11 Apr Got That Travel Bug?
There’s new flights paths that might tickle your fancy…
Though often caught in Stockholm’s shadow, gregarious, chilled-out Göteborg actually has greater appeal for many visitors (and resident Swedes) than the fast-paced capital. Some of the country’s finest talent hails from the streets of this cosmopolitan port, including music icons José González and Soundtrack of Our Lives. Neoclassical architecture lines its tram-rattled streets, grit-hip cafes hum with bonhomie, and there’s always some cutting-edge art and architecture to grab your attention.
From Centralstationen at the northern end of town, shop-lined Östra Hamngatan leads southeast across one of Göteborg’s few 17th-century canals, through verdant Kungsparken (King’s Park) to the city’s ‘Champs-Élysées’, the boutique- and upscale bar–lined ‘Avenyn’ boulevard.
The waterfront abounds with all things nautical but nice, from ships, aquariums and sea-related museums to the freshest fish, and, to the west, the Vasastan, Haga and Linné districts buzz with creativity. Fashionistas design fair-trade threads, artists collaborate over mean espressos and street artists spice up forlorn facades. Stockholm may represent the ‘big time’, but many of the best ideas originate in this grassroots town.
Flight time: 1 hour 45 minutes. From £29.90 each way with Norwegian.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are there. Waves crashing against a mildewed sea wall; a young couple cavorting in a dark, dilapidated alley; guitars and voices harmonizing over a syncopated drum rhythm; sunlight slanting across rotten peeling paintwork; a handsome youth in a guayabera shirt leaning against a Lada; the smell of diesel fumes and cheap after-shave; tourists with Hemingway beards; Che Guevara on a billboard, a banknote, a key-ring, a t-shirt…
No one could have invented Havana. It’s too audacious, too contradictory, and – despite 50 years of withering neglect – too damned beautiful. How it does it, is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s the swashbuckling history, the survivalist spirit, or the indefatigable salsa energy that ricochets off walls and emanates most emphatically from the people. Don’t come here looking for answers. Just arrive with an open mind and prepare yourself for a long, slow seduction.
Flight time: 10 hours. Virgin will fly three times a week from Gatwick from November 2016, from £320 each way.