Saab fans like to be guests in Trollhättan, and Germans are basically told an affinity to the country in the north. The main travel season is from May, and already in October, the flow of tourists is drying up again. Sweden is then cold and dark and not worth a trip, they say. Whether it really is so, could Mark and I in December in the self-test test.
We were guests at the Saab factory and none of us came to Sweden so late in the year. Are the prejudices correct and should you choose better destinations in the winter? There's the thing with the daylight. Gothenburg can develop the charm of a Siberian city on these dull days, when the sun completely denies its work. The sun feels like an hour later than in the Rhine-Main area, but it also disappears one hour earlier. What we call dusk lasts longer, and the light develops its own charm.
You understand why it is a legal requirement in Scandinavia to drive with the headlights on, you appreciate every ray of sunshine. Because the sun is indispensable, and gray, dark days beat the mind. We were lucky during our visit - Trollhättan presented itself in the best weather. In early winter, life in Saab city has become noticeably quieter. The municipality is small, traffic is manageable, and there is little traffic in the pedestrian zone. The Swedes are among themselves, and foreign visitors rarely appear. Restaurants and cafés that we found full of life in summer only find a small audience.
It is slow, somehow familiar. Anyone looking for deceleration in life would have arrived here. In Sweden, the free Internet access in restaurants is standard, the access data is available at the service. If the password does not work then a friendly Swede will take over the access. Or, if that does not work, it disappears into the kitchen area with the client's tablet to solve the problem. That's how it has happened to us, and what would lead to wet hands and fear for the device in other countries is completely normal in Sweden.
The Saab Museum at Göta Älv has shorter opening hours during the winter months. The flow of visitors is manageable, which is the advantage of this season. The volunteers take their time, tell interesting stories from their time at Saab, and the visitor learns anecdotes that are nowhere documented and thus priceless. Depending on who works in the museum, it may be that you are invited to home-baked cakes or cookies. There is calorie alarm, because the baked goods are terribly delicious and the visitor then finds himself unexpectedly in a sociable round with Saab veterans again.
During this quiet time, a visit to the exhibition of the Innovatums, at the old power plant, at the Saab factory in the Stallbacka and at the airfield is recommended. A stroll along the Göta Älv towards the city center and a walk through the old town has the charm of the discovery tour. There are many small shops in Trollhättan that are owner-managed and have an individual offer beyond the mainstream. In the evening you can go to the end of the day, good food. A place in the good restaurants, you can do ours Travel Guides interview, finds itself in winter without a problem.
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Maybe it's just the dark season that gives us a glimpse into the Swedish soul. Sweden is calmer and somehow beautiful. The rugged, wild landscape of Västragötland with its rocks, comes to light without the friendly green of the summer and lets us guess. that the living conditions here were not always easy. If you drive back to Gothenburg via the Inlandsvägen on dark night, you will be happy about the small LEDs at the lane boundary. The active lighting helps to find the way, and in the places where the LED lighting has been saved, we find dented crash barriers.
Yes, Sweden is dark and strange these months, very different from what we knew from the Midsomar. At the same time nice, exciting and worth the trip.