26.11.2014 - 30.11.2014 1 °C
Cafes and libraries are what make me tick on this journey: I need the latter as a space in which to work and the former to give me the sustenance to work. Although I never actually made it into the central shopping area of Gothenburg until my last night when I thought I should at least see it (and immediately wished I'd spent longer there because it did seem, unusually, quite delightful), I found plenty of the good stuff elsewhere.
My walk in from the hostel would take me along a street called Andra Langgatan, a semi-bohemian area with three record shops (one of which had a shabby-genteel coffee shop run by grand-parents), lots of cheapish places to eat, some funky clothing shops, a couple of live perferomance venues and half a dozen bars. I was amused to see the Kings Head and Queens Head side by side, one packed and the other deserted - pubs really are all about the vibe. As I said in my last post, I found a pub which spoke to me, the Rover, which was on this street.
After a kink, I'd then walk along Haga Nygata, one of Gothenburg's oldest streets, which had been workers' accommodation but has undergone quite a transformation: mainly nice wooden buildings, it is a mix of good cafes and boutique shopping. A couple of the side streets running off it were classical in their lines.
I became a bit confused by some of the cafes - they had piles of food, mainly sweets, laid out haphazardly, as if I was supposed to help myself: it looked a bit like the Italian aperitivo but with cakes, I didn't quite know how to navigate this experience so opted for cafes with more traditional cabinets - I could still try a different cafe on Haga Nygata each day.
My first couple of days, I then had a fairly long walk along Vasagatan - the main public library and university library were at its far end. Gothenburg University is pretty strange, in that it has a very small campus, but many buildings strung out along Vasagatan.
Up near the public library, I found a great cafe - the coffee itself was a bit average, but they had nice cakes and people, and had a big pile of fresh bread and butter you could help yourself to (at least, I HOPE so) but best of all, lots of brocaded sofas I could cosy myself into with my stolen bread and a book (still going with the second Game of Thrones, although the violence wearies me, and I wonder how someone can write so casually about rapes, murders, beatings and pillaging) - Eva's Paley. While it can trace its history back 70 years, the cafe had a complete refit just last year.
I'd walked past a building which intrigued me, way back at the other end of Vasagatan.
Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I had a good old nosey - I could see books inside.It turned out to be the Economics library of the university - I took up residence here for the rest of my stay.
Near the end of my stay, I went up to the Volvo museum - while I was trying to find the right bus stop (had to ask three people), I noticed a nice looking cafe, so nice that I made a bee-line for it when I returned from inspecting Volvos. Criminally, I failed to record its name, because I loved the vibe of this place, including the wall covered in records (behind glass, so I couldn't get a decent photo).
There are so many more places I didn't see here, so yes, Gothenburg is another of those places I'd love to come back to.