I was picked up this afternoon by Felix, the younger (20 years of age) of Anette and Peter's two sons, and driven to Saltholmen on the Atlantic Ocean side of Goteborg, stretching out from which is an archipelago of islands, on some of which communities live. We didn't catch the ferry to any of the islands, but I had pointed out to me along th way the housing of some of the more wealthy residents. Felix intended to show me two extremes: one being the houses in the Saltholmen area and the other in a different part of Goteborg where the less fortunate live. After walking around the harbour for a time we caught the No. 11 tram into the city where we ate at a salad bar, however, because we were late starting out and because we had somewhere else to be by 7.00pm, we didn't make the second of the two extremes.

On the way back to the car by tram was the first time since my arrival in Sweden I'd noticed how quickly night time descends. It was broad daylight when leaving Goteborg and twenty minutes later we were in complete darkness.

Anette had bought us tickets for an ice hockey game between the Goteborg team and a visiting team. We met up with her shortly before the game was to start at 7.00pm. Now for someone who has never witnessed this sport, not even on TV, I saw it as quite a spectacle. The arena, in a building called the Scandinavium, looked like it had a capacity crowd with more than 11,000 spectators, but it was not full. Before the match there was a light show introducing the two teams, beamed onto the ice. Anette's elder son, Fabian (21 years) has been involved in the production of these shows, but he didn't do the one we watched tonight.

As I expected, the game was fast, colourful, and intensely fought with a few 'sin-binnings', and the occasional 'fight' which never amounted to anything that warranted a referee (of which there are three) taking action against any player. If a player is in the sin bin and the opposing team scores a goal that player is immediately allowed to re-enter the play, irrespective of the amount of time he has served. There were lots of heavy collisions between players against the wall as they competed for the puck. To deliberately collide with another player when not competing for the puck, is a sin binning offence. Each team has five players and their goal keeper on the field at any one time, but the five players seemed to be replaced by by one of the other twenty five members of the squad every three to four minutes. These changeovers are seamless, not requiring a stop in play. In between the three twenty minute periods of play the playing surface is topped with a film of water to fill in the marks left by the skates. The local team won by 5 goals to 1. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but I'm not sure I'd rush to watch another game.

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