As promised, I’ll be covering several aspects of Sweden. Several blogs will come out of this trip since there is so much to see and do. I promise there will be something for everyone along the way.
My husband Brian and I began our Sweden trip by flying into Gothenburg, Sweden. Originally we were to fly through Brussels, but the terrorist attack on March 22, 2016 left us scrambling. I was thankful we had worked with a travel agent on this trip. She worked hard to get us re-booked on a connecting flight through Frankfort, Germany. It did create some stress, thinking about flying right after this tragedy but I do believe you live life brave or you’re just not doing it right. Besides, I’m not going to let them win through fear.
For Brian, this trip was about reconnecting with relatives on the Hegstrom side of his family. For me, this was my first trip abroad after 21 years of parenting. I was ready to explore.
Thomas and Marie of Borås, Sweden were our hosts and amazing travel guides. Thomas is a distant cousin of Brian’s and the family ancestry expert. I’m so thankful for the time they put into planning and showing us their country. Travel that provides a first-hand account of daily life is just priceless.
Brian and I do not speak Swedish but we hope to make some big strides in learning before our next trip in 2018. So many people speak English and feel like we could do a better job of attaining some other languages. I only have some minor knowledge of German and that too I will be spending more time on. I greatly admire those who are multilingual.
So enough with the background, let’s get into the trip.
Borås, pronounced bo͝o • rōs (make sure to roll that “r” as you say it) is home to over 60,000 residents with a history in the textile industry. It was founded in 1621 and is full of historical buildings. Even though the textile industry has disappeared with time, the community has revitalized the enormous factories that once housed this industry. The Textile Fashion Center, a former factory is now a design university and houses the Textile Fashion Museum.
I was thrilled to find that Borås is a community filled with art. In fact, the community hosts an annual event, No Limit where artists come from all over the world to add to the local art. The sides of buildings are covered in paintings; sculptures are added to the lively city streets. I’d love to return some year for the event to see the work in process.
I photographed several of the installations around town, but there are far more to see than what I was able to document. You could spend a whole day on foot just walking and enjoying the variety of art around town. Some of my favorites were “Bodhi” in the Viskan river which is a solitary figure, looking toward downtown from his place in the water. I also recommend seeing “Measure the Immeasurable” a painting of an eagle on the University of Borås campus and the Nobel Peace Prize commemorative painting by Eduard Kobra just outside of the downtown area on the river. The visitor center does have a guide brochure so make sure to pick one up. Keep your eyes open, not all art is the size of a building, you’ll find some small artwork around town that will make you smile.
I recommend a day in Borås if you are an art nut like I am.
One other historical point of interest, look for odd concrete bunkers and garage-like entries in the rocky hills around town. Those are actually old bunker left behind from the cold war.