Sunday, December 04, 2005

Marstrand

On Friday evening we went to Marstrand for Daniel's work Christmas party. Marstrand is a tiny little island off the coast of Gothenburg, which can only be reached by ferry. We were supposed to have been catching a bus there and back, but as a suprise Daniel had booked for us to stay in one of the rooms in the castle on the island! Carstens Fästning (fortress) was built in the 1600's to protect Sweden from neighbouring Norway and Denmark, and has been used as recently as the Second World War as a military base.

We were given instruction to ring when we arrived at door 23 (which turned out to be a huge wooden portcullis door!) but when we rang we were told we couldn't be let into the castle yet as they were just about to fire the cannon!! We weren't sure if we'd missunderstood the Swedish, but seconds later we heard the cannon! We were eventually met and shown to our room in the 'newer' part of the castle, which was built in 1840 to house the soldiers. (photo below)

After checking for ghosts we got changed and walked round to Societetshuset where the party was taking place. Societetshuset is a beautiful old bath house built in 1886 for the King of Sweden. We did our best to join in with the Swedish Christmas carols but struggled a bit with the impromptu drinking songs!

The following morning we spent a very cold couple of hours walking round the island and exploring the castle. The whole place was nearly desserted and so different from when we visited last summer.

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