Stenungsund

The Tjörn bridges at dusk in May, seen from the bluffs next to the STF hostel at Tollenäs (dot 1 on the city bus map below).

Stenungsund lies just some 50 km north of Göteborg, perfect for the daytripper. Such a small town tend to be easily forsaken by the big city tourist. For the locals it is a little different, as Stenungsund is a gateway to the major islands Tjörn, Orust, and hordes of smaller islets. Especially the first mentioned island is strongly recommended for international tourists, but I will come back to that. The population of Stenungsund is today 23.000. Not a bad development in 50 odd years, taking the percentage into account.

The wooden chapel of 1927, is among the oldest buildings in this young city (dot 4 on the map).

As late as the early fifties, Stenungsund had only 300 dwellers. It lied dormant since both the former quarries and fishing industry went bust. Tarmac replaced paving stones, and the fish dissapeared. As a soothing (or sooting?) measure, the Swedish government decided to build a spare oil fired power plant in Stenungsund (this is marked as dot 5 on the bus route map of my own making, furher below). This is mostly hidden underground, as it was designed to withstand a direct nuclear blast. Only four giant smoke stacks are visible in the northern part of town, even as the plant is Europes biggest of its kind.

Stenungsund seen from Hallerna.

After this came the petrochemic industries, that have a very prominent presence. Hogia data makes computer programs since 1980, and has a strongly niched production line, e.g. it is a world leader in software for the ferry business.

Tjörn bridges from western Stenungsön.

A sad accident is also associated with Stenungsund. January 18:th 1980, a freight ship knocked down a steel arch bridge (from 1960) that was situated to the right in the picture above. A number of cars went over the abyss, while the ships crew could just helplessly watch. Finally one car at each side fathomed the unlikely event, and was able to stop more from going down to a certain death. In just 17 months the new cable stayed bridge was finished in the same location. You can walk here in less than three quarters of an hour from Stenungsund station, if not taking your chances on buses going to Tjörn and Orust. Then it will be between the rather farflung stops Stenungsön and Myggenäs.

Local bus services

208 on route 341, but wrongly displayed (?).

When Stenungsund got the first city bus in the 80:s, it became known as "Tättingen" (oftly, and also a birds name). Now three somewhat intertwined routes operate in Stenungsund. They goes fast as the buses are almost completely devoid of passengers. The car traffic downtown is on the contrary horrendous, sadly fully comparable with the situation on the most busy streets of Stockholm and other bigger cities. The buses of today has formerly operated in Landskrona, then with a number in the 7000:s. Now the first digit is dropped.

Tättingen by Högenorum in 1999.

Last time I visited there was still three digit numbers on the local routes, to fit into the regional layout. One obvious alteration is that 341-343 has been renumbered as 1-3. The actual alignments may also have changed. I will have to come back to that later, after another visit. Until then the old network is shown on my map. The major roads are in dark green, and the coastline in dark blue. The bus services goes partly in circles, with the terminals, as much as there is of them, marked as dots in a corresponding colour. The red dots are the water towers, shown on www.eber.se, to which I have contributed. You don't have to check this out, though.

Beside the bus routes, some places of interest is designated with numbered black dots.

Anyway, some significant places are noted on the map. Number three is the current downtown area, made as recently as the 1980:s, on land reclaimed from the sea. It is in effect a modern mall, also including some residential buildings, and a boardwalk on top of it. All very handsome. But then again, the parking lot turned to the landside of the complex is rather hideous indeed. Unfortunately many bus services seem to skip this area, like if it was not an important destination.

The boardwalk by Stenungstorg.

Finally, a suggestion for a stopover, when riding around: Hallerna in the southernmost part of the town, is offering some fine views of the strait between Stenungsund and Stenungsön. Some new highrises have recently been constructed here, hopefully boosting the bus ridership. Dot 6 shows the right location.

Construction work in Hallerna hights.

Tickets

Orusttrafiken Scania Maxci 29.

When travelling within the Västra Götaland region (OPR state), the "Västtrafikkort" is the smartest way. It can even be used by a family or other company, though all the required pusching on different bottons to achive this, is tricky enough for the locals. When charged with a money, each single trip will draw a sum from the total amount. When travelling much, and especially for longer distances, a pass for one or two days is a better and more hasslefree option.

Stenungsund station in 2006. Quite overgrown.

The pass comes in a number of varieties refered to as Göteborg, dito +, ++, and so on until it finally covers all the state. Check out the undertakers internet site, or ask the sales staff for advice. The passes can be purchased at a lot of different locations. Tickets onboard are more expensive, and when it comes to the more central parts of the Göteborg region, not even available.

Stenungsund station, with train bound for Göteborg.

