My train arrived late in the afternoon, and so I had missed much of the day’s earlier festivities such as the dance around the midsommarstång (a maypole in Engish). By the time I got out to Slottsskogen to see what a Swedish midsommar was all about, it had started to rain and many of the picnickers were packing up to leave. Some of the more resilient among them remained with their miniature barbecues, and others to dance by the music tent. Many still wore the crowns of flowers, while others had cast them aside. I had expected some sort of public celebrations as the evening progressed, but it seemed that most locals had retreated to the balconies of their apartments to spend time with their friends and family. Perhaps it was just the rain that put the damper on things.
The next day was much like the previous evening, with most of the local shops still closed. This combined with yet more rain led to the streets feeling empty and quiet as I wandered around the city centre. It was perfect for a day of unhindered exploration. The first thing I’ve noticed about Gothenburg was not surprisingly the architecture. A lot of it looks very new, but most of it is done in a style that is coherent with all of the older buildings. I couldn’t help but think that it looks very Scandinavian, even though I haven’t the slightest clue what constitutes Scandinavian architecture. The city also has lots of hills. More hills than I have seen since leaving the United Kingdom. The result of all of these hills are an abundance of staircases all over the city. There are so many staircases in fact, that I would call them a defining feature of the city.