Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Destination Unknown: Stockholm

So!! Yes, London in ''chaos'' is 2cm of snow that shut down the whole public transport system hahahahah it was hilarious!! Ive been following the cold very well this trip, its snowed in London, then Manchester, then Amsterdam, then in Freddie's hometown- Uppsala (SO BEAUTIFUL!!)

The coolest thing we did with Freddie was go walking on a frozen lake- just to emphasise how cold it is Sweden!! I've never walked on a frozen lake, Freddie showed us cracks in the snow and threw a massive snowball at me, we took lots of silly photos of our long shadows, and wrote messages in the snow :)

It was so lovely to actually see Freddie's home - it's like a postcard, and his parents are so lovely, even his little fluffy dog was so cute. Rita and I had a good laugh over what baby photo was Freddie - he was the fat baby :P Jordi and I slept out in the little sleepout, the only problem being that the roof was very close to my head, and I hit it when I woke up in the morning (late). Good times!!! Uppsala itself was so beautiful, I LOOOOOVED the cathedral, and we went and watched a game of rugby (England v... I dont remember, Italy?) at a local pub, which was so great! Even though i'd been away from Rugby for so long, I still remembered how to yell at the ref and the good lines of abuse to hurl. The locals were impressed (I think)!

Anyway, unfortunately, we didnt spend enough time in Uppsala; we left Freddie and his lovely family home (and his mom's great cooking!) and trained down to Stockholm after hanging out with Freddie all day. When we arrived, we got off the train and walked for (what seemed like) forever in very icy conditions to find out hostel - a boat! It was also so awesome to see, all the water around Stockholm was iced over, it was so impressive, it looked like broken glass!!

Anyway, more cold!!! Even though it snowed everywhere I visited on this trip, Stockholm definitely takes the cake though!! It was only -4 degrees, but the wind-chill factor made it more like -12!! On our first day of exploring (Valentines Day), we went to Galma Stan (the Old City), to the side with the Royal's Church, and looked out over the water. We all sat down on the edge of the platform, and it was like sitting on ice! My bum instantly froze! Rita wore her scarf and beanie so close together, all you could see was her eyes! It was such a shame when they left, because I was by myself for a day in Stockholm, and a bit of a loner in the hostel-boat. But i made friends with the French chicks and some crazy dude in my room, had an early night and had a really good look around Galma Stan, took BAZILLIONS of photos and had a really nice lunch with a Swedish lady and her beautiful baby girl, who came and sat next to me and we ended up talking for an hour!

My one panic of the day however was when I returned to grab my bags to get to the train station to find my way to the airport... As I should have known, Ryanair departs from the most inconvenient of locations (way out in the middle of nowhere), and after I had a panic about the whereabouts of my bags (they had been moved from the shed where i'd stored them!), I got to the train station and realised the next Ryanair bus to the airport I needed to go to (Vasteras) was only 90mins before my flight was due to leave! But I bought a ticket anyway, and went and looked at the times for trains, just in case. Then I realised there was a train that would get me to Vasteras faster! So I went and bought a train ticket, and got a refund for my bus ticket, planning on hitchhiking or taxiing from the town to the airport (it wasnt far, I was told). I went and got some dinner, and sat by my train... Which didnt depart, or let anyone on. I then asked a local, "Whats going on?"
Local- "There's a delay on the line..."
Me - "SHIT! How long will it be?"
Local- "half an hour..."
Me' - "Bugger"
Essentially, that would have got me to the airport too late for my flight, so I raced back to the guy I had originally bought my bus ticket from (who also refunded it) and he sold me another one. Then I had no time to go get a refund for my train ticket, so I gave it to him as a thank-you for his patience in my desperation :P As I got on the bus, in my seat next to the window, a British lady sat down next to me. We had a brief conversation about where we were going (Stansted, London), and she mentioned how "This was the only bus for Ryanair, the plane wont leave without us!"

Well, someone could have saved me a lot of time and stress if i'd known this sooner!!!!

= Zoe Fail

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