Stockholm 2002-7-21


Arrived in Stockholm and after a few wrong turns (my mistake) we found the Hostel.  It was in one of the more European parts of the city, since the approach could fool you into thinking it was Portland.  The hostel was in fact a High School with bunk beds in the classroom.  It wasn’t great, but there were certainly a whole bunch of backpackers, which was a change from the campsites.  The hostel/school also lacked a kitchen for us to use, so we cooked in the courtyard with the camping stove. 


After a night with the loudest snoring this side of Novosibirsk, Volkmar and I hit the town, heading out with two Germans that we met the night before.  They wanted to go to the Museum that looks like a ship and has a ship in it.  We were happy to save our few precious Krone and wander around the city.  Volkmar and I discovered an ‘American Shop’ in the old part of town and entered with dreams of Tortillas and Peanut Butter.  There were two Canadian girls in there, and Volkmar suggested I say hello.  I decided to be shy and said that they should notice me, since I was all MEC’d out for the rain.


“Are you from Canada?”  and that was that.  Wandered about the city with a Nurse and Paramedic from Calgary.  As soon as they mentioned that they craved sushi, we offered to make them some for dinner.  They accepted (warily I’m sure), and that pretty much toasted the rest of Volkmar and my Day in Stockholm, since we had to head back to the hostel to prepare the rice, shower, shave, buy what few ingredients we hadn’t managed to bring with us…


The evening was good.  What hostelling is all about.  The next day the sky as blue and the weather warm.  A proper tour round the old city plus the architecture museum (naturally) and then it was on the road again towards Denmark!



Helsingoer 2002-7-25


If anything is to be rotten in the state of Denmark, it must be the cheese.  Well not rotten but rancid, and not so much rotten as delicious.  Off the boat, and after a quick bite in town, I had to hit the cheese shop for some delicious blue cheese and havarti.  And the Havarti was nothing like what I’m used to in Canada.


Helsingoer has Elsinore castle of Hamlet fame, but it also has a lot of liquor stores to serve the Swedish cross-border shopper.  A very picturesque town.  And Danish girls, wow…! 




Back to the Europe that Volkmar and I knew.  Old buidlings, narrow winding streets, ‘quaint’ stores.  It is shocking to find Scandinavia to be a big car, big road, big crap selling convenience store culture.  We did find the quiet woods and beautiful lakes and everything that is associated with Northern Europe, but away from the coast, the part of the world bears a remarkable resemblance to Ontario.  Is Europe really an Ocean away  from North America? I could imagine that driving ‘north’ from Karlstad, I would wind up heading south into Thunder Bay, without ever passing the arctic and Tundra that I have never seen, but fills the Canadian map. 


Copenhagen’s hostel/campsite was quite nice, but windy and not really on a nice stretch of beach.  A dutch camper was keen to join (and out perform) our little habit of guitar playing after dinner and into the darkness. 


Neustadt 2002-7-25


Camped for the first time at a German campsite after coming off the Ferry from Denmark.  The caravans were placed right up against one another, with little fences and garden ornaments that indicate that they’ll be here for the whole summer.  The neat thing was that we ran into the Lichtensteiner couple that we met on Volkmar’s birthday in Norway. It was a complete coincidence, and very welcome.  They helped us finish off the last of our beer and joined us for breakfast the next day.  Because they were flying, we were asked to transport the Moose sign (see photos) that they had stolen from the highway.