Lost in Stockholm

We landed in Sweden last night at 10:50pm after an hour and a half bus ride and around two hours on a plane. After we landed there was to be another bus ride to Stockholm. (Read: Ryanair may be cheap but there are hassles involved).

As we were landing there was a lot of cloud to fly through, so I pretty much gave up on looking through the window and just waited to land. You know how you can hear the engines changing speed and the wind resistance on the plane before it lands? I was sure we must be landing soon, but with every quick glance I made through the window I saw the same thing – clouds.

Then I realised. The last glance wasn’t clouds! We were close to the ground, and that was snow! Snow like I’ve never seen it before! Houses were covered (literally) with snow – on the roof and banked up against the walls.

We landed at a little airport in a town called Nyköping, around 100km South-West of Stockholm. It was an interesting landing.. Safe I’m sure, but certainly more “urgent” than usual. While the ensuing bus ride seemed like a major inconvenience, it gave us time to see the suburbs and outer Stockholm. Well, I saw the lot, in typical Jess style she saw some in between naps. I wish I could sleep like her!

Although it was dark at the time, the forests looked amazing – pure white snow on the ground and on the branches. It is the sort of thing you see on a postcard or (for us computer addicts) a “nature” screensaver.

We arrived at the Stockholm Cityterminalen bus station at 12:50am. Our hostel was only around 1km away, so we had made the decision earlier to walk. I’d studied the map multiple times so I was sure where to go. Of course I didn’t count on the names on the signs being different.

We shuffled around in the snow up and back down the same road. Jess was freezing despite wearing her snowboarding jacket, beanie and gloves. Did I mention it was minus 8 degrees?

Standing at an intersection I saw the toughest family sedan around – an Audi RS6. It sounded so awesome even just taking off slowly. While I was bouncing off the walls on the inside, on the outside I was trying not to look interested at all so Jess knew I was using 100% of my attention to get us to the hostel. Seriously though, this is what I was hoping to see in Stockholm (rare European cars), and since then I’ve spotted an RS6 Avant too (the wagon version).

Another blank stare at the map and a “stuff it let’s just walk this way” and I got my bearings. We were on the right track and Jess was able to enjoy herself again.

I have to say – being lost at 1am in a freezing cold city with a backpack on looking like a completely vulnerable tourist you’d think you would be scared, but I really felt very safe for the both of us.

We walked across the bridge that was meant to be crossing a river but there was no river. For a few seconds we thought we were lost again, only to realise that it was a river, just a little more frozen than those back home in Australia.

We buzzed in, dumped out backpacks, quietly sorted our beds and had a drink. After a slow few days in Paris, I think the adventure has began for the both of us again, certainly for me anyway.

Today we took it easy, and actually did a bit of shopping. I bought a jacket that is perfect for “casual wear/fricken cold”, and Jess found a pair of jeans that will hopefully alleviate the “I’m sick of wearing the same damn clothes” feeling that she is having.

We have met a nice fellow from Finland, who has just found work in Stockholm. He’s staying at the hostel until he sorts out permanent accommodation. As it turns out, his mate is living in Whistler as a mountain bike tour guide. I thought it was just Adelaide that is this small?

Anyway, that will do for now. Adjö´ så lä´nge!