As soon as the train arrived at the station of Copenhagen, Denmark, I rushed into the train and went straight to the seat in accordance with the number on the ticket. This train only stops no more than 3 minutes. Each passenger must be nimble to immediately get into the car. Typical train in developed countries in Europe, the train that would take me to the Linköping condition is very good. I immediately sat down on a bench near the window.
Although it was afternoon and the sky slowly started to turn dark, it was, really, a pity to miss just a view of the open sea, before the train started to get into the underwater tunnel, to finally emerge again in the land in the area of Sweden. There’s not much I can do along the way for 3.5 hour. After the railway officials, who accompanied the police, patrolling to check train ticket and the identity of the passengers, I chose to take a break. Several times came the announcement the next station stop in Swedish. I was trying to listen, in order to get ready before arriving at Linköping Station. Finally, I arrived in the town located in Östgöta Plains, precisely in the province of Östergötland. Linköping Central Train Station, adjacent to the bus terminal. We are also quite a walk to get downtown. Get off the train, a friend is already waiting for me.
He then invited me to walk to the residence not far from the city center. Along the way I saw many bikes are parked neatly. Yes, the same as in other European countries, the bike became one of the primary means of transportation for its residents. In 2002, Linköping been dubbed as the Swedish Biking City of the Year. Apart from a small town atmosphere of tranquility, Linköping facilities and urban infrastructure is complete and modern. In fact, for any day care costs are subsidized by the government. All the costs of infrastructure development is derived from taxes are quite high, about 20% -25% of revenue, to be paid by each of its citizens. Linköping is a city that stood since the Middle Ages. As evidence, some roads were built at that time are still visible in some parts around the town square or Stora Torget, such as Tanneforsgatan, St Korsgatan, and Agatan Streets.
I started the two-day vacation with Linköping while walking around. Like most cities in Europe, the town square is an interesting place to visit. Similarly, the city center, surrounded by buildings of shops, restaurants and typical classic European-style church. Saint Lars’ Church and Linköping Cathedral are two churches that have become landmarks of the city. Saint Lars’ Church is located at the corner of Storgatan and St Larsgatan Church that had stood since the 19th century is predominantly white. Was very impressed with the classic dark green bell tower that always sounds as much as three times per day. With a 107-meter-high tower, architecture artificial Linköping Cathedral Helgo this Zettervall neo-classical style of the 12th century.
Church size much larger than Saint Lars’ Church and has become one of the city’s pride is an enlargement of the earlier church were considered too small to accommodate the congregation. Quite surprising to learn that it takes about 300 years to build this church, since the 1230’s until 1885-1886. North door is the oldest part of the church, along with roman arch in the choir in it, where a large cross hung. The church is also home to many art treasures, one of the controversial works of Henrik Sorensen, an altar painted in 1935, depicts Jesus rose from the tomb on Easter morning. Walking past the cathedral, I see a big yellow building looks like a mansion. It is a city hall or town hall where the city government employees work. Established in 1864, the building was originally a high school. Its function is turned into the town hall since 1921. Outside the building, I see there is a marker on the road, which is believed to be the place Linköping bloodbath that took place in 1600.
However, a study revealed that the incident actually occurred on Stora Torget Square, at the corner of which has now become a Burger King restaurant. Incidentally my friend wants to return the books to the public library, so we went back on foot because it was not far. Seen a modern building with many windows, almost like a greenhouse, surrounded by lawns decorated with colorful flowers beautiful surroundings. Incidentally autumn just arrived, so the flowers are still a lot of blooming flowers.
The library is not only just an awesome architecture, interior was interesting. The room is comfortable and decorated with some famous designer chairs, one of which is the egg chair Arne Jacobson’s work. It does not cease to amaze, especially when considering that the free education system for citizens from the elementary level through high school. Sitting reading a book while facing the window with a view of a beautiful garden outside, it seems to me linger are in the library. From the library, I headed to one of the iconic destinations, namely Gamla Linköping, an outdoor museum depicting the life of Linköping in the past. To reach this point, we have to use local buses, because it is located approximately 2 km to the west of the city center. More fun again, we do not need to pay to get in. When I got there, I saw a shape resembling a public phone box are quite caught my attention, and it is true it is a phone booth in the past.
