Capturing Castle life in West Sweden

The Fairytale-esque Lacklo Castle

The Fairytale-esque Lacko Castle

Castles abound in Gothenburg and its surroundings. It’s a throwback to days gone by and an homage to a simpler way of life that is utterly foreign to modern existence. In West Sweden there are a myriad of castles and manor houses that are open for tours, dining and even some overnight stays.

You can explore the Bohus Fortress guided through its historic halls by guides garbed in medieval costume. Take a guided tour of Carlsten Fort and climb up to the roof of the tower and be rewarded by a magnificent view of the whole Marstrand archipelago! Dinners, historical meals, conferences, and historical reenactments are also arranged at the fort. Explore the variety of accommodation options Here.

Check out this short video on the Castles and Manors of West Sweden.

The Hunt for Black Gold

The lobster fishing along the west coast of Sweden begins on the third monday in September every year. 7 AM the fishing starts and thousands of boats start searching for the black gold.

Chanterelle Season!


Fall is upon us and that means swedes head out in droves to the forests with baskets to hunt for wild mushrooms. And perhaps the most exquisite of all is the chanterelle, the elusive golden mushroom. Head over to our friend Alison’s blog to read about her chanterelle hunt in West Sweden.

And for some extra culinary inspiration, you might be interested in a delicious recipe for Black Cod with Chanterelle Ragout.

Culinary Adventuring in West Sweden with Alison Stein Wellner

PIckling Herring at the Salt & Sill hotel

Pickling Herring at the Salt & Sill hotel

If I could do only two things for the rest of my life, it would probably be traveling and eating, so it’s good to know that apparently you can make a living doing just that! Alison Stein is a culinary travel writer (among other sundry genres of journalism) who spoke with Explore West Sweden about her trip sampling the gustatory delights of the region! She’s’s culinary travel guide, and blogs for and the Huffington Post as well!

Last week Alison was in West Sweden partaking in the Culinary Academy of Sweden – a 4 day long excursion exploring the culinary arts of West Sweden. She sat down and talked to Explore West Sweden about her experiences… Continue reading…

Boating and Fishing and Locks Oh My!

Göta Canal

Göta Canal

What do you get when you cross the civil engineering project of the century, an ambitious government minister and a desire to evade Danish tariffs? Why the Göta Canal of course! It’s a one stop shop for tourists today, but when it was first built it was also a major trade route and the largest civil engineering project ever embarked upon in Swedish history.

Conceived of many centuries before it’s realization, the Göta Canal was begun in May of 1810 and was expected by Baltzar von Platen, the man in charge of the project, to become the major thoroughfare for goods and passangers throughout the region. After it’s 22 years of construction von Platen’s dream was acheived and throughout the 19th century served not just Sweden but all of Europe. Today however with planes, trains and automobiles, it has transformed into the biggest tourist attraction in West Sweden.

Stretching 190 kilometers and comprised of 58 locks, the Göta Canal passes through beautiful countryside, fantastic restaurants, and fascinating museums among other tourist beloved staples. You can cruise its waters, bike its shores, and even fish its inhabitants! More of the myriad activities along the canal can be found online here, along with accommodation and dining options, and historical info or you can peruse the online version of the Gota Canal Magazine filled with all the tourist info you could possibly require.

And just something to think about while you’re lounging lazily on the boat passing through the locks, that the structure you’re sailing took about 85 million (85,000,000) man-hours to make!

The opening of the Göte Canal in Mem 1832. Painting by K. Chr. Berger

The opening of the Göte Canal in Mem 1832. Painting by K. Chr. Berger

From Pot to Pot – a lobster’s tail

Lobster Safariing in Weest Sweden

Lobster Safariing in West Sweden

Have you ever wondered how a lobster went from being a happy lobster swimming along the bottom of the sea to a delicious lobster swimming along at the bottom of your pool of melted butter? The process is a fun one of baiting and setting lobster traps (or pots) to be hauled aboard later filled with lobsters whose next stop is another pot, this one however filled with boiling water rather than tempting bait.

They say meals are much more satisfying when you have to work for them, and in West Sweden you can do just that – go on a lobster safari to catch your own delectable delicacies. No need to wonder about where your dinner came from, since you picked it out fresh from the sea yourself and helped prepare your meal.

The first Monday after September 20th every year, (the 21st this year) marks the beginning of lobster season when every diner young and old in West Sweden celebrates with a seafood feast honoring of course the star of the season Nephropidae. The lobster safaris help everyone enjoy the festivities and partake in the excitement – allowing locals, tourists, grandkids and grandparents to master a unique skill through an unquotidien experience.

Here is a list of many of the companies that offer a variety of packages from relaxing spas with a lobster feast to full on day of lobster fishing.

Lobster fresh from the sea!

Lobster fresh on your plate

A Permanent Vacation in Gothenburg

Permanent Vacation Fashion
Permanent Vacation Fashion

Fashion forward and fashion retro, Permanent Vacation is a creative group of West Swedenites whose designs draw the young and hip and embody the spirit of Gothenburg. In addition to phenomenal fashion items, PV dabbles in photography, design, styling and writing when the creative inspiration hits, another trait they share with Gothenburg-eans: the drive to express themselves in a myriad of creative outlets.

