Copenhagen to Stockholm


29/6


The ferry upset quite a few people, it got rough and there was much vomiting, or so I’m told. I didn’t mind it, I even went out on the deck to feel the wind which was so strong that if I had tried to jump overboard I think the wind would have pushed me back like the hands of fate. I did worry about how the wind would affect my cook tent set up but after a few more hours of flat windy driving (including nearly being blown off a bridge) we were at camping Absalon and it was calm enough to set up the tent just fine (although I did make sure to peg it down securely).

Damien and Denise serve up dinner

Dinner was gnocchi with zucchini and ricotta and a soup starter, fresh out of the can just add flavour! One of the guys, Damien had been a chef and was very excited to help me with the ‘mise en place’ which I told him was not a word I was familiar with. I explained when you do mise en place in a tent, it is normally just referred to as ‘prep’ because its not all that fancy. He was still excited to help and kept my secret of the tinned soup. (it wasn’t long into the trip before the passengers and I had no secrets but I tried to keep an air of illusion for the first few days). 

I was amazed with how helpful our passengers were! I didn’t have to cut a thing and barely cooked anything either, all I did was instruct. It was something that had never happened before and it amazed me. I couldn’t stop saying thank you.

Copenhagen
The Little Mermaid

After eating we went out for our driving tour, I thought the city looked like a bigger Amsterdam. We got out at a few spots, Cristiania, a hippy commune which I found amazing and repulsive at the same time, and later at the little mermaid statue, which was beautiful. Mon was so good with her spieling. You would never know it was her first time and some of the passengers said so. Mick was impressive too, even though apparently the dry run had been quite difficult. I was exhausted on the way home, 10:30 or so and the sun was just setting. However I still had a little organising to do when we got back to the camp and the 3 of us debriefed which was nice. We were obviously all exhausted and even getting back to our cabin was a challenge (we really felt like pro’s at that point)! We collapsed into our beds and I wish I could say that I passed out but unfortunately I woke several times to the sun and Monika’s snoring.

Tired and cold selfie, I don’t shy away from the ugly stuff.
French toast for breakfast!

In the morning I feared that I had overslept and that the tent had blown away but none of this happened and french toast for breakfast went down a treat. We all went in to town together. It was 8 degrees and cloudy and we 3 went in to a cafe to stay warm, study and drink coffee. We talked over the upcoming days which I liked. Our main problem was the Stockholm marathon that was going to be blocking the city for us when we were supposed to being doing pick ups and set downs and taking people to the ferry terminal. What we were going to do about it was not resolved that day. When the sun came out we walked down the main shopping street and I found another jumper, fearing that this is  only  just the beginning of the cold weather.

So my wind fears were half justified, I walked in to this mess.

We walked on down to Nyhavn and the sky was blue and sun was beginning to warm us beautifully. Photos were taken and Monica decided that she wanted a classic Copenhagen open sandwich for lunch. Fine. But not in the area we were in because it was really expensive. Again fine. However we never managed to find this sandwich after about an hour of wandering and eventually I suggested that Monika go find it by herself seeing as she had to meet a friend in an hour anyway. I hope we can laugh about this now Mon! Mick and I ran into Meg and Mark (Meg is a trip leader from last year on our trip with her boyfriend mark and is an amazing asset to the whole trip) who walked and talked with us some more before I got a kebab and coke. It felt like a cop out but I was hungry and it was cheap.

Mmmmm, dinner.

I had said that I wanted to see the royal palace and this big church opposite it and when I had said it (hours ago) we had been at the same side of town as them. Now after looking for lunch, we were on the wrong side so Mick suggested we drive to it. We picked up the coach and it didn’t take long to get to the palace on the stroke of 4 to see the changing of the guards and we hopped out very pleased with ourselves and took photos. Mick was pretty sure he shouldn’t have taken the coach in this area and when he tried to get out he ended up narrowly dodging the randomly marching guards. It was pretty funny and others in the square were laughing at us maneuvering a huge coach past these guys who aren’t allowed to react to anything even though you could see the fear in their eyes. It took us another hour to get home with the traffic but we had chats and I still had masses of time to organise and prep in the sun. An earlier bedtime that night and I wore my eye mask and had the best sleep in 4 days! Even with waking to Monika again.

The castle that inspired Hamlet


The next morning pack down was quick and the first drive was only 45 minutes to the ferry which would take us from Denmark to Sweden. This ferry was much calmer and sunnier with views of the Danish castle that inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. On the other side however the long drives started. We filled in time by doing introductions. Everyone gets up on the mic to say who they are and what they do and what they are looking forward to and then some fun ones like who they would like to mud wrestle and why, an embarrassing story and what animal they would be and why. Its a great way to start to get to know everyone and another chance to learn names (I mostly had them down pat by now) and some of the answers had me in total stitches.

The crash marker

1/6
We had a short stop  that day at the memorial of the Bass player- Cliff Burton, from Metallica. At the time of his death  he was widely regarded as the greatest bass player in the world and he was only 24. The band was on tour and in the tour bus they flipped a coin to see who had to go in the top bunk. This poor guