Sunday, June 26, 2011

Playing tourist in Göteborg, Sweden on a rainy day in June, 2011...

After breakfast on our second day, we met up with Örjan and Lisa who showed us a bit of Göteborg. We started with a visit to Örjan's office building which is situated on a high hill that offers great views of Göteborg. The older part of the building was the home of the "Göteborg Navigations Skola" where sailing was taught in the "old days" (an expression we heard used a lot on this trip).

Since it was a cold, rainy day, we opted for spending time indoors since we couldn't possibly see all of Göteborg in one day! Örjan's office building partially surrounds a historical hill where there was a very old town cemetery and where they used to execute people in the 1600s.  We passed by the old city hall, a chocolate/candy store and proceeded on foot to a museum with lots of viking and emigration history as well as a design exhibition that included a jewelry display by their daughter Matilda.  The museum cost 40 SEK, but covered 5 museums in Göteborg for a full year.

rooftops of Göteborg
View from outside terrace at Örjan's office building showing the interesting architecture and a few church towers above the rooftops of the town.

exterior door to old sailing school
View of entry to the old part of Örjan's office building showing the name of the sailing school that was originally housed in the building.

architecture detail
Some more of the interesting features of the old part of Örjan's office building.

roof tiles and metal sheeting in the rain
Rainy weather does provide some lovely opportunities for colorful images of exterior features of lovely old buildings.

tourist train
Tourist train that would have saved us a bit of walking had we opted for using it... Lisa and Örjan provided us with great guidance on our tour of the city and allowed us to stop whenever, wherever we wanted to take photos which wouldn't have been possible riding this cute train.

If you've read this far, thanks so much. It has taken me 3 to 4 times as long as usual to put this post together. Perhaps if I get ore familiar with the iPad, I'll be able to put things together more quickly. One source of frustration is that I cannot use "Picnik" to put together collages which would allow me to pack more into less space. I'm only half finished with our tourist day in Göteborg so probably will leave the bulk of posting about our travels until my return home where I have access to more familiar methods of posting and editing images!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Family visit in Gothenburg - or Göteborg... Swedish style!

It has taken awhile to get to anywhere the Internet is reliable enough to post anything. Will see how it goes. We arrived in Göteborg on Saturday but my checked bag didn't make it until Sunday. Fortunately, I planned for that possibility and we just continued on with only minor worries about the luggage. Cousin Örjan met us at the airport and led us to our hotel, saving us the worry of finding our way while jet lagged!

For this post, I'll just include a few family photos and leave the tourist report until another day. Our cousin Örjan is doubly related to us through his great-grandfather and our grandfather who were brothers and his great-grandmother and our grandmother who were half-sisters, making him our second cousin, once removed. (his father Sture is our second cousin; we will be visiting him later on our journey)

Our first evening in Göteborg was spent dining with Örjan and his wife Lisa and planning our next day while keeping in mind that it might be a rainy day. No pictures from our first night in town...

A few family photos are included below from our second day and evening when we were squired around town by Örjan and Lisa and then treated to a marvelous meal at their home where we met the rest of their immediate family.

family photo
Left to right: sister Valerie, cousin Lisa, cousin Örjan, brother-in-law Tom, brother Lukas and yours truly...

Cousin Örjan.

Örjan and Lisa's son Ludwig.

Örjan and Lisa's daughter Matilda putting the finishing touches on dessert.

Johansson family
Left to right: Ludwig, Örjan, Lisa, Svante, Matilda and Sixten at their home on the evening of June 19, 2011. We were wined and dined and treated to a marvelous meal of traditional Swedish dishes including moose that was absolutely delicious! I wish that I hadn't been so jet-lagged or I'd give you more details about the meal. In addition to delicious food and lovely wines, we had wonderful conversations and learned more about our Swedish family.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nothing to do with our travels... Just a test...

Sitting in Rock Bottom in Bethesda the night before leaving on our trip... Thought I'd give posting a try just to make sure I have everything I need on my iPad. (for our itinerary and notes on the trip, please see the previous post)

The image below is another experiment in HDR processing and is from a bracket set of images taken at Wollam Gardens in Jeffersonton, Virginia. After merging the images with Nik software, the vintage effect was applied. I rather like how the foliage frames the 1935 vintage tractor which is still in use on the 11 acre property.
My next post here will either be en route to Sweden or after our arrival on Saturday, June 18th. (the house is not empty while I'm away in case anyone is concerned about that)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Upcoming trip to Sweden... with side trip and a stop in Iceland!

Just a quick post (HA!... my posts always take longer than I intend) to share an upcoming journey itinerary. I'll not worry about my house/home while I'm away because someone will be in residence there to keep an eye on things. :-)

At a family reunion in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada 25 years ago, I met Swedish second cousins Sture and Inger Johansson and their son Örjan. Sture and I are doubly related through our Swedish grandparents because our grandfathers were brothers and our grandmothers were half-sisters. When we met in 1986, I promised to come visit them in Sweden and now I am finally going to do just that.

This trip will be a family trip with my brother, his partner and my sister who is the serious genealogist in the family. We will be staying first in Göteborg to visit with Örjan, his wife and their four children who live in a nearby suburb.

We will also visit with Sture and his wife Inger while staying up north in Lycksele. Sture and Inger live on the property that has been in my Swedish family since 1640. Family records for that area of Sweden were lost in a fire in 1640 when the church in Umeå where they were stored burned. So we don't know anything about our family prior to that year.

Part of our visit with Sture and Inger will be in the mountains close to the Norwegian border where they have a cabin near Tärnaby. After our stay there, we will cross the border into Norway and drive south through the mountains before crossing back into Sweden.

In between visiting with family, we will spend time in Stockholm, the High Coast, Umeå and Österund. On our return trip, my brother, his partner and myself will be stopping in Iceland for a few days. My sister will be returning to the US from Österund through Stockholm after our overnight in Österund.

Our itinerary and a map of our route follow... if things go according to plan, I will be posting a few photos and stories along the way. However, I do not know how well the plan will work since I will be attempting to blog via iPad on a wireless connection whenever possible and will not have my computer with me! (trying to travel light)

trip itinerary map
Letters represented on the map above correspond to locations indicated on the itinerary below in parens (A, B, C, etc); we are not staying in Norway at the junctions indicated by letters G and H on the map. (large view of map)
  1. June 17th for Göteborg, Sweden via Icelandair; arrive in Göteborg at 3:00 PM June 18 local time
  2. June 18-19 in Göteborg (A); drive to Stockholm on the 20th
  3. June 20-22 in Stockholm (B); drive to Härnösand on the 23rd
  4. June 23 in Härnösand (C; High Coast region); drive to Umeå on the 24th
  5. June 24- in Umeå (D); drive to Lycksele on the 25th
  6. June 25 -26 in Lycksele (E); drive to Tärnaby on the 27th
  7. June 27-28 near Tärnaby (F) at Sture and Inger’s cabin; drive to Östersund on the 29th
  8. June 29 in Östersund (I) overnight; drive to Stockholm on the 30th (Val flies home from Östersund on June 30)
  9. June 30-July 1- Brother Lukas, partner Tom and myself in Stockholm (B) two more nights
  10. July 2- flight to Reykjavik where we stay July 2-4.
  11. July 5- depart Reykjavik for home