Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday My Town: Tour Guide

This should be easy, but considering I’ve been blogging continually about my town for about three years now, I’m finding it kind of hard to come up with something “new”.

However, it may come as a surprise to some bloggers who have been following me for a while now… that THIS is where most of my Swedish visiting friends have wanted to go in the past:

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The shopping mall/district ‘Knalleland’ (well, part of it)!

Borås is an old textile and mailorder centre; and even though nowadays there are less actual ‘factory outlets’ than there used to be, we still have a reputation for cheap (or supposedly cheap) shopping - especially clothes.

Actually some people travel for hours to get here, only to spend hours going from shop to shop at this mall, and that’s pretty much all they see of the town.

People with small children who aren’t fond of shopping, usually bribe them by also throwing in a visit the zoo.

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The zoo was founded in the 1960s and specializes in African endangered species - and our own Scandinavian ones (like wolves):

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A place I like to suggest to visitors is the Textile Museum, which is unique in Sweden. They have a permanent exhibition of old machinery etc reflecting the textile history of the area; and seasonal exhibitions of varying kind. I’ve blogged about this museum before on several occasions.

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Another favourite spot of mine is the Open Air Museum, a park with a variety of old buildings which have been moved there. In the main museum there is usually some current exhibition of local history or crafts. In the summer you may also find modern sculptures on display in the park. In the tourist season there is a café.

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I also like our town centre where besides shopping you can go for a stroll along the river and in the town park. The riverside restaurants and cafés are popular in the summer.

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In later years, Borås has managed to build a reputation as a town of many sculptures. We got a boost in 2008 with Jim Dine’s 9 m high broze sculpture of Pinocchio:

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This summer we’re having our third sculpture biennal with some extra sculptures on loan in addition to the permanent ones. This time many of the new works are displayed in and around our newly renovated Cultural Centre; in which building you’ll find the art museum, library, and theatre.

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‘Pose Plastique’ by Cajsa von Zeipel

For more interiors and sculptures,
see last week's FMTSO post.

To take a tour of the highlights of some OTHER places around the world, go visit Friday My Town Shoot Out

16 comments:

  1. All wonderful!!!! I cannot BELIEVE that tourists want to go to the mall first!!! I think they are not real tourists then, just shoppers. You can go to a cheap mall in almost any place. But to see something particular to your country, all the other wonderful things, the museum, the sculptures, so much else, that is something so much more special than a regular old mall! If I came there, I would be so busy that I would never go near it unless I had seen everything else first.

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    1. Actually while in the past tourism in this town has been based very much on shopping (textiles and clothes), over the years that I've lived here, and not least the last decade or so, efforts have been made to shift the focus. When I moved here in the 80s, the town centre was rather boring compared to now. But I also think my own perspective has probably changed a bit too through blogging, and looking at the town through my camera lens.

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  2. P.S. it is nice, though, to finally get a look at your mall!!! If you have posted it before, I must have missed it, or can't remember.

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  3. I feel like Ginny, shopping at a mall would be the last place I'd want to visit. However, if I could find some piece of clothing or house accessory that would be unique to Sweden, then I'd have to visit for a short while. Your city is so beautiful that my eyes would have to drink in all its beauty!

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  4. They only shopping I like to do in a new country to me is for fabrics. I love to collect fabrics from around the world. All my connections to the missionary world make that possible. My favorite photo is the one of the reflection in the water. I am like you I have been blogging about my town for about 4 years now so I had to go in a different direction.
    QMM

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    1. Well, fabrics and fashion design is what this area is famous for, even if much of the production has been moved abroad nowadays compared to how things were some decades ago.

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  5. i much prefer the parts of your home town that you share with us, all the beautiful sculptures and shadows on water and fences and OLD buildings, over the shopping mall. it is a shame they don't SEE your beautiful town because they are focused on shopping. i love the zoo and those wolves are magnificent. i have so much enjoyed seeing all the beauty that surrounds you in your photos. I must say i see no beauty in that last skinny girl, but it took great talent to create it. she is way to thin and looks like what i see on the streets here.

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    1. The recent sculpture biennals are part of the town's efforts to change its reputation and show that we have more than just shopping to offer. I think the sculpture of the young girl is purposely challenging the classic ideals of female beauty (the biennal brochure says something along that line). I found it slightly disturbing but also thought-provoking.

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  6. Forget the shops, your town seems made for walking around and that's what I'd like to do. And I like to take a ride on public transport if it's too far to walk. (That's a novelty for me.) I wonder how many sculptures I'd see just walking? I didn't know you had a zoo in town, would love to see your native wolves!
    (Oh, about your comment, left and right is just the difference between coming and going.)

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  7. That shot of the flowers by the river with buildings in the background,is my most favorite picture. I just love the composition! Singapore is known as a shopping heaven and some visitors come here just for that and we have too many malls all within easy reach.

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  8. Love the giraffe and the flowers by the river. Pinocchio is one of my favorite (Italian :) fairy tales. What a cool statue!

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  9. Wow! So much to comment on! Pinocchio is fabulous, as are the zoo animals! I love the loom and the lush fabric coming off it...really GREAT photo! I also love the wooden fence!!!

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  10. so pinocio not only gets a long nose. he also grows taller lol

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  11. I don't know why but I hadn't thought of your town having a mall. I think, of course, whilst they are the norm in North America they are not the norm in all towns in the UK and I rather assumed that Sweden would be more like the UK in that regard.

    I enjoyed seeing Pinocchio. I don't recall seeing the statue before. I am not, though, very taken with Pose Plastique although I do think it's rather clever.

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  12. If you've not thought of my town as having a mall, it's probably because I don't go there very often, and it's not a photogenic kind of place ;) It's not all under one roof but spread out in separate buildings over quite a large area, actually two areas separated by a transit route. It's "across town" from where I live.

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  13. I would skip the shopping and go right to the mill and the open air museum then have a riverside meal. That would be a perfect day!

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