Nauru Travel Diary

From Houston to Sydney 2013

From Houston

to Sydney



To drive from Stockholm to Gothenburg (Sweden’s second largest city, also known as Göteborg), it would normally require a drive of about 450 kilometres.  Today, we completed the drive, adding an additional hundred or so kilometres by diverting via a city that is not really on the direct route – Uppsala.

We began our drive from Stockholm at a little before 10 am in the Opel Astra diesel wagon that we had collected yesterday from the Avis office.  I soon realized just how economical diesel cars can be when the digital display near the odometer reminded me that I would need to refuel in 1002 kilometres.

Uppsala on a Sunday morning was a beautiful, quiet, peaceful city.  With a population of 140,000 people, Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city, and it is located just 75 kilometres north of Stockholm.  It is a centre of learning with a large university; it is thus somewhat akin to Sweden’s Oxford.

We easily found a parking space in the middle of the old city beside the cathedral, and began our walk around Uppsala.  In the clear sunshine under bright blue skies, the city looked magnificent.  Not having any map, we just used our intuition to devise a route based around the cathedral and the nearby river.  In doing so, we kept discovering gem upon gem – an old metal footbridge built in 1847, rows of old timber houses, elegant mansions and public buildings, and in almost every direction one looked, large pots with vibrantly colourful clusters of flowers growing in them.  Our last stop was to walk into the cathedral to observe some of the high mass that was underway at the time.

From Uppsala, we drove towards the south-west along route 55 to join the main roads joining Stockholm and Gothenburg, the E18 and the E20.  We made only one further stop for exploring, which was in the town of Örebro.  In spite of the woeful internet access we had in our room in Stockholm, Di had somehow managed to do some research on the towns we would pass through en route from Stockholm to Guthenburg, and discovered the attractions of Örebro.

With a population of about 110,000 people, Örebro was only slightly smaller than Uppsala, but its atmosphere seemed to make it feel considerably smaller.  Like Uppsala, it had an old city centre, and just as we had done in Uppsala, we parked our car there right beside the cathedral.  Also like Uppsala, Örebro’s old centre was focused on a very picturesque river than ran through the middle of the city.

After walking for a few hundred metres along the banks of the river, called the Svartån, we came across the city’s most spectacular sight, Örebro Castle, situated on an islet in the Svartån.  First built in the 13th century, and modernised in 1560, Örebro Castle was an imposing sight; a fitting centerpiece to the city.

There is currently an exhibition of outdoor art in Örebro, some examples of which I thought were more impressive than others.  After walking through a section of the castle, we explored more of the town, especially concentrating on its one cobble-stoned street, Trädgårdsgatan, which accommodated many of the art works currently on display.  We were both extremely impressed with Örebro.

The distance from Örebro to Gothenburg was 280 kilometres, and we managed to achieve that with good speed, in large part due to the excellent quality of Sweden’s highways.  Although generally flat or only slightly undulating, the countryside was very pretty, being a mixture of farmlands (mainly wheat cultivation and livestock raising) and forests.

We found our hotel fairly easily, arriving at about 7 pm.  Our hotel is located in the heart of city, with a great view from our room across to the main railway station – and unlike Stockholm, excellent internet connectivity.  I think we have an excellent base for tomorrow’s explorations of Gothenburg; I can hardly wait.

Di and I agree that Sweden is definitely a place that we would willingly return to in the future.

Day 30 - Stockholm to Gothenburg


4 August 2013