Our Last Day Sailing in Sweden, Or What to Do in Gothenburg (Hint: rent a sailboat)
I’m going to be honest—when I first started searching “what to do in Gothenburg”, I thought, maybe some architecture, some delicious food, some ice wine, a Viking museum.
I did not anticipate ending up on a sailboat for three days. But boy, am I glad that’s the turn it took.
Wondering how we ended up on a sailboat in Sweden?
To wrap up our perfect weekend narrative, we’d docked in Grötö the evening before and saw a beautiful sunset, the perfect end to a perfect day of sailing. When I woke up the following morning, though, the sky was overcast so rather than walk around and watch the sunrise I sat on the deck and read.
Once everyone else got up, pastries and coffee were in order. The Swedish seem very committed to a vanilla-flecked dough with custard inside, and who am I to dissuade them?
Despite the cloudy start, it cleared up into a gorgeous blue-skied morning, and we were on our way once again!
All morning we spent out on the open water, without much land in sight. It was so incredibly clear and smooth! We took turns at the wheel, snacked, and listened to music.
Finally, Vinga was on the horizon. We had to pass through a narrow channel, guarded by a grumpy harbormaster.
We stopped in Styrsö for a delightful lunch, though it started to cloud over. Considering it was mid-September, though, the weather was still beautiful and we sat out on the patio and enjoyed a local brew.
On our way back to the boat, my companions got it in their head that they could catch some of the tiny little fish swimming around. They got lucky on the first try and got some but could never replicate it—we cooked and ate them on the boat a little later, though it was only a few bites apiece. It felt like we’d earned them!
The clouds came and went as the afternoon wore on. In case you can’t tell, I couldn’t get enough of the reflections in the water and the little red buildings.
Eventually we were just kind of floating and decided it was time to bust out the caviar and vodka. I’d never had caviar, but the Swedish seem to be all about it.
There were literally shelves of different types at the grocery store! We poured our vodka and topped crackers with the caviar and just chilled and enjoyed our perfect day.
Reality started creeping in, though. Patrik took us closer to Gothenburg harbor as sunset approached, but we did get to enjoy one last mellow Swedish sunset on our little boat.
We had to leave for the airport at like 4am the next morning, but did go into Gothenburg to grab a bite to eat. A lot of restaurants are closed on Sunday nights, but we lucked out (with some Yelping) and found an amazing burger place called Restaurant 2112. Delicious burgers and fries, exactly what we needed.
We crept off the boat in the dark in the wee hours of the morning, tossing our luggage over the side to each other (RIP, left black Tiek flat!). Unfortunately trying to get home ended up being a complete debacle, with mechanical delays, a canceled flight that made us miss all our other flights, another flight we weren’t allowed to board, and then finally getting re-routed through JFK for the night, which is where I got to see this stunner of a sunset as we landed in NYC.
Do you want to go sailing in Sweden? We booked Patrik’s sailboat on Airbnb.
Other far-north adventures:
- Sleeping in a Norwegian Sami Tent & Other Arctic Adventures at Camp Tamok
- A Night Chasing the Northern Lights
- Quiet, Cold, Love: Dog Sledding in the Arctic Circle
- 3 Days in Trømso, Norway
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