Trip to Sweden, September 2004

It’s been two days since we got back from our trip to Sweden. Already itfeels far away and long gone. I guess we need to go back pretty soon again.

After a 2.5 hour car ride we found out that the airport called Brussels south Charleroi) wasn’t at all as big as we had imagined. Slightly larger than Landvetter, roughly twice the size of Eindhoven. A lot smaller than expected given it’s grand name. We were early as always when Dita gets to decide so we had ample time to have a bite at the cafe. The flight left at 15:15 and arrived in Skavsta almost 40 minutes ahead of schedule (expectation management at its best I guess). The bus ride into Stockholm took a little over an hour, but the scenery made it feel shorter. It’s amazing how entertaining a few hills can be after having lived on a beach for more than 4 years.

Finding Hotel Amaranten was a breeze, the tube stop at Rådhuset basically had an exit in the hotel’s lobby. The lobby was impressive; really the lobby of a €100/night hotel. However the room was more in the €50/night price class. Hotels in Stockholm, it seems, has a rather screwed up way of setting hotel stars, ours was 4, but the room was barely a 3. There was a computer in the lobby offering Internet to all hotel guests though–a requirement for a 4 star hotel in Stockholm. Go figure!

We spent three days (four nights) in Stockholm, doing really touristy stuff every day. In our common leisurely pace we did the king’s palace (Kungliga slottet) and a lot of walking in the Old City (gamla stan). We also visited Drottningholm, where the royal family lives–actually we only saw the Chinese Pavillion and the Palace Theatre, since we’ve heard that Drottningholm Palace itself really wasn’t writing home about. Of course we also managed to do some browsing in stores as well.

On Sunday the 19th we packed up our stuff and checked out of the hotel. There was some confusion about the bill since my Dad had paid it, but the woman at the counter didn’t manage to follow hisinstructions (she was supposed to say Happy birthday and then let us know the room was paid for) instead she refused to tell us who had paid the room. Well, who would argue when someone says you don’t need to pay €400? Not us, that’s for sure. After a short ride with the tube we got to Östermalms torg where we picked up a cute little silvery Peugeut 206.

On the way towards Alingsäs–the place I grew up–we made two pit stops. The first at Max, a Swedish chain of hamburger restaurants. They beat the crap out of all other chains (I think). The second stop was for some tea and cookies in Örebro with an old mate from university, Fredrik Örvill. All in all the trip took almost 8 hours and I was really tired of driving by the time we arrived at Glimmergatan 46, Alingsås.

Staying in Alingsås is always nice, but it quickly becomes a bit boring. Not because of them, but they aren’t around that much and Alings simply doesn’t have that much to offer. To make sure we didn’t fall in the trap we went to Varberg on Wednesday. For the first time I actually got to see Bockstensmannen and the button that allegedly killed Karl XII. Awesome, and the entrance was a mere 30SEK! We also saw Varbergs fortress, both of them! (Dita brought up the idea of going to Varberg; she wanted to see the fortress. Later on, in Alingsås, when she looked up Varberg on the Web she didn’t recognise the fortress. She had mistaken the cold-bath house for the fortress. Luckily we got to see both when we were there.) That night we spent in a cabin belonging to my aunt and uncle, it’s just outside Varberg in a place called Trönningenäs, just by the sea. The next day we spent shopping, first in an outlet mall in Kungsbacka, and later on in Gothenburg. We stayed with my brother and his girlfriend that night. The next day we played tourists again and visited the Eastindia man Gothenburg. After a lunch with my sister, my brother, and a friend (Klas Sanden) we took a trip with paddan.

The saturday went by with people comming to celebrate our birthdays. During the day some of my old friends stopped by–Anders Magnusson, Nicklas Berg, Henrik Steen, and Erik Zaring. In the evening my Mum and Arvid came over to my Dad’s as did some of their friends.

The journey back to the low contries started on Sunday at 6:00. We had to leave that early since the car had to be back before 13:00. We made it with time to spare. Getting down to Nyköping and the Ibis hotel there proved easier than I thought and we had dinner around 20:00 in a Chinese restaurant on Östra Storgatan in Nyköping.

All in all it was probably the best trip to Sweden so far. Next time it seems we’ll have to plan one other place to stay over since my sister and her boyfriend is planning on buying a house.

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