It was a huge travel day for us as we were off to see Ed Sheeran in Gothenburg, Sweden. Rob had purchased the tickets in November and it was now July. Eight months later we were making our way from the French Riviera in peak summer temperatures which had really hit us hard. It is extremely hot here during the day, and of course the summer days are extremely long. The sun is up at 4am and sets around 9-30pm. We left the craggy mountainous coastline behind in Eze at 7-30am and made the windy three hour drive to Marseille Provence Airport.
We parked our car in the airport parking and grabbed our back packs packed with just enough clothing for a two night stay in Gothenburg, Sweden.
We were travelling Brussels Airlines to Brussels and then getting a connecting flight to Gothenburg in Sweden. Even though Rob can speak French we found it extremely hard to find our boarding gate for the plane as it had been closed off by a glass sliding barrier. We couldn’t find out how to get into the waiting area, even after asking we were still at a loss. We finally saw a tiny sign that explained that this area would open just before boarding time. Passengers already inside the glass area must have been taking an earlier flight somewhere else. We then sat and watched all the confused French passengers, which made us feel a little better. When the glass barrier finally opened everyone rushed to line up, but still no plane or explanation!!!! Like lost sheep we sat and watched everyone line up for about half an hour only for another plane suddenly took our gate!!! We had a change of gate which set everyone into a rushing panic only to find our plane was still not boarding. No explanation or announcement came on when or why our plane had not arrived. We were told we would still make our connecting flight which seemed to be looming nearer. Our plane was delayed by at least an hour in Marseille when we finally boarded. Rob politely tried to ask the air hostess about our connecting flight on entering the plane. She was very abrupt and told us that there were delays today due to … she grumbled on about what sounded like when Trump is coming we have to do as we are told!!! Which we later read that President Donald Trump was at the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium which was why our plane was delayed and was causing mayhem at the airport and in the air!!!!
About half an hour before landing they started announcing which passengers had missed their connecting flights. We were thinking to reduce stress whilst in the air ……just announcing it after landing but no let’s make passengers more annoyed and anxious. We knew our connecting plane to Gothenburg would already be boarding when we landed so we needed a quick exit off the plane. As if that was going to happen…..
When we finally arrived in Brussels Airport everyone rushed to get off but they couldn’t get the stairs connected correctly to our plane. Though the doors were kept closed!!! This continued to cause stress to the passengers with connecting flights. That was us!!! After about 20 minutes of being stuck in a plane without air conditioning the door finally opened. After disembarking the plane we had to run to our departure gate, we immediately boarded with others from our plane. The hatch doors were cross checked and we were once again in the air flying Brussels Airways to Gothenburg. In our brief encounter in Brussels we noted how gloomy and refreshing cool the weather was. A breath of fresh air compared to the heatwave in France.
Both flights were a little more than an hour and a half each so we were in the air for just over three hours. We tried some plane snacks. A chocolate which tasted like a Kit-Kat just repackaged in mauve and called a Leo!! We also had a nacho box which was tiny filled fingernail sized corn chips and Heinz salsa which we were discussing and we are sure the double packaging contributed to the high price. Not many shops to choose from when your head is in the clouds.
Sweden from the air was how we remembered it – full of lakes and wilderness.
Our day ended by getting an airport shuttle and then another connecting bus to our Airbnb in Gothenburg. Our accommodation was nice and we both slept well due to our enormously large travel day which consisted of an early start of 3 hours of white knuckled driving by Rob out of the French Rivera, 40 minutes of walking around aimlessly looking for our gate at the airport, another hour and a half waiting time, 2 plane equaling over 3 hours and about 40 minutes on 2 buses!!! We hope Ed Sheeran was going to be worth it !!!!
No wonder our plans to explore more of Gothenburg early the next day didn’t really come to fruition. It was 2 pm before we set out to explore the city of Gothenburg and head to the concert. We saw a little bit of the city. Interesting how we had forgotten so easily that Sweden is a cash free society. You just swipe with your card and a lot of places don’t take cash and of course we got cash out at the airport!!!! Which is only useful in Sweden as they don’t use euros!!!!!
Gothenburg was packed with people coming into eat before the concert. Every restaurant and cafe was spilling over with customers. People lined up everywhere waiting for tables. Ed Sheeran songs played in most restaurants that we walked past. Probably in hope that he might walk in. We were lucky to have an early dinner at a Restaurant called Moon Thai Kitchen.
At first we were told that they couldn’t fit us in as we didn’t have a reservation but the waiter told us we could eat at the cramped bar which had barely room for one person but we said yes as this place was full of character or should we say the decorative style was more than less.
It brought back so many memories of when we holidayed in Thailand many years ago. The waiter took pity on us and upgraded us twice until we finally had a tiny cramped table in this unique restaurant.
Our waiter was a male Thai vibrant waiter who had everyone of his tables in stitches. He recommended that we try the Ginger Ass cocktail, not that he had tried it, he just liked saying it!!!! Funny thing was we couldn’t taste any alcohol in our ginger ass cocktail. Or even much ginger for that matter and then we remembered we were in Sweden the land of low alcohol and expensive living, our drinks alone cost $20-00 each!!! Mmmm it just tasted like sugar and the large drink which we needed to quench our thirst seemed like a 150ml size glass!!!
The food was great but the bill was a little steep… we are not sure how everyone eats out here!!! And you need to leave a 10% tip! We could have had at least 2 nice dinners out at home for the same price in Australia!!! It came to $125-00 for one small entree, 2 small mains and 2 small cocktails and a beer!! We did love the vibe of the restaurant so all was not lost. What we ate was also good. This was our first Thai meal out in 8 months and it broke our budget. No wonder we do all our own cooking!!!
We walked onto the huge sports arena Ullevi where Ed Sheeran was going to be playing. I mean huge arena. It is Sweden’s largest outdoor stadium holding a crowd of 60, 000 for a music concert seated 43,000 and standing 25,000 on the pitch. If you had standing tickets on the pitch the doors opened at 7am.
We had seated tickets right near the back of the stadium which meant a steep climb and awesome views from the top. We were godly high with stunning views over Gothenburg. The only problem was it was 9pm before the hot blinding sun was out of our eyes as sunsets in Gothenburg isn’t until 10 pm!!!!!!
We sat up high, in the 7pm summer baking sunlight sweating profusely whilst getting a suntan and drinking copious amounts of water. Luckily we both had our sunglasses for the 7pm strong blinding sun.
We were not game enough to stand up due to the fact we would get vertigo from the extremely high seating. Very scary!!!
The two singers before Ed Sheeran could hold their own. Just as the blinding sun started to descend low in the sky Ed Sheeran came on around 9-00pm, and he was brilliant. Just him and his guitar!!!! No wonder he makes millions. We did notice no one in the seated stadium stood up until the encore, probably because everyone was feeling a little like us. We thought there could easily be a domino effect with everyone tumbling forward.
It was well worth all our trouble to get to Gothenburg as he played all our favourite songs. We now have great memories to keep of Gothenburg.
After the concert we walked for about 30 minutes with most of the crowd to get back to our Airbnb around 11-30. The sky was still not dark.
We were up at 4-00am to do the same bus and 2 planes back to Marseille-Provence Airport. This time all planes were on time and staff were very nice and relaxed travelling Brussels Airways. We were even given complementary Belgium chocolates on board the plane. This was one concert and journey that we will never forget!!!