Monday, June 15
Breakfast at the hotel offered good variety—egg, meats, cheeses, breads, and Swedish pancakes! By the way, Göteborg is pronounced yur-te-borry!
The only real plan I had for today was Maritiman, a collection of ships you can explore, including a Swedish destroyer, a submarine, and a freighter. Well, that was enough! I think we spent about 4 hours there!
We were poking around the destroyer, reading signs, when a young woman guide offered to help. We spent a couple of hours (!) talking with her. She has one year to go to finish her bachelor’s degree. She is just learning about the ships, especially English nautical terms, but she knows some Swedish history, and we had a good discussion. (L note: Her take on Sweden is that Swedes have embraced “neutrality” as their defining characteristic. They work, play, and befriend one another for what they are — not what they demand, or require, or even want the other person to be. “Neutrality” is a good explanation for the Pride parade and the accompanying enthusiasm. Of course I asked about WW II and Sweden’s “neutral” role, which I had just learned about while in Norway. In WW II Sweden was as neutral as a nation could be located next door to Nazi Germany and beside Norway — which the Germans occupied in a surprise attack early in the war. My impression was that Swedes regard their WW II “neutrality” as an embarrassment, and in reaction are making “neutrality” a positive. More power to them. Of course, as I realized later, our discussions were taking place on the deck of a retired destroyer that had aggressively represented Sweden’s sovereignty during the Cold War.) By the way, the destroyer was pretty heavily armed--both 53 and 57mm guns, anti-aircraft guns, torpedoes, mines, and cruise missiles!
We also toured a light ship (Like a lighthouse). The sub was smaller than other subs I have toured, and it had a good, simple video about ballast and maintaining trim and neutral buoyancy. They also had a “monitor” (like the Monitor from our Civil war), although it was basically an empty hull. The compartments were labeled as cabins, storage, galley, etc., but there was nothing in them, not even an engine.
When we left Maritiman, we headed for a museum on the Swedish emigration to America. Unfortunately, they were just closing. We also went to the Feskekörka, a fish market built like a church. That was closed on Sunday and Monday, our two days here.
We were getting pretty tired—too much standing, as usual. Finally found a place to eat—Bee Kök och Bar, with sidewalk seating. We shared a pulled turkey sandwich, with a couple of beers, and chocolate truffles for dessert—yummy!
Then back to the room for another early night. Guess we just aren’t party animals. But we had a good day.