Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stockholm and back

This past weekend I was in Stockholm with Beth and Ana. Stockholm the city was really fun! I would love to go back. The trip there wasn't bad. Ana and I took a night bus. We arrived at a little after 7 in the morning because we had to stop and pick up people from a bus that had broken down on the side of the highway. But we hadn't slept very well, and it was snowing really hard, really windy and extremely cold!! We eventually found where Beth was staying (she doesn't have class on Friday, so she came on Thursday night and met up with a sorority sister from home who is studying in London) and dropped our bags off. Then we went to get some groceries (instead of eating out for every meal) and went to a coffee shop. Then we did some touristy things. IT WAS SO COLD! We saw the changing of the guard, Ana bought some souvenirs, (I bought a hat) and then we found an awesome cafe that had unlimited coffee for 25 Swedish Kroner (that's about $3.50). It wasn't the greatest coffee, but it was hot and unlimited! We stayed there for a while, and then met up with everyone else. By this time, Ana and I were exhausted. We all took a nap in our room and then we went to have dinner. After dinner, I just took a shower and went to sleep. I didn't sleep that well on the bus, and I knew that Sunday was going to be a long day. HOWEVER I did not realize how crappy it was going to be. 

On Sunday, we woke up and had breakfast. We wandered around Stockholm a bit and then we found the Dance Museum, which had an exhibit (for free!!) about Russian Ballet in Paris. Which is exactly what we are talking about in History of European Ballet, so Ana and I wanted to go. (Ana is in that class with me) It was really cool going to a museum and knowing a lot of what the exhibits were talking about. (I talked to my Ballet prof today after class and he said that he knows the man who owns the museum. I wish we had talked to him before, maybe we could've had a private tour or something!) Then we wandered around some more, by this point, it was 1500 and everyone had left except Ana and I. So we went looking for a Scandinavian sweater (Ana wanted one) for a couple hours. We eventually found some, but they were almost $200. So, she didn't buy one. Haha. But then we had about 7 hours to kill before our train left. So we went to a cafe and we were literally there for over 3 hours. Then they were closing, so we went to the McDonald's across from Central Station. But then they were closing too, so we went to the station. But it's a huge building, in Sweden, so it was FREEZING COLD. We managed to amuse ourselves for a couple more hours, and it was almost time for our train to arrive. Then the worst thing possible happened- they delayed our train til 0115. Then it was 0200, then 0220. FINALLY, it was time to go outside and get on the train, but when we got to the track, we had to wait over 15 minutes for the train to come. I looked it up, it was -6F outside that night, without the wind chill. SO COLD. I honestly think that is the coldest weather I have ever experienced. 

We got on the train, and it started slowly moving down the track, stopping along the way a couple times. We only made it about 15 minutes from Central Station before we stopped again. We were there for over an hour until someone came by and told everyone (in Swedish, a person near me translated) that the train had fallen off the tracks. And that it would be at least 4 hours before another train came to get us back on. It was crazy, but I was so tired, I didn't even worry about it. I sent an email to my professors whose classes I had today, explaining the situation and went to sleep. When I woke up at 6, we still hadn't moved. But now we had a new problem: the brakes were frozen. Around 0800 we finally started moving back to Central Station (another train came and dragged us back). They loaded up more food, because they had run out by now, and we started back up. We didn't actually get moving on our way to Malmo (in Sweden, about 20 minutes from Copenhagen) until after 1100. We arrived in Malmo after 1800, and I didn't get back to Copenhagen til 1930. 

So, yeah. That's how Stockholm was. Haha. All in all, the train wasn't bad. The seats were comfortable, they gave us free food (because we had been on the train since 2:00 that morning) and the scenery was beautiful. I think it would be fun to take the train if it wasn't snowing, and didn't have any real time constraints. I am glad I wasn't traveling alone though. And I got to know Ana pretty well! She is really cool! 

Moral of the story: Don't go further north in Scandinavia for a vacation during the winter unless you are skiing. We should have gone somewhere warmer...

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