Sharing her views of Gothenburg and how connected it is to her fashion designs, Amanda Lindell, founder and designer for PV talks about the company, her inspiration and the best places to go in Gothenburg.

Explore West Sweden: How has being a fashion designer changed your life?
Amanda Lindell: It made it better and worse in equal parts.
EWS: What aspect of design fascinates you most?
AL: Making new stuff. Inventions.
EWS: Who has inspired you most in your fashion design?
AL: Michael Jackson & R. Kelly
EWS: What does Permanent Vacation mean to you?
AL: ell oh vee ee (L-O-V-E)
EWS: How has West Swedish culture and living in Gothenburg influenced your design?
AL: We couldn’t have done what we do anywhere else. We have the time and possibility to start up the business here. And more concrete, the clothes we make are definitly made for a west coast climate and life; waxed cotton jackets & flanell dresses for fall and durable dresses for summer. The atmosphere here is the atmosphere of PV.
EWS: What or who do you think are the most important cultural and fashion icons of West Sweden?
AL: Besides P.V. it must be sea, wind and shrimps.
EWS: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not busy designing hip and fashion forward clothing?
AL: Get drunk at the desk
EWS: If you could chose one quality that typifies Gothenburg-eans, what would it be?
AL: Calm
EWS: What is your favorite Swedish food?
AL: Summer potatoes
EWS: What is your favorite Gothenburg hot-spot?
AL: Alvar&Ivars bakery and Haga Bion cinema

Permanent Vacation‘s office is on Tredje Långgatan in Gothenburg, but even better, for your own slice of Gothenubrg you can shop online here – they ship worldwide for only 5 euros.

Fashion and Fast Cars - always a recipe for fun
Fashion and Fast Cars – always a recipe for fun
Wrestling in the grass - a great way to spend my Permanent Vacation
Wrestling in the grass – a great way to spend my Permanent Vacation

For more photos visit this season’s fashion line, as well as past seasons’ lines check out their collections online.

Oysters and Lobsters and Crabs, Oh My!

Oyster slurping at its finest

Oyster slurping at its finest

Imagine if you will, slurping an oyster from its shell a mere 30 seconds after being plucked from the rocky sea floor! Well if you can’t just look at the photo above. Roughly an hour north of Gothenburg, Grebbestad is home to some of the most delectible delights from the sea, producing 90% of Sweden’s oysters and 50% of their lobsters. And if you’re looking for something to do after partying the weekend away at the Way Out West Festival head up to Grebbestad to do some fishing of your own!

Everts Sjöbod offers a variety of fishing trips through the archipelago including an oyster safari, crab fishing, lobster catching and mackerel snaring. Unfortunately for the Way Out West attendees, it’s not quite lobster season, but it is the best time of the year for oysters, crabs and mackerel. Touted as some of the tastiest oysters in the world, it’s hardly surprising that their oyster safari is a popular trip on it’s own as well as an add on package for their other fishing trips.

Continue reading…

Way Out West

Way Out West crowd in Slottskogen

Way Out West crowd in Slottskogen

This weekend, Gothenburg will turn into Sweden’s Woodstock, playing host to the Way Out West – a music festival filled with rock, indie and alternative music from around the world. The celebrations start on the night of Thursday the 13th in clubs and music venues throughout the entire city with DJ’s and live music performances. On the 14th and 15th, two outdoor stages and one indoor stage will be set up in Slottskogen, a park in the center of Gothenburg, for performances all day long.

Although only in its third year, Way Out West attracts some big names from around the world including; the national beloved Swede Timo Räisänen and the internationally renowned Swede Robyn, UK’s Arctic Monkeys as well as Lily Allen, and Vampire Weekend and Nas from the US. Of course these are just a few of the many dozens of performers over the course of the festival. The full schedule and list of artists is here

This being a Swedish run festival, of course they’ve also taken into account the ecological ramifications of the celebrations, and have received an environmental certification and will be serving organic and delectable food for noshing between the moshing.

Way Out West takes place during the middle of the Culture Festival in Gothenburg, celebrating city’s best of culture, cuisine, and life along with the music that will be pouring out of Slottskogen Park. Starting August 11th, take the opportunity to explore all of what West Sweden has to offer – and if you’re quick about it you might even be able to get Volvo to send you there for free, to enjoy the festivities!

F-I-K-A spells…Coffee?

Coffee me...STAT!

Coffee me...STAT!

Fi⋅ka [fiː – kə]
1.) Coffee me – STAT!

OK, so that may not be quite a literal translation of the word, however since there is not direct translation I deigned to take a liberty or two with the presentation of the meaning of the word. Two widely accepted laws of the universe are as follows:
1.) People need breaks. (From what? you might ask. Well, from everything I might reply! Work, school, pool-side lounging, other breaks)
2.) People on breaks like to drink. (What do they drink? you might ask. Well, aquavit I might say. And if you replied, But it’s only 11am, and it’s not really socially acceptable to be drinking alcohol at this time of the day. I would probably then say, well then pour it into my socially-acceptable-11am-beverage here and no one will ever know.)*

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