Moments after we arrived at Gothenburg’s old defense tower, an extremely strange-looking man appeared out of nowhere. He was dressed all in black, with a lazy eye and a mohawk. “You guys wanna shoot?” he offered in a semi-slurred voice.
Peder gave me a look. Its meaning was clear: “Time to get the hell outta here.” But in my naïveté, I didn’t understand what the man seemed to be offering.
As I stood there confused, the two of them exchanged a few more words in Swedish. Then Peder’s demeanor changed completely.
The man wasn’t offering us drugs at all – it turned out we’d inadvertently walked into his shooting range! A few dozen meters down the road a friend waited patiently with a high-powered air rifle and scope. They’d been shooting cans in the dumpster next to where we were standing.
“Sure, we’ll give it a try!”
Although both the guy and his friend did seem quite weird, they turned out to be just a couple of friendly Swedes practicing their aim on a day off work. We took turns punching gravel-sized holes in small tuna cans – it was really quite fun, and since Peder had studied sharpshooting during his time in the army, I got some great pointers.
Gotta love those random encounters while traveling 🙂
Once we’d thoroughly converted the cans into swiss cheese, we thanked our new friends and started towards home. It was nearing 8pm, closing time for most supermarkets – and in Scandinavia, the price of groceries is directly related to how late the store remains open. Buy the same item from a store that closes at 8 and it’ll cost half as much as a store that closes at 11. Don’t even get me started on the 24-hour markets; their prices are a joke.
For dinner we grilled up a huge helping of hamburgers in a park down the street from our hostel.
Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the big Scandinavian “park culture.”
Throughout Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, a very popular summertime activity is to purchase these cheap disposable grills (available at any supermarket) and gather in the public city parks. On a warm afternoon there can be so many people running their grills that you literally won’t find a spot to sit. And I’m talking about some pretty massive parks.
Unfortunately we didn’t make it out until nearly 11pm, and by that time most of the bustle had gone – but stuffing ourselves with some quality burgers was great nonetheless 🙂