A Travellerspoint blog

Orebro, Goteborg (Gothenburg)

Sunshine, a youth hostel and very little else

sunny

I've been here two weeks, and this is my second proper excursion out from Borlange. The cost of the train + accomodation are ridiculous, but now that I'm here I'm at a bit of a loose end. I might make next weekend one of quiet, housebound contemplations and then head out again when I've a real plan.

Last week was OK - work has picked up speed, which is good, and judo is keeping me active. Need to locate a gym and a pool though. On Saturday we listened to Abba on the radio, and I ate lots of meatballs. It doesn't get much more Swedish than that. Until Friday that is, when I fully intend to take a Sauna with a bunch of mostly naked, sweaty men...

So. We set off Sunday to Goteborg (Gothenburg) via Orebro. Orebro was really pretty, nice castle there, but we stayed only an hour. Might be the nicest place I've never really been to. Goteborg is a big city, but not huge. We walked from the centre to the outer edges of town proper in maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Its all on a canal full of shipping, and big brick buildings and huge post glacial rocks. Not like Borlange. Cosmopolitan feel too - saw a Brazillian restaurant, and lots of boutique type shops. Walked out to hostel, where we joined the Swedish branch of HI to keep costs down. Had to rent sheets - sleeping bags not OK without sheets - and ordered breakfast. Doors didn't work as expected. Room is mixed dorm, or, more accurately, just us. A Mexican named Pedro is around somewhere, and several peculiarly old people, including an bizarre man who told Libby his (pretty shocking) life story no more than 5 minutes after meeting her. He's having an afair, has been for 40 years, but only meet once every 5 years. His (or her... I forget) parents are pretty much swingers. Good ol' Sweden.

Breakfast was filling but dull. Headed out to Masthuggskyrchen, which was a damn good church, good pillars and ceiling, and St. Olaf's or Oswald's or something, which is big and pretty. Then went to an old fort with a crown on top of it, where I slept in the sun. Parted company and explored Gamla Haga (old town), where I found my favourite drink - Arizona Drinks Co. and then went for lunch. Wanted this from fishkurk, closed, so went to mall and another fish store where I bought a sandwich - ruined, by some fool's decision to add mushroom to a seafod sandwich. Went over to the opera house where I sat and thought, then wandered over to the station, where I am now. Its quite nice here, not a world class train station, but has great toilets including showers. Payment to enter though, sadly.

Am now considering an evening stroll, possibly in a park, and a museum tomorrow maybe.

Slut.

Posted by urchinjoe 15:58 Archived in Sweden Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Borlange, Falun, Uppsala

A long walk

sunny
View Summer of the midnight sun on urchinjoe's travel map.

Borlange is quiet and small, but kind of nice. Falun is where I work. This weekend I had to get the hell out of town so made a last minute trip to Uppsala, which is Sweden's 4th largest city and near Stockholm. Due to rushing to catch my train I accidentally bought first class tickets at a price of 818 Kronor, so resolved to make my trip well worth it. Visited the church (possibly cathedral) but didn't go in as something was going on - turns out they were making a new Bishop - and the castle, which was actually pretty bland on the outside. Then I set off for the pre-viking burial mounds of Gamla Uppsala, but went the wrong way. 5km the wrong way. My route to the burial mounds took in 25% of the outskirts of town, and I actually saw some cool stuff - lots of little burial sites, a baseball match and a shop called WiLLy:s, that advertised itself with a picture of hot dogs. Gamla Uppsala pretty impressive, really big mounds but I only stayed a few minutes before I had to head home! Then I felt really sad. When I got home my feet were almost too sore to walk.

Joined Borlange Judo Club and started training, it is good, quite flashy judo and light on the randori (as yet).

Visited the local world heritage site - a copper mine, which is bloody massive and actually sort of photogenic, if you like massive open mines. Which I guess I do.

Slut.

Posted by urchinjoe 08:31 Archived in Sweden Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Travelling and arriving

Newcastle, Amsterdam, Germany, Denmark, Sweden

sunny
View Summer of the midnight sun on urchinjoe's travel map.

We set off on Thursday 24th April 2008, and sailed to Amsterdam. Then I drove about 700 kilometers, through the Netherlands, Germany (via Hamburg, only really saw the motorway and managed to get the Polo up to 100mph), and up into Denmark. We made it as far as Slagelse, which is on the same island as Copenhagen. Had to cross a massive bridge to get there. Overnighted in a motel that cost a fortune, but I forget the name. Used the last of my laptop batteries, having forgotten my plug. Ate a bagel that cost about six quid. Neighbours enjoyed their evening. We awoke early and set off in the fog, serenaded by Dimmu Borgir. Crossed another huge bridge and into Sweden.

Immediately stopped for food. I sampled "Plopp", which is chocoloate, and various other delights. Continued North through miles and miles of forested motorway. Saw hundreds of McDonalds, odd. Only one Ikea. Stopped by an enourmous lake in a tiny service station where I ate licorice by mistake, and bought petrol for a fortune. Climbed on some rocks and sulked. Continued North to Kopparberg, where a drunk topless man with big belly shouted at us, a boy pissed on a church wall and I ate more food. Continued North to Borlange and moved into the house.

House rocks, its a museum quality place, full of stuff and things. Treat it carefully. Recycling system is mental, so I'm taking my rubbish to Stockholm at the weekend. Started a quest to buy a plug which I succeeded in yesterday. We've been spending the evenings playing cards and watching DVDs, and the days at work, so not really had a chance to explore yet. Seems to me though, Borlange is a small town, and the countryside around it is the main draw. Joined the library, met the neighbours - STIG and Ingrid! Been eating little due to costs. Tonight we're off to a bonfire, to drive witches out of towm, and tomorrow is my day off so I'll probably spend it wandering a hillside somewhere and then getting on with some work. Bought a patch and a keyring.

The Swedish word for the end is slut.

Slut.

Posted by urchinjoe 16:42 Archived in Sweden Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Preparing

sunny

Hej!

I'll be driving over to Sweden and working there for three months. Previously my travels have been by train, in one month chunks, and purely for leisure, so this is new for me. I've never been to Scandinavia and quite fancy it - geographically its distinct from the rest of Europe, and I hear that culturally it rocks. Sweden looks good - its a big country with lots of outdoors, the days will be long, sunny and mild (fingers crossed) and I'll get to eat many types of fish - and meatballs. There may be vikings and trolls (there will at least be me). Plus, I'll be going the furthest North I've ever been, and plan to visit Denmark, Finland, Norway and Estonia while I'm there. So it looks like being a good Summer.

At the moment I'm just sorting out paperwork - liasing between work and university, sorting out funding, finding accomodation and booking the ferry. So far I have achieved one of these aims, of which I am rightly proud. I'm sure the rest will be fine. Planned the route - ferry to Amsterdam, drive up through Germany, Denmark and into Sweden, then return via Norway. Have not as yet started gathering goods to take, but there's plenty of time. It doesn't need much more planning to get there... I hope

Had the first major setback already: my car insurance only covers me for 90 days abroad, and I will be there 95 days. I have found a website that offers cover by the day, so I'm going to top up my insurance with them in late June. I hope they can be trusted.

I will make no further entries until I arrive on the continent.

Joe

Posted by urchinjoe 15:07 Archived in England Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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