I’ve made no secret of my longing to live in London, but if you asked me if I’m happy here in Gothenburg, I’d say yes.
While Gothenburg might not be as famous as Stockholm, it has its own charm and advantages over the capital. It’s not as big as Stockholm, and it certainly doesn’t feel as crowded. I always describe Gothenburg as ‘lagom‘, a Swedish word that means ‘not too much and not too little, just right.’ Perfectly right. And that’s Gothenburg. The city, the size and the population are lagom.
From where I live, it takes 20 minutes to get into town with public transport. It takes the same amount of time to reach Botaniska Trädgården, or the botanical garden, one of my favorite places here (among the archipelago and Delsjön, one of the lakes). The botanical garden sits on a 175-hectar area, and it houses 16,000 different varieties of plants. It’s a great place to visit in the spring, and the view during fall is no less stunning. But my favorite place is not the botanical garden itself, but the nature reserve just behind the botanical garden.
Let me take you to Änggårdsbergen.
As you walk past the gate that separates the botanical garden and Änggårdsbergen nature reserve, follow the sign for Finnsmossen, and soon you’ll arrive at this lake. There are spots to light a fire for barbecue, and the lake bank provides much space for picnics or even studying (I’ve seen a few students do that).
Alternatively, you can walk uphill from the gate, following a path that splits the heath until you find a clearing with a fenced area, occupied by these cute residents who love to graze and roam around.
You have to walk through this area to reach the forest behind. Here, you’ll find the stillness that puts your mind at ease, occasional runners and mountain bikers passing by, and plenty of mushrooms.
Walking here for a couple of hours, I can feel my worries dissipate slowly and my mind a lot clearer.
It never ceases to amaze me that in this (rather) short walk, I get to see different landscapes — lake, forest, and moor. It’s a lot quieter and more beautiful than the botanical garden, and Änggårdsbergen will always be my first choice compared to its neighbor.
The fact that I can ride the tram and be in this fantasy land in just 20 minutes is definitely one of the best things about living in Gothenburg.