Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, recommended to you by a Swedish girl you met very briefly outside a hostel in Oslo. You arrive in Gothenburg greeted by an array of pierced, tattooed and pinked haired youth, making you feel immediately comfortable and excited about exploring the bohemian town. You spend the next 30 minutes trying to find the right tram to take, but it’s Sunday so you’re out of luck. Not feeling like you want to walk 40 min with your rucksack, you decide to be a bit naughty and take a cab directly to your hostel. The hostel is pleasant, despite the fact that you are in a mixed dorm surrounded by only males – girls don’t like the mixed dorms apparently. That evening, you will be meeting up with friends of the girl you met in Oslo, so in the meantime you make yourself some plastic tasting noodles and then get talking to some lads in the kitchen. You are soon surrounded by a group of rugby playing Scottish boys, who are all conveniently good-looking. Heaven? Oh yes. The next few hours consist of you turning red with laughter as they tell you strangest stories about their alcoholic friends: who’s ended up in jail, who starts fights, who’s parent killed a Muslim gentleman…(i) Continue reading
Tag Archives: scandinavia
So: you’ve made it all the way to Sweden, a long way from home. Seeing as you’ve come all this way to these Scandinavian countries, you feel that you should at least make an attempt to catch the Northern Lights while you’ve got the opportunity. Buy a 34 SEK ticket (about 4 Euros) for the night train to a small town called Umeå: the European capital of culture for 2014! This is your second night train you’re taking, and although they save you money, your back is starting to involuntarily spasm due to the seriously crap sleeping conditions. Luckily, the train is quiet so you’re able to use your small backpack as a pillow while stretching your legs up the wall of the train. Optimum comfort, non? Continue reading
Stockholm syndrome. The possible title you contemplate having for your next photo album on Facebook. Disregard it – too obvious. You arrived in Stockholm completely knackered having had no sleep at all from Bergen to Oslo and during the trip to Stockholm instead of catching up on some z’s (awful expression) you plough your way through season 4 of True Blood. You come to the conclusion that Sookie is really quite annoying, and she doesn’t do sexy well at all. You’re feeling particularly catty this morning as you hop off the train seeing as your pill hasn’t kicked in and your body has decided to have a mind of its own (makes no sense at all I know).
Welcome to this tiny haven of paradise heartily recommended to you by the trusty team at Lonely Planet. The 7.5 hour train ride over was worth the 50NOK seat reservation alone: you were greeted by snowy mountains which look just like those Norwegian postcards you’ve seen dotted about the place. As soon as you arrive in Bergen you feel relaxed and at ease: Bergen is a small town populated by a lot of international University students. As you walk the 5 minutes to your hostel, you bump past various moody looking students with half-shaved heads and lip piercings. This time, you don’t get lost on your way to the hostel which isn’t something to get too smug about – it is quite literally around the corner from the central station, which is why it becomes all the more pathetic when you manage to get lost on the way back, but we’ll get to that later.
Welcome to the beginning of your journey throughout an icy Europe. Be sure to book your tickets from London (or any other such place) through the budget air-line Ryannair – note the word ‘budget’ here: although you have paid peanuts for this ticket there are always hidden fees lurking in the undergrowth of the terms and conditions you were too lazy to read, for example, having a laptop in your hand-luggage counts as a second piece of hand luggage and you will be charged around 40 pounds for this second item. Luckily, someone had already told you this before you left so you needn’t learn the hard way.
Prepare yourself for your trip: where are you going? What language do they speak there? What will the weather be like? If, by all accounts, you’ve managed to book a flight during winter then make sure you pack the following: layers of ugly but warm clothes that make you look super-butch and grossly overweight. Using your logic, completely forget about the fact that an airplane will not be the 8 degrees you will except in your destination, and opt for dressing yourself in two layers of thermals, a pair of jeans, followed by a jumper and a jacket. And a scarf and a beanie. And Doc Martins. And two layers of thermal socks. And leg warmers.