Monday, June 20, 2011

Goteborg - Gothenburg, Emigration, Ernst Taube, Lilla Bommen

Goteborg.  Pronounce it "Yutebori" and you might be close.  Maybe. Goteborg, Gothenburg, the city for many meant the leaving place. Many spellings. Aim for the water. There is a market area nearby, with the umbrellas, flowers, produce. Quick park, intending to be right back after seeing the market. Quiet day, no crowds. Then see a ferris wheel - what is there?

I.  Goteborg then.  Goteborg and Immigration - Emigration 

Think Wheels of fortune.

Here, the ferris wheel at the Gothenburg docks, at the mouth of the Gota River, where the ships to America and other places filled with seekers and sailed off.

II.  Gothenburg then. Emigration

To America

There are more Swedes and Swedish descendants in America than there are Swedes in Sweden.

The Swedish government fostered a settlement in America in 1638, with the expertise of explorer Peter Minuit, from the Netherlands.  The colony was located at the Delaware Bay, and named Christina, ir Fort Christina (now Wilmington DE) with 50 passengers on two ships from the Swedish West India Company:  the Fogel Grip and the Kalmar Nyckel, see,_Delaware,_United_States.  In 1640, another town, New Sweden, was settled. But in 1638, the Dutch had already settled what is now New Castle. The Werelate site details the land grabs, purchases, shenanigans, jockeying and fights, of interest maybe only to those of us who used to live there and know the names.

Enterprising people, the Swedes.  They soon joined the fur and tobacco trade and did well.  That angered the Dutch and the English, however, who were more firmly ensconced in their colonies. The nearby Dutch settlement, for example, was huge: from Staten Island (New Amsterdam) all the way up the Hudson River to Albany. The Swedes ended up outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outsettled.

The Dutch Peter Stuyvesant, then governor of the now New York (then New Amsterdam) brought his Armada up the Delaware and took Christina by force.  The year was 1655.  See 

Visit Delaware today and find Christiana Hundred, a "Hundred" being a form of land division, like a county, perhaps. Go to Philadelphia and find Old Swedes' Church, Gloria Dei. They lost the colony but not the heritage. The next wave of immigrants arrived in the 19th Century, with population pressures, economic problems and agricultural disasters in Sweden at the time. During the period 1820-1920, a million Swedes emigrated to the United States. See

III.  Gothenburg now. Lilla Bommen Marina

Lilla Bommen Marina - and the Lipstick Building. Just over there, past the ferris wheel. The Skanska Scraper, or Skyscraper built in 1989.  The address:  Lilla Bommen 1.

A glimpse of that requires a closer look. Leave the amusement area and the docks, and walk that way. Enjoy the ships. This is also known as the Guest Harbor. The building is the Lappstiftet.

Evert Taube.

Culture and beloved figures

Find Evert Taube 1890-1976 there at the waterfront, the troubadour of the docks. Hear the jaunty songs at
He was raised on an island. His father ran the lighthouse. Tired of school, he ran off to Stockholm and when his father found out, went to sea rather than return to school. He settled in Argentina in 1910, did a variety of jobs, then returned to Sweden in the WWI years, becoming a marine (Sweden had armed forces although was neutral).  He started writing songs, and recording when acoustical systems emerged. He remained in Sweden for WWII years, and is known for the sensitivity of his lyrics, see bio.

Evert Taube, Goteborg docks, Sweden (Gothenburg)

We found another expressive statue of Evert Taube, in Stockholm, in the Old Town, Gammla Stan.

Most everything is on the water in Stockholm, since is mostly all islands.  See Evert Taube there, another waterfront, at

IV.  Realities.

The Lipstick Building does dominate. It is an excellent navigation device, for getting back to your car.

Amble, amble.

Oh, rats. A ticket. What next.  FN 1


FN 1  Quick! Look up the police station on the GPS to pay it fast with nice crisp bills  -- ferry leaving for Denmark soon. Find the police station.

Go in with money and apologies, so sorry, time just got away.  Sorry, lady, we don't take payment here.  Try XYZ.  Find XYZ. Another police station.

Go in. Hold out now-damp bills. Sorry, lady, we don't take payment on Sundays. Come back Monday. But we are leaving! So sorry, so sad, hope you enjoyed your stay. Have to pay in person and get receipt because cash just disappears in the boiler room.

Recourse:  Tickets. If you get a ticket in the country where you rented your car, the rental car company maybe can pay for you.  Leave the money with them and get your receipt. But we rented in Denmark.  The rental car company would not pay for Sweden, currency issues, etc.

You are stuck with a wire transfer from your own bank.  That is expensive, so hope that by the time you read this, Sweden progresses to Italy.

In Italy, if you get a ticket, the notice will direct you to the bad people website and you can put it right on your credit card.  Zoom.  Done. Receipts, all covered, thank you.

That does not resolve, however, whether the ticket was proper. Where cameras are involved, it is hard to say.  I got a letter nine months after our return saying I was filmed in the bus lane at such and such a square in Milan. Was I? I do know I was lost the entire time. There are a million squares in Milan. Were they writing the same letter to everybody in the picture and nobody else would pay? Who knows. Pay anyway.

Tickets. Trust and move on.

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