Gävle: Sweden’s Ugliest Town? I think not…

Gävle has been christened Sweden’s ugliest town by a Swedish newspaper. But I think they might need to get their eyes checked and then visit the cemetery.  Joe Hill’s Will in the house where he grew up in Gävle before moving to the United States and becoming the voice of many Union work songs  Carl Milles’s Musicerande änglar at the beginning of one of the most beautiful parks IMG_8863

And of course the Gävle Goat! In the center of the town every christmas they construct a large wooden goat. The tradition started in 1966, and along with it came another tradition: fire. Every year, some “criminal” manages to light the goat ablaze. (Which is interesting because the Swedish homonym for Gävle is “Hell.”) Sometimes this happens only days after the construction has finished, and sometimes it happens on a more fortunate day like St. Lucia day, the festival of light. Now it has become sort of a joke, but the people who I spoke to in Gävle actually really want it to stay in tact because it is a meaningful symbol.

Thank you Nils and Ulla-Karin for hosting me in Gävle. You have proved that it is indeed a beautiful city and that Swedish newspaper was wrong!

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