Exploration Scandinavia: Stockholm-Bergen via Helsinki

7/15/2007 07:37:00 am

It's probably easier if I just give you the sort of general overview of JM and my
Scandic adventures. But I may get carried away and lapse into story telling before the end of this post anyway. We'll see how it goes.

I've made another Flickr account because I maxed out the free capacity of the other one, and I'm cheap, therefore will not upgrade to pro anytime soon. All the trip photos are here, but I'll give you a taster right now.

So, come with me and I will take you on a whirlwind tour of Scandinavia.

We started in Stockholm by watching the changing of the guard with about a thousand million other people (yes, I have already seen it twice before, but JM was a newbie and anyway, you know how I like a boy in uniform...), and wandering through Gamla Stan. Due to the torrential downpour and the fact that JM left her raincoat at my house and I left mine in our luggage locker, we were forced to purchase two bright blue garbage bags emblazoned on the front with three yellow crowns, and on the back with SVERIGE. JM then proceded to wear hers for the rest of the trip. But I digress.
Like I say, I like a boy in uniform..I did try and ask to take a photo in Swedish, and was understood, but had to lapse back into English because they seemed a little bemused at the thought that I actually wanted to take a photo. Also, there was a much better looking one nearby, but I could hardly play swappy-changey based soley on looks with people carrying big fat guns. Sigh.

From Stockholm we caught a ferry to Helsinki, and enjoyed the only day of our trip untouched by rain by snoozing on a beach (fully clothed, although the same can't be said for a old saggy Finnish man. It's a cultural thing I guess). The ferry out of Stockholm was actually really beautiful because you sail out through the Stockholm Archipelago into the Baltic.
In Helsinki, we basically spent our time wandering around on foot seeing some sights, sunning on a beach, and drinking coffee, but I already covered this a little in my earlier post.

From Helsinki we had a 4.30am start to get to Bergen. In literal terms, the flight is under two hours, but because we weren't able to book an early connecting flight in Oslo, we spent six hours getting very well acquainted with Oslo Gardemoen airport. Very well acquainted indeed.

On to Bergen, where we were met at the airport by our CouchSurfing host, the wonderfully animated Per, who gave us a lift to his aparment, instructions for buses, directions for shopping, and other incredibly helpful stuff.
He took us on what was possibly the scariest, but most enjoyable, car ride of my life with his partner Elisabeth. We spun up to the top of a few mountains, took photos, reversed extremely fast down a winding one way street, and then went back to the flat for sushi.

Also in Bergen we did (on the advise of Robert a long time ago) a fjord boat tour through Hardangerfjord which was fairly spectacular. We also made a new Japanese friend on the tour (from Yokohama) after I started chatting to her in the train station, and spending the day with her was really pleasant. It's also worth mentioning here that whilst in Eidfjord, JM got bitten by a sheep, and I couldn't help taking photos of this man's fairly spectular eyebrow formations.

One in an ongoing series of "Ellie poses on/with animal statue" photos, taken in Eidfjord. Thw day wouldn't have been complete without it.

In the next installment: Bergen to Denmark via Oslo (ie. I'm tired now and want to go to bed).

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