That’s right, no more Gothenburg here. Now that we’ve arrived (we’ve arrived!!!!) it’s time to assimilate.
Our early morning flight to Göteborg went really well. Drake popped out of bed at 5:30am demanding to move to Sweden immediately. This was helpful; as our flight was at 7:35am. After boarding our flight with little time to spare, the man behind us inquired as to whether we were Americans. He turned out to be an American who moved to Göteborg thirteen years ago and hasn’t looked back. After a short discussion of the merits of living in Sweden; he explained to us that the proper pronunciation is “Yo-tuh-burr-y”. I’m not great with phonetic spellings, you get the drift. Apparently, it is better to avoid saying Gothenburg and our alternative pronunciation of “goat-burg” was way off. It actually reminded me of my first day at Gonzaga when I repeatedly mispronounced the name of my new dorm. Some things never change…
Upon arrival in Göteborg, we needed to find the cat. Not such an easy task. After being directed to the oversized luggage area and waiting in vain for twenty minutes; I decided to contact the cargo company directly. The only problem with this plan was my lack of a Swedish sim card for my phone and the fact that I hadn’t charged my own sim to pay for the out of country fees. So, what is a desperate tourist to do in these situations?
One awesome tip I can share is that most airports in the United States and every airport I’ve been to in Europe has free wi-fi that is easily accessible on your mobile. Some airports limit this to 45 minutes and others to 3 hours. In this case, I don’t speak Swedish, so I’m not sure the duration. I just blindly accepted the terms and connected in good faith.
Thankfully, the hubs downloaded Skype onto my phone and set everything up. This enabled me to call straight through to the Swedish cargo company. They explained that pet cargo is delivered to an entirely different building. Once that was sorted, we set off to find the cargo building. Contrary to what one would expect based on their reputation as a very reserved people; in my experience, Swedes are very helpful and forthcoming. After one gentlemen gave directions; he also suggested that I double check with the information desk. Did I mention that most Swedes in Göteborg and other big cities are fully fluent in both Swedish “Svenska” and English? This country is very serious about educating its citizens.
At the information desk, I found out that there are multiple cargo buildings at Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT). After another Skype call to allow the more knowledgeable parties to figure out directions; we set off. Thankfully, our cab driver from Göteborg Taxis had already arrived. He drove us the rather long journey and stayed with us through the next 3 steps it took to get Pongo. Step one, paperwork and visa on arrival payment for her. Step two, pass the paperwork to warehouse employees. Step three, wait outside a cargo bay for collection. She arrived safe and sound and very grumpy. Gotta love this cat 😃
Upon arrival at our temporary housing; we encountered another very European issue. Multiple doors with locks leading to many narrow staircases that did not lead to the correct apartment. Thankfully, after hauling quite a bit of our stuff up four flights of stairs to no avail; the hubs went off on a hunting expedition. He returned having found an elevator and having discovered that there are both inner and outer courtyard apartments. We were on the inner and needed to be on the outer. Phew. Should you be coming to Europe either for a move; or even just a visit; remember this experience. It is not the first time we’ve found ourselves wandering apartment buildings; knocking on random doors for help. Thankfully, people have always been very understanding.
Our first impression of the apartment was that it exceeded all expectations. It is about 127 square meters; which is huge for a two bedroom. Unlike housing in the United Kingdom; Sweden is also fanatical about insulation. Landlords are required to keep apartments at 18 degrees celsius (roughly 64 F) in the room at 16 degrees celsius (roughly 61 F) on the floor. This is not a cost they are allowed to pass onto renters. As such; these places are well insulated and heated. My best description of the apartment air would be arid. While I’m not too keen on using saline spray every day to keep my nose hydrated; I am ecstatic to have escaped the damp and mould so prevalent in every single dwelling in the UK.
After settling in for a short nap in the tiny beds that were pushed together (also very European), our band of world travelers set off in the snow to find food. Yes, it snowed! Drake’s only request for the move was to see snow and our very first day the snow began to fall. It was an idyllic evening and more than made up for any discomfort from moving day. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed the night.
Happy family = happy me.
I have a feeling this move will be a blessed one.
Until next time…