25 November 2014

Going to...Gothenburg in Sweden

The fun, friendly city of Gothenburg is an excellent way to get to know Sweden. It’s a clean, vibrant place with plenty to occupy visitors. Gothenburg makes a wonderful place for a weekend city break or as a base from where to discover the rest of the country. Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and home to 500,000 people; along with its cultural centres and typical foods the city provides access to the marvellous islands of the archipelago off Sweden’s western shores. Its island geography and Dutch influenced design gives Gothenburg a Swedish, Amsterdam feel, with lots of island districts, canals and bridges spanning the waterways.



Sweden does not currently use the euro as its currency and has no plans to replace the krona in the near future. Anyone planning a long stay or who takes up employment opportunities in Sweden should consider applying for a flexible international bank account to allow easy transfer of money in different currencies.

Kungsportavenyn, or simply “The Avenue” is a kilometre long street that was built as a result of an architectural competition in 1870 and where you will find the Gotaplatsen with such cultural interests as the Museum of Art and Gotenburg library. 



The avenue stretches all the way to the Kungsportaplasen in the old town centre and also has the Tradgardsforeningen park in the area. This is considered to be the popular entertainment centre and has the highest concentration of pubs and restaurants in Gothenburg.

The Haga, is the picturesque old quarter of Gothenburg and is dominated by old style wooden buildings, chic café bars and boutique shopping. Today it is an area much gentrified, betraying its working class roots. 



Renovation in the 1980’s led to the creation of a slick centre within the heart of the city where once had been a district with a less than savoury reputation.

Gothenburg Botanical Gardens covers 145 hectares of beautifully preserved natural beauty and has been recognised on a number of occasions in the European Most Beautiful Garden Competition. Opened in 1923, it has around 16,000 species of plants and trees and such wonderful sections as the Rhododendron valley and the Japanese Glade. There are also its marvellous greenhouses, which house over 4,000 varieties of rare and exotic plants.

Lisberg Theme Park is the most popular attraction of Gothenburg and is the largest such park in Scandinavia, seeing over 3 million visitors annually walk through its gates. The park is full of thrilling rides like the log flume, Balder wooden rollercoaster and the speedy Lisebergbanan ride.

Island Fortress of Alvsborg is another of Gotenburg’s great attractions, this 17th century fort, situated on the seaward approaches to the city was built to protect the population from the Danes. During the 18th century it was used as a prison and finally fell into disuse and eventually handed over to the people of Gothenburg. Today you can walk its grounds, explore the dungeon and enjoy delicious snacks in the café and lovely views from the ramparts.

Cannes Regates Royales

When it comes to Cannes, few bays in the world enjoy better conditions for sailing; the warm climate, favourable weather conditions and beautiful backdrop in Cannes all provide the perfect setting for the Régates Royales - the last major regatta of the sailing year.

If you're looking for excitement, luxury and sophistication then look no further than the Régates Royales - Cannes is a world class destination in its own right, and this special event offers visitors the chance to see some of the most elegant classic yachts all at once from the comfort of this seaside resort.

The Event

The Régates Royales represents one of the most prestigious fixtures in the entire international regatta calendar each year - now celebrating its 35th year, the event is specially reserved for classic and vintage yachts, and as a result, attracts droves of spectators who come to take part in the action.

Sailors will complete in a number of events throughout the Regates week - from the Dragon race to the prestigious Classic Challenge. The action ends when the boats head off on the liaison race towards Saint Tropez and leave the vibrant shores of Cannes behind to prepare for their winter work.



Where to Watch

If you're coming to Cannes for the regatta, spectating couldn't be easier. Unlike other similar events, it's free to watch from the shore and there are several optimum spots around the bay that offer prime views - making it easier to catch the action because you don't have to be out on the waters. Some top spots are:
  • Le Vieux Port - catch the yachts mooring from here and see them take off in the morning (around 10:30) and return home in the afternoon (around 5:30).
  • Cannes Yacht Club - as the host of this prestigious event, the yacht club is also a great spot to catch some of the action. At the Palm Beach harbour you can sit on the terrace and admire the yachts sailing across the bays - talk about prime location.
  • Les Iles de Lérins - if you fancy a little boating yourself, take a journey to the Lérins islands; if you get there before midday you can watch the passage of the yachts before taking in the sights at your destination.
All over Cannes there will be other events celebrating the regatta throughout the week; you'll be able to enjoy everything from the opening ceremony, cocktail hours, live music and even the big boats painting party. As usual throught the year the nightlife is vibrant and sophisticated - take a stroll right along the Old Harbour which is close to shops, restaurants, beaches, cultural attractions - and not to mention all the action of the regatta.

Where to stay


Many visitors to the regatta choose to avoid the expensive hotels in Cannes during the festivals and regatta and find conveient accomodation along the south coast with Nice only a short drive away.  If you are lucky enough to know any residents of Monaco who enjoy the benefit of offshore banking you should arrange to visit and hope that you join them on board their own yatchs and can sail into the bay to be part of the Regatta


The History

Dating back to 1929, the Régates Royales was first organised to honour king Christian X of Denmark with a week of races where royalty could bring their boats and compete in 6 major races to see who owned the most impressive boat. The history of regattas in Cannes dates even further back - the first event, held for tall ships, was organised by the Société de Régates de Cannes in 1863.

In 1978 the glittering event was relaunched by enthusiasts Jean-Pierre Odéro & Philippe Monnet, and since then has grown from strength to strength, earning its reputation as the September event to for the best skippers in the world.

In 2005 the festival partnered with the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge and has been on the calendar ever since, marking the closing leg of the season. The large number and variety of prestigious boats that come to the Régates Royales as well as its long history make this event an extraordinary festival for participants and spectators alike.