I live, I share

Gothenburg | Bike, Bike Lanes, Bike Stands

Spring was fast approaching by then and I had my mind locked on the idea of owning a bike. There was no important reason behind it actually, I just wanted to own one and use one when I feel for it. I started discussing it with my better half and he asked 2 questions that almost convinced me that I should not have one. First question: When will I use the bike? Second question: It is almost always windy in Sweden and pretty sure that it will be cold, so back to the first question, when will I use the bike? He nailed it of course like always but I already told myself that I will have one so to meet halfway and not to feel too bad if I don’t get to use it, I bought a cheap but working second hand bike. The bike costed me only 200kr but the accessories was around 350kr. Not ideal I know but I soon realized that my head is a lot more important than the bike, thus, the helmet.

Bicycle Requirements

I looked up bike rules and requirements right after I shopped for one and found a site that details such. Here is the link but it is in Swedish so let me summarize what it says in English.

  • A bicycle should have working brakes
  • A bicycle should have a working bell.

When driving at night, the bike should have reflectors and lights as shown in the below picture taken from the same website above. This would be a lot easier to show than to write.

cykel_750px

Helmet Requirements

Anyone below 15 years old are required to wear a helmet when biking even in a fenced area. Anyone 15 or above has the option not to wear one but it is always safe to do so.

Bicycle Rules

Gothenburg has bike lanes, a lot of them, almost everywhere. It also has bicycle traffic lights that are almost always automatic, no need to press the button when you need to cross but be mindful, some are manual still. When making a left turn, you wave your left arm so bikers behind you will know. The same thing goes when you make a right turn, you have to wave your right arm. The bike lanes have arrows that inform whether it is one way or 2 way. When in doubt, get off and walk instead on the pedestrian lane until you figure out what you need to do or where to drive. I do this a lot of time to get myself out of trouble most especially if I am new in the area.

Bicycle Stands

Just like bicycle lanes, bicycle stands are also quite common. They are mostly in places close to tram/train/bus stops. Schools, buildings, supermarkets also have bicycle stands close them. When you own a bike, own a bike lock! It is good to secure your bike when you plan to leave it in a bike stand.

 

Are you a bicycle owner in Gothenburg? Ska vi cykla tillsammans? (Shall we bike together?)

IMG_5416
Bicycle stands
IMG_5413
Bicycle lane
IMG_5412
Bicycle stop lights
I live, I share

Gothenburg | Valhallabadet

I got hooked up to swimming when I was back in my home country and when I moved to Sweden it was one of the things that I missed doing. I am not a good swimmer, in fact it was not until late 2015 that I enrolled myself to a swimming class to learn, but I enjoy the waters and swimming is my happy pill.

There are a few places to swim in Gothenburg city and the most accessible for us is Valhallabadet. The closest tram stop is Scandinavium and after a few meters will be the swimming hall. They have different prices published in their website but we chose the 10 times pass as a way to test.

First time user, first time blooper

After registration, the reception will give you an armband with a sensor that you will use in getting inside the changing rooms, closing and opening the locker and turning on the shower. There are separate rooms for men and women because people get naked inside the changing rooms. No cellphone is allowed and shoes must be taken off. I chose my locker and I have not a single clue how to use it and could not see any instructions within my vision as well. There was a blinking red light inside and I experimented. I tapped my armband and the light stayed solid. I closed the door with my bag inside and I hear it clicked and locked. It was a good sign, I figured how to lock the locker. Now I wanted to change clothes so I can shower and swim but my locker will not open. There is a wifi sign on the locker that should be where the armband must be tapped but it did not work. I tapped, slide my armband for what felt like a hundred times to no avail. I was getting hopeless so I asked one of the women there for help, she tried but it really did not want to work. She said it should just be like that, maybe it is broken. I stood there, taking a deep breath, tried the armband again and voila! The stubborn locker opened. When I finally got my clothes I started looking for a room to change into my swimwear but I could not find any. It was then I realized people change in front of their lockers.

Shower first

Just like any swimming hall everyone is required to take a shower before getting in the swimming pool. The recommendation is to shower without the swimwear probably to wash off dust from the body but I normally just wear it and shower thoroughly. The armband sensor turns on the shower and this I realized quick. There is a white circle close to the shower controls that looked like the one in the armband so I just tapped and water started coming out.

25 meter or 50 meters

There are 2 big pools, one is 25 meters long and the other is 50. We started with 50 but it was like a train of swimmers going back and forth and I can’t keep up with them. I have low stamina and I needed to get used to the water again first so we moved to the 25-meter pool where half is used for training, the other half for people like us who just wants to hang around and the other part is for diving. The pools are deep and since it has been a long time since I swam I panicked (lol). I did mention I am not a good swimmer.

No swimwear here

Sauna is always a good idea after swimming to relax the muscles and feel some heat. I love wet sauna for it doesn’t suck the water out of me and I can relax better than in the dry one. No swimwear is allowed inside the sauna. The first time I had the most awkward feeling because being naked in front of others even when you are of the same gender is not a norm in my home country and I lived for decades there so imagine how I feel! I had to swallow tons of saliva to just wear my skin in a room with people I do not know. On the second visit though I managed to get over the feeling and was able to relax a bit more.

Another Round

We have consumed our 10 times pass and we are getting another set this week! More swimming in the coming weeks that will hopefully build my skills and stamina to transfer to the 50-meter pool.

Jag älskar simning! (I love swimming!)

I live, I share, I travel, I shoot

Gothenburg | Cherry Blossoms

When I hear cherry blossoms I think of Japan mainly because when I see pictures of this beautiful tree it is always taken in Japan. This association has then changed when I first laid my eyes on a cherry blossom tree close to where we live and was told by my father in law that there are a lot more in Järntorget! What a relief, I don’t have to go to Japan! 😛

If you live in Gothenburg don’t miss the cherry blossom trees at Järntorget, they are beautiful!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

I live, I share, I travel, I shoot

Gothenburg | Statue Walk

I found these mini cards in the hotel with short, precise information about the tourist spots in Gothenburg and I think it’s a great idea to have them hanging in hotels. Some of the cards offers discounts to city activities as well so it is perfect for tourists. I have 2 favorite mini cards, one is the statue walk and the other is the sculpture walk. Each walk is estimated to be completed in 1.5 hours if you follow the map. Today, I dragged my husband to do the statue walk and my plan was to take the trams to make it fast and easy but my husband refused to. ‘No cheating, we walk because it is a statue walk for a reason’, he said. I walk slow and stop a lot to take other pictures, so after 2.5 hours we were done, an hour more than it it supposed to. It is not entirely spring weather in Sweden yet so it was cloudy and foggy during the walk. The good thing though is I can skip the layers of clothes and use a thinner coat, it is not freezing outside anymore.

DSCF5824
The mini card for the tour.

So here it is, the famous statues in Gothenburg.

  1. Gustav II Adolf’s Statue. Bengt Erland Fogelberg (1854).
    Address: Gustaf Adolf’s Torg (On the Square)DSCF5760
  2. Skärgårdsfiskare (The Fishers) Svenrobert Lundquist (2003/04).
    Address: Fisktorget vid Feskekörka (at the “Fish Church”)DSCF5773
  3. Karl IX:s Ryttarstaty (Horse Statue) John Börjeson (1904).
    Address: KungsportsplatsenDSCF5777
  4. John Ericsson Statue. Ingel Fallstedt (1899).
    Address: At the northern end of Kungsportsavenyn (between Nya Allen and Parkgatan)DSCF5779
  5. Karin Boye Statue. Peter Linde (1987).
    Address: In front of the City Library (Stadsbiblioteket)DSCF5785
  6. Poseidon med brunnskar. Carl Miles (1931)
    Address: At GötaplatsenDSCF5787
  7. Danserskorna (The Dancers). Carl Miles (1952)
    Address: Göteborg’s Konsthall (the Art Gallery)DSCF5793
  8. Vingarna (The Wings), Carl Miles (1916/1940)
    Address: At the Göteborg’s Art Museum on GötaplatsenDSCF5803
  9. När Vänskapsbanden knytes (Friendship). Wälino Aaltonen (1955)
    Address: Näckrosdammen (The pond)DSCF5804
  10. Ingo – the Champ. Peter Linde (2011)
    Address: In front of the arena Nya UlleviDSCF5810
  11. Gunnar Gren Statue. Jan Steen (1993)
    Address: In front of the arena Gamla UlleviDSCF5817
  12. Evert Taube Statue. Eino Hanski (1996)
    Address: Jussi Björlings Plats next to the OperaDSCF5713
I live, I share, I travel, I shoot

Sweden | Gothenburg City

One little disadvantage of being a resident in a beautiful city is that everything that surrounds you and those that you often see turns into a usual scene. I remember the first time I visited Gothenburg or even on my first few weeks I was in awe with everything I see. The trees, buildings, monuments, cemeteries, houses, stores, parks, benches and even the streets bring spark into my eyes, but now, now that I am seeing them almost everyday, now that I can go around when I  feel for it, now that I don’t have a return ticket to the Philippines, they become the usual. It is not bad, it is normal and it happens. I am almost there so before I get to that stage, I would play tourist once again.

I have been here for 6 months, not too long, not too short but enough for me to start my walking tour around the city, just like a tourist would. My walking tour started at the Central Station and then i let my eyes and feet decide afterwards.

This is Göteborg!

DSCF5754

DSCF5751
Nordstan, the mall.
DSCF5693
Bridge to Hisingen
DSCF5702
Viking, the restaurant
DSCF5709-2
Lilla Bommen

DSCF5715

DSCF5724
Kronhuset, one of the oldest buildings in Gothenburg
DSCF5732
Haga Kyrka. Kyrka means church

DSCF5739DSCF5741DSCF5743

DSCF5088
King Charles IX at Kungsportsplatsen

DSCF5108

DSCF4162
Haga
DSCF4420
Skansen Kronan
DSCF4433
Oscar Fredrik Kyrka
DSCF5734
Feskerkörka, seafoods are sold inside.

DSCF4177

DSCF4179
Järntorget
DSCF4189
Bikes for rent
DSCF5615
Sunset at Brunnsparken
DSCF4051
Poseidon at the Avenyn
I live, I share

Gothenburg | Enjoy Bonusshopping

If you are at least two people living in Gothenburg or Sweden for that matter and loves to eat out once in a while to try a different kind of cuisine or simply to get a break from home cooked meals then maybe Enjoy Bonusshopping is good for you just as it is for us. I describe this as a booklet or booklets of coupons for a lot of restaurants, cafes, hotels, trips, shops and more. It is an order for 2 pay for 1 kind of thing where you pay for the more expensive meal. It does not include drinks of course but then not having to pay for 1 dish is quite a saving. We paid around 300 kronor for the booklets and in Sweden eating at least thrice using the discounts, you already get the money you paid for because if you are lucky, one dish costs 100 kronor. Part of it also goes to charity so you are really not just getting the discounts but helping in a way at the same time. Quite a good combination don’t you think?

Try a new restaurant in town soon!

IMG_4873

I live, I share

The 2016 that was!

The monthly highlights that completed my 2016. I am excited 2017!

January

Welcomed the new year with the L clan back in Tuburan. Gained a few pounds.

I turned 30! Celebrated my birthday with a 2-hour swimming date with myself and then coffee.

I learned to swim! I live in a country made up of islands, I love the beach but I never had the courage to learn to swim until this year.

February

Residence visa application was approved by the Migration office after almost a year of waiting.

March

I had a beach trip to Bohol with my friend Jacq.

Visited Kalanggaman Island for the first time with office friends.

dscf3703

My husband arrived for another 3-week stay.

April

Traveled to Legaspi City to see the Mayon volcano with my husband.

img_7230
Mayon Volcano

Received an early ‘welcome to Sweden’ gift from my husband.

Traveled to Siquijor Island and fell in love with it.

img_0205
Coco Grove Resort, Siquijor

Food trip at Dumaguete City.

Traveled to Bangkok, experienced Songkran festival, explored the city and it’s temples, ate a lot of street food.

img_0395
The reclining buddha

May

Traveled alone to Bangkok to leave my bio metrics at the Embassy of Sweden. Ate a lot more Thai food this time around. Got lost in the city but had a great time.

img_0950
Lumpini Park, Bangkok

Traveled to Isla de Gigantes with my sister and her office friends. Enjoyed 3 nights and 2 days in the island with a lot of seafood! Proved to myself that I can really swim!

img_1469
Cabugao Gamay Island

June –

Traveled to Dumaguete city this time with office friends, walked around the Siliman University, had a taste of the famous tempura ni bossing and had my ‘balut’ experience.

Swam with the turtles in Apo Island. The water was deep, the turtles were huge and I did not have a life jacket on! I had a kick board in case i get too tired of swimming though, safety precaution for a newbie swimmer.

14045319_1441231969226702_861191118_o
Finding turtles at Apo Island

Enjoyed time away from the city with the L clan in Tuburan. Celebrated the town fiesta with delicious home cooked meal from mom.

July

Traveled to Bacolod with the family. Visited the ruins in Talisay City and Campuestohan highland resort. Had our coffee and cakes at Calea.

img_2178
The ruins

August

Resigned from my work and officially jobless after 9 years.

Second wedding anniversary.

Traveled to Boracay island again with my sisters. It was windy and raining but we had an amazing time.

DCIM103GOPRO
Station 1, Boracay

Had fun under the sun at Costabella Resort in Mactan with office friends.

Farewell lunches, parties, snacks with friends and family.

Panic shopping and packing before the flight.

September

Moved to the cold yet beautiful country of Sweden! Played tourist in Gothenburg.

October

Traveled alone to Kungshamn and Smögen on a hot Autumn day.

dscf4310-2
Smögen

Started Swedish language class.

Started bisayainsweden blog!

Celebrated husbands birthday in a fine dining dinner with in-laws.

November

First snow ever!

dscf4682

Experienced live concert with electronic music by VNV nation.

First black friday.

December

First Christmas in Sweden with generous gifts from the in-laws and husband.

Developed my photography skills.