“Vill du sätta igång spat?”
“Vill du sätta igång spat?”
“What? Oh sorry I don’t speak Swedish.”
“Ummm would you like zee bubles turned on?”
“Bubbles? Oh there are bubbles? I didn’t even realize! Yes please.”
(I swear he said “zee” I’m not making that up.)
I’m sitting in a hot bath at the Varberg Comwell Hotel in Varberg, Sweden. After a swim and a sit in the steam room then sauna I am now starring into space, soaking. An older Swedish man has just hopped into the hot bath and sits next to me wondering why I don’t have the bubbles turned on. The answer to that is that I quite simply have never been in a “hot bath” so I didn’t realize there were bubbles, but the bubbles made it so much better, as if it wasn’t great to begin with.
I’ve found myself in the small 50,000 person town of Varberg, Sweden to visit a Swedish friend whom I had met months before in Fiji. Before I’ve even made it to my hotel I can already tell that not many English speaking people visit here.
Every person I’ve come in contact with has spoken to me in Swedish, assuming that I too was Swedish (which I kind of liked, I felt like I really fit in.) However as soon as they quickly realized from my blank confused stare, (as I tried to remember the Swedish line of “Sorry I don’t speak Swedish” “Förlåt att jag inte talar svenska.” that my friend has only told me 10seconds before) they happily switched over and were able to speak very fluently in English. Some of these people even seemed to relish at the fact and be excited that they suddenly had someone to practice their English on.
My friend who was briefly living at her mothers in Varberg didn’t have room for me to stay with her. So before arriving I searched online and did some investigating of the few accommodations available, after contacting a couple I found myself invited to stay at the Varberg Kusthotel for 2 nights, which I graciously accepted.
My friend Hanna took me to my hotel and translated a few of the obvious standard things for me in my room. There was a robe and slippers for me to wear (I could take the slippers home! Yes, I am amused by the little things) There was a flat screen TV and the bathroom was filled with everything you could want including a shower with 3 different types of shower heads. The hotel offered three healthy buffet meals a day, along with a dinner menu as well as a bar menu. It also offered any Spa experience imaginable, (including seaweed baths) and a heated salt water pool, hot bath, hot bath with bubbles, cold bath, sauna, steam room, gym with every piece of exercise machinery known to man, a spin class room, yoga room and I could go on. However I only had 2 days to see my friend and the little bit of Sweden I could see so I was off to explore.
Aside from the beaches, people visit Varberg because it has the most health resorts and spas than any other place in Sweden! One of those Spas being the Varbergs Kusthotell, has been voted the best Spa in Europe, (lucky me!)
Varberg is on the Southern West coast of Sweden and is only a 3hr train ride from Copenhagen, Denmark. Varberg at one point was actually ruled by the Danish. It sits on the ocean and it has the typical little fortress at the water’s edge originally placed to protect the city, which now houses a restaurant, markets on weekends and acts as a tourist attraction. This small town is busiest in the summer time when Swedes from all over flock here to stay in the many small cottages and RVs that line the coast line.
A car really isn’t needed once you reach Varberg as everything is close by. There are a few squares in the town which have markets and food vendors, there is a small shopping mall and lots of little boutiques. Lots of people travel around by bicycle or walking.
Varberg dates back to the 1200’s and after some relocations and large fires it sits where it is today. The town is filled with old buildings however after being inside of them you might not know it. Now I have never been to an Ikea (we don’t have one here) but I do know a lot about it, I’ve seen all the ads, I want an Ikea top to bottom house. The nice thing about having a friend living here is that I got to hang out with locals and be invited into their homes. As soon as I walked into Hanna’s mothers place I was in an Ikea dream! I doubt that a single item was actually from Ikea but this did prove to me that the Swedes sure know a lot about design.
In Varberg there are two main places where the locals head out to at night for drinks. One is for the 30+crowd and the other kitty corner to it called “Cheers and Beers” is more for the under 30’s crowd and that is where Hanna and I were headed. I tried a few different Swedish beers and some of the welcoming locals helped us dance the night away.
On my second day in Varberg we visited a famous ice cream shop that on hot summer days can sometimes have a line of 100+ people around the block. We also visited Hanna’s fathers house which was amazingly decorated as well. (I now kinda really want to live in Sweden.)
The rest of my trip I spent walking along the lengthy ocean front path in front of the hotel and I explored more of my swanky hotels amenities. One thing that I decided to do was attend an exercise class. I knew it would be taught in Swedish but I figured I could get by just following what the instructor does and just doing what everyone else did. It was an aerobics class in the swimming pool, sounded like fun. Indeed it was “pretty” easy to follow, but I think it did help that all the splashing about and the fact that I was in a pool hid my confused steps. However here is a tip for you, do not take a heavy aerobic filled exercise class in the middle of a trip if you aren’t use to exercising like that…my legs killed me for the next two days! Chris from The Aussie Nomad can confirm from my possible complaining while with him in Copenhagen. However after the exercise class I made my way to the steam room, sauna, cold and hot baths where the Swedish man asked me if I like bubbles.
Stay tuned for a video of the hotel I stayed at coming soon. For my Swedish speaking friends you can find more information about the Varberg Kusthotell HERE or easily translate it with the Google Translator.