It's hard to believe that when I was in Gothenburg, Sweden, a few weeks ago, it was still fall (or at least it looked like it). Now winter has set in, a light dusting of snow occasionally covers the ground, and the vibrant leaves are long gone. Fall doesn't last long in Sweden, so I'm lucky to have captured some great pictures of the leaves at the botanical garden and nature reserve.
Sweden is a gorgeous country, full of natural beauty and rich history. Like its European neighbors, Sweden is very smart about its development footprint and this is especially true in its large (or "large") cities. In Gothenburg for example, despite the city struggling with a five-year housing waitlist and a projected doubling of its population by 2025, the city's abundance of natural areas stands untouched and off the table for development. This is a good thing, because people (especially nature-loving Swedes) need quiet, secluded spots to retreat to, especially ones located within the urban center. Enter Slottskogan/Botaniska Trädgården/Änggårdsbergens Naturreservat, a trio of nature preserves that allows anyone in Gothenburg to escape the city for as short (or long) of a time as needed.
After exploring a bit of each one on a lovely fall day, I have to say that it is worth visiting each during any season. One can make a morning or day out of visiting the parks. Since each one is different, I am listing the highlights of each one below.
- Slottskogan: Referred to as "Gothenburg's park since 1874," this spot is great for running, taking the kids to the playground, visiting the natural history museum, or a round of mini golf. This park is centrally located and has a variety of leisurely activities to suit anyone's taste.
- Botaniska Trädgården: Across the highway is Gothenburg's botanical garden, which claims to be one of the the larger botanical gardens in Europe. It is probably best to visit this urban gem in the warmer months when there are more plants and flowers, but there is still lots to see in the colder months. Be sure to go on an empty stomach, as the cozy restaurant offers delicious, farm-fresh, and light fare.
- Änggårdsbergens Naturreservat: Touching the southern edge of the botanical garden is the entrance to this guarded respite, which is perfect for "getting away from it all." The reserve is quite expansive and I didn't explore it much, but it is definitely the perfect place for a weekend hike for Gothenburgers that don't want to travel far outside of the city.