As my venture overseas wraps up and I fly to Edmonton through Frankfurt and Vancouver I thought I’d look back on my time in the small (er than Edmonton) Western coastal city of Gothenburg. Shall we?
Figuring out doors
I arrived early into the morning Friday after a long day of travel. I felt relieved but also a new excitement about being where the Oilers were once more.
The ride in was delayed further when the buses they have bringing people in were either broken or the driver didn’t know how to open the doors. I wish I was joking about that one.
Once we had the doors open and the bus going we headed in for the 25 minute drive into town. I was the first stop inside Gothenburg and it was just a short walk to our hotel.
The Oilers and Devils had morning practices and so I had to get a little shut eye before kicking the day off.
Woke up early to take advantage of my hotel’s free breakfast buffet. That’s where I met another Oilers fan and it was nice to recenter on why we’re all here.
I headed back up to the room to do up an article before practice. I did complete the article, however I also fell back asleep. I woke up with about five minutes left to go for practice so I rushed over. Luckily I was able to plan this hotel stay in coordination with the arena. It was a two minute walk to the Scandinavium.
I must admit, it wasn’t really what I was expecting. It had a feel of a winter classic with the ice set so far into the middle of the surface. What I did expect was to see plenty of Oilers fans, and they did not disappoint. The lower third of the bowl was full of so many Oilers jerseys I spent a good chunk of the practice watching and interacting with our fans.
The players did have a practice going on and it was worth noticing the Oilers were much more high tempo than the Devils.
I have to make sure I give the Oilers players full marks for having such a hard practice and really taking the time to come out and spend as much time with the fans as they were allowed. It’s pretty easy for them to not give the fans time but they gave out a ton of autographs and pictures to everyone.
As much as I wanted to stick around and watch Hall and his Devils, I had a bed calling to me to rest up. (I did hear Martin Brodeur made an appearance and was mobbed)
Once I had napped (thank you reader for stick around through all the sickness and dragging down I have had) I went out to explore the town a little bit (I did much more prior to the game the next day). The town is quite large but the main area that I was close to was called “the Avenyn” its the true avenue in the city (that was what I was told but I could tell if that was a joke) and it is full of shops. The thing about Gothenburg that is different between it and both Cologne and Munich is that it’s just a city for for the people. There aren’t really any souvenir shops. There aren’t many “traditional Swedish” food spots. It’s really just a beautiful older city for Swedish people to come and enjoy.
All this exploring was to give me something to do while I waited to head over to the cities biggest sports bar to listen to friend of the Nation and one of the most knowledgeable people I know, Uffe Bodin. He along with two other hosts sold out this four floor bar and it was amazing to see the amount of laughter and interaction they got (even if because it was all in Swedish)
At one point in the night I went to go find a washroom and suddenly Mr. Bodin had tracked me down and included me in the podcast. Speaking about the shorts and Oilers fans passion for the team. It was just one of the long line of humbling moments on this trip for me.
After the podcast had wrapped I went to make my way to the hotel but was able to meet some of the Nations biggest young fan Simon (and then his brother Carl the best day) as well as a couple of Oilers fans that really helped me set up the stuff in Cologne when I had no idea where to go.
Boats and Hikes
As I said earlier, I really wanted to make sure I learn a little about the place I am. So like in Munich and Cologne I took a hop on boat tour. It was a far longer tour than I thought it would be with the canal system that led out to the ocean.
Completing my #RoadToSweden trip bingo.
🚤 ✅ pic.twitter.com/eTfL3Rm6dv
— Thee Nation Dan – Day 359 of shorts for the Oilers (@TheNationDan) October 6, 2018
Afterwards I went out with two brothers there as a part of the Oilers Now tour. We decided to scale the Skansen Kronan. That was a tough one to do after all the EDC that riddled my body. We made it to the top and soaked in some views before I headed home to set up for the meetup.
Thanks to my time on the podcast with Uffe I knew there was a great place to meet before the game. I put out the call to almost every random group or nation fan that I saw that we would be meeting before the game at O’Learys.
By the time I got to the bar at 2:30pm the place was packed. They were kind enough to open an extra floor for us. We filled it up quite well and then at about 5 pm we made our way down to the game, and 10 minute walk.
Previous #RoadToSweden content:
I look forward to wrapping up how the game went and the atmosphere within, look forward to that coming soon. Thanks for reading and all the support.