the ‘gamla stan,’ or old town area, known as Haga, which essentially means ‘enclosure’ or protectorate. In days of yore, Haga was an area populated mostly by fishermen and other blue collar workers; nowadays, it has become upscale and expensive, refurbished and a highly desirable area to live in.
Göteborg has a wonderful series of channels or canals one can tour or walk along, and indeed, I rode the tourist ‘paddan’ boat, which takes you under many bridges, and then out to the harbour. One bridge lies so low above the water, you literally have to retreat to the floor of the boat to avoid having your head removed by its metal underside.
I thought the tour guide was kidding until it became clear that you would be in serious trouble if you didn’t do as she said. That bridge is known as the ‘cheese slicer,’ with good reason, it turns out.