Sweden or Bust(s)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Our Contiki tour wrapped up nicely with a few days respite in Copenhagen. I stayed in a room with Nick, Steph, and Jess and hung out with them as well as Chad & Martymer for the next couple days and also got some serious updating done to my internet presence. The first day I mostly slept, awaking in time to get in on a pizza delivery order and watch part of a movie with Gene Hackman and Hugh Grant that looked spectacularly awful. The next day was a little more eventful. Chad cooked up a nice chicken dinner, and we went out for Marty's birthday to Absalon in Copenhagen. The barmaid took care of us, and the live acoustic act certainly catered to us, not to mention chatting with some Swedish girls in town for the night. All in all, it was a much needed breather, let me assure you.

Malmo is definitely into the music
It was sad to finally leave the campsite, I think that's when it hit that I'm alone again, but by the time I'd made the trek to the train station to get back into the city, the music was going and I'd forgotten my sorrow. I took off to Malmo, which was much less lively than expected, partly because it was too early in the week and partly because the students all go home over the summer. They have a good and well-renowned music scene generally. I met a Dutch guy named Inga (who is aware of his name's female implications in all languages except Swedish), who turned out to be a writer for a Dutch music mag and a bit of an electronica enthusiast/writer. We had a great time at the pub chatting but I'd decided it was time to leave Malmo by the end of the night.

French Sailors
So the next day I was off to Lund for a few hours, a nice place but not much to see, and then I went up to Göteborg (yoo-te-bor) and found my way to a hostel. Which turned out to be the only one with an all night reception, but no rooms. He did offer me the coveted janitor's room, however, which I gladly took. It actually wasn't bad at all. I didn't get woken up, I had the room to myself, and, I slept better than I had in some time. I upgraded to a dorm the next night, and spent the day exploring. It's quite a cool city and very alive, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone travelling through Sweden in July. I took a guided tour on a boat and wound up in a café chatting with two guys and two girls for a couple hours. One of them offered me a ride to Stockholm today since she was heading that way anyway, but given that it's a 6 hour drive and a 3 hour train ride, I had to pass. I went to Liseberg, the largest amusement park in Scandi, since I had free admission, and did splurge on one ride - a wooden rollercoaster. Well worth the 40 minute wait and the 60 SEK which, for my own sanity, I will not translate into dollars.

I made my way back to the hostel to change for a night on the town and wound up hanging around and chatting with some of the other hostellers. Big mistake. I now had three tag alongs, one of whom was drunk out of his tree, the other two who didn't want to go where I wanted to. So we walked along a street nearby and were denied access to one place because the guy was too drunk (if you look the slightest bit drunk, they don't let you in here at all), another because the other guy was not 23, and wound up at this place that I found out from some locals I saw walking by is sort of a joke, called the Red Room. It wasn't sketchy, per se, but I get the feeling they'd use it in a sentence the way we'd use the Barry or something.

Visit to the Botanical Gardens
And now, today, I'm going to do a little more museum stuff until my pass expires and grab the express train to Stockholm. I've given some serious thought to picking up a phone over here, just because it would be very convenient for calling hostels, orchestrating meet ups, and even checking email away from these cafés I get trapped in. But I would either be paying roaming charges in other countries or changing my number all the time, so maybe I'll hold out yet.

That's all for now. The Contiki trip blog is finally finished. Whew!

<Sweden Part Deux Photos>

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