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21st July
written by admin

After lounging around in the Copenhagen first class lounge it was finally time to go to Sweden. The train ride was uneventful, but we could notice a change already – there was no free chocolate on the Swedish trains! I suppose this was offset, though, by the free internet access provided to first class customers.

We arrived in Stockholm and tried to find our hostel, called Interhostel. A few things got in our way, though; first thing was that we weren’t able to find the street we needed when we left the station! It turned out that we got off at the wrong level of the station. This taught us our first lesson about Stockholm: the bridges are very important! Eventually we found our way to the side of the station and looked down on a cross street 100 feet below, which turned out to be the one we wanted. Anyway, we took this road for a while (in fact until it changed names) but the next turn was nowhere to be found! We were beginning to get a little weary at this point, but we pressed on along the new road and found our turn after two more blocks. We were relieved at this point because the hostel was less than a block away.

Interhostel was a pretty nice place. The beds were comfortable and spacious, the hostel was cheap, and our room was nearly empty the whole time we were there. Of course in Scandinavia the norm is to charge travelers for bed linens (we used our sleep sacks), which was a little unusual to us, but on the whole we approved.

Our Bunk At Interhostel

Our Bunk At Interhostel

After cooking our own genuine Swedish Meatballs for dinner, we decided to go out on the town. I guess our internal clocks were messed up at this point because it was 11:30 at night but still daylight out. This late-night daylight would continue to be a theme up until the time we were in Helsinki, and I don’t think we ever quite got used to it.

We waked down onto an island in the middle of Stockholm that is the oldest part of town – it has Medieval buildings and layout and tons of shops. They were nearly all closed since it was the middle of the night, but as we turned around to head home, we heard some interesting music coming from a bar and decided to check it out. Turns out they had a swing/jazz (they called it “Happy Jazz”) band there pumping out the tunes, and what’s more, there were dancers there! We ended up not getting to dance because we came right at the end of the set, but met a fellow Herranger and some French/Canadian/Swedish girls he was hanging out with at the time. The bar closed shortly thereafter, and we said our good nights and made our way back to the hostel for a good nights’ sleep.

The next day was more work than play, to be honest. We had a lot of errands to run before heading to camp – we needed extra underwear and socks so that we wouldn’t have to do laundry every other day, we needed a few more things to fill out our costumes for the masquerade ball, and some athletic clothes to wear during the days’ lessons. It took us most of the afternoon to find cheap enough options for all these things but eventually we were successful. After that it was laundry time but even that was not simple since the tradition in Sweden is for your hotel/house to have a laundry service and the one at our hostel was not going to be able to finish our clothes in time! I ended up finding another hostel that would let me do our clothes there but it was only after an hour of walking around looking for a laundromat.

By the time laundry was done, it was time to go out! We had heard of a dance at a club called the Chicago in the south district of the city and walked on over there to check it out. It was a really nice club (though swelteringly hot inside) and we had quite a few good dances there. Hazel, having a knack for organizing, met a few guys (Chris and Christian – coincidence?) who were going to camp the next morning and planned a meeting spot so that we could all catch the bus there together. In fact Chris didn’t even have a place to stay that night so we also brought him up to Interhostel since they clearly had some extra space! Needless to say he was happy to figure something out for the night and we got to chat with them on the metro ride back.

Next stop: Herrang!

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