How to get here

RED express bus, that is sad to say not red anymore. They were between circa 1998-2005.

You may arrive by air to Göteborg Säve or Landvetter. There is also ferries from Denmarks northern part. Trains connect with Oslo in Norway, and Copenhagen in Denmark. Either way you will end up in downtown Göteborg, except for Säve airport, from which a taxi directly to Stenungsund, or at least Ytterby station may be the most convenient. Local trains run rather frequently from Göteborg, and the so called RED express bus even more often (at most every quarter). E6 highway is the easiest choise for motorists. Once there it could be good to know about the combined camping and hostel 2 km south of the station (dot 1 on the local map). The choisier will opt for Stenungsbaden hotel (dot 2) opposite the strait in the city center.

Stenungsbaden hotel from the bridge spanning the sound.

Regional map

The place names are in a narrow selection only, but will mention those that the text handles - and a few more. The area covered is about 70 x 70 km, and reasonably to scale. The city of Göteborg encompasses a good deal of the lower third of the map.

Excursions

Klädesholmen, southwestern part in 2002.

As already hinted, this area is a treasure trove of picturesque locations, like former fishing villages. The most striking would be Klädesholmen, that is just ubelievable. In spite of the island location, it can be reached by buses, as a bridge connects it with Tjörn. Tjörn is a huge island, just west of Stenungsund. The inner parts constitutes of farmland in the protected valleys. Between these, some more or less steep, and almost inaccesible rocky "islands" are to be seen. The coastline is buffeted in strong winds most of the year, and is evidently very barren.

Klädesholmen, as far as the bus can go.

The secondly most admirable place is Åstol, that appears like a small flat cliff arising from the ocean, but is yet packed with houses almost from end to end. Sometimes so close, that you can grab two at the same time. Åstol require a ferry ride from Rönnäng, but this it not the main worry, as it runs more frequent than the buses from Stenungsund to Rönnäng. The ferry is covered by the same tickets as the bus, but counts as another zone, with a surcharge needed. The ferry also operates Tjörnekalv, just opposite the landing stage in Rönnäng, and Dyrön, in alternating service patterns, about every 40-60 minutes.

Åstol from the base of the water tower.

Another more accesible place once You are at Tjörn is the "capital" Skärhamn, sporting the museum of Watercolor painting (Akvarellmuseet). While the downtown is traditional, the oulying areas are more bland and conventional. Skärhamn is big enough for several bus stops, so there is no need to immediately throw yourself at the stop request buttons, if you are indecisive about getting off at first.

Skärhamn from the base of the water tower.

Even as it is another ballgame, Marstrand must also be mentioned. This lies within Kungälv "city" limits, and is to be reached by bus from Ytterby station. These sometimes start their journey by the central station in Göteborg, and then also passes the bus terminal in downtown Kungälv. Couseways connects almost all the way, but for a very short ferry ride from Koön (cow island), where the bus ends.

Among the labyrints of agreeable wooden houses in Marstrand.

The ferry accepts the same tickets as the bus, while motorists first needs to park way back in the village, and then pay a "bus ticket" for the ferry. Marstrands original claim to fame is/ was as a royal playground. A yacht race takes place every year, and the fortress is well worth a visit. An endless supply of eateries will keep looking deep in your wallet.

Carlsten fort, Marstrand.

The woods may not be what you came for. But just in case; Svartedalen (do not mix it up with the namesake Göteborg district). Svartedalen is a huge natural preservation area, starting some 10 km southeast of Stenungsund. It is even wild enough for a few wolfs to live there, about the most southern there is in Europe.

The coast in pictures

M/S Atene, built 1909, offers excursions (prebooking only).
Skärhamn, close to the northeastern edge of the village.
Klädesholmen, from the base of the water tower.
Bleket, where the bridge to Klädesholmen starts.
Åstol ferry Tjörn, only used as a spare, I guess.
Åstol ferry Hakefjord, the new ship.
Stenungsund boardwalk in January 2005.

Links

To be honest, I haven't even bothered to check which are available in Swedish only. These are just some examples, as a platform from which to sift further information for the planning of your trip in the area. All links will open in the same browser window as Busspojken, and thus replace this.

Västtrafik transit undertaking

Orusttrafiken, one of the local bus operators

National railways

Stena Line car ferries (from Denmark and more)

Stenungsund city

Tjörn community

Orust community

Guide to Marstrand

museum of Watercolor painting

STF hostels, Swedish tourist association

Stenungsbaden hotel

Svartedalen

Tjörn bridge. The main span is 366 m, and the cable towers rises 110 m above the sea. Definetely among the worlds longest of its kind (cable stayed) when finished in 1981.

© Busspojken 2010