Here I can see the life of Swedish society in the past, ranging from architectural form of wooden houses, cobblestone alleys and gardens. Here we also get into the museum that displays the community activities of the period, such as post offices, banks, and shops that sell handicrafts and souvenirs can be purchased. Very interesting for me as a person who love visiting the museum. After touring, we stopped at a café serving typical dessert Sweden and enjoy fika (coffee break), as was done by Swedish society. Fika can be done anytime and anywhere, usually with a coffee and a sweet pastry. A short walk through Vallaskogen took us to Valla Farm, a nature reserve with a museum featuring the history of rural, farm animals, large play area, and a miniature golf course. In the afternoon, another friend asked me to go to an interesting place. We make a pact to meet at the train station at 5 pm and go together from there. Oh yes, the Swedes are very appreciative of the time and discipline in all things, whether the promise of meeting, the interview should be kept, and never break a promise, unless it has permission.
When my friend mentioned the name of the place we visit, Gota Canal, I do not understand. Perhaps because of the Swedish language pronunciation is not familiar in the ears. I just follow where it will take me that afternoon. It turned out that its location is quite far from the city, namely in Lake Roxen, about 16 kilometers north of Linköping and again had to use the public bus for about an hour. Far enough, considering there is no traffic jam. Historically, the Gota Canal is one of the largest engineering projects ever undertaken in Sweden.
The canal was built in the 18th century it stretched from Sjotorp on Lake Vänern to the Mem on the east coast, with a length of 190 kilometers and a total of 58 locks (sluice). From this distance, 87 kilometers are man-made, the rest is made in nature. Its construction took 22 years, and in the 19th century, the canal has become the main transport routes, both for passengers and goods. Many tourists come to use buses here, because a lot of things that can be enjoyed and pleasant scenery. I was walking door to see the beauty of water previously active use, but is now only used as a tourist attraction. From a distance I saw a shadow of a man standing in the middle of the lake. When I approached, it was a 9-meter-high art installation named Doppelganger or double man. Another thing that can be done there is to enjoy the scenery while eating in the cafe, playing minigolf, cycling or swimming in the lake.
Because there is only one bus numbers that can bring us to this place and go back to the city, which is the bus number 520, then we have to adjust with the bus schedule. Otherwise, we could have missed the bus and had to wait long for the next bus! Arriving in the city center, Linköping as already asleep. In fact, it was only half past eight in the evening. But it must be understood. Like most cities in Europe, all the activities here was stopped after 6 pm, all the store was closed on Sunday. Which is open in the evenings are just a few restaurants and a nightclub. Swedish society working hours are restricted, only 40 hours a week, because they appreciate the delicate balance of life During this time the name of lingonberry so familiar in the ears of those who like to visit IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings store. Indeed, this fruit is so popular and prevalent in Sweden, not least in Linköping. Lingonberry is one of the essential ingredients in Scandinavian cuisine. Typically, lingonberry jam is cocol sauce to eat swedish meatball or typical Swedish meatballs, accompanied by mashed potatoes and gravy.
Lingonberry is a kind of berry that is not as popular as strawberry and blueberry. The color is bright red like cherry, sweet and sour taste. The shape is smaller than a blueberry. In Sweden, lingonberry plants can be found on the roadside or in the yard-yard. Tips: 1. Airlines Emirates, KLM and Lufthansa airport for flights to the capital Stockholm. To Linkoping can continue by train or bus SJ approximately 2 hours drive. 2. Although members of the EU, Sweden is still using the currency Swedish krona (SEK). 3. One of the interesting selection of places to stay that are in the Elite Stora Hotellet, the four-star hotel located in the city center and is one of the oldest there. 4. If you want to stay near the train station and other transportation centers, can choose Park Hotel Linköping Fawlty Towers – Sweden Hotels is a four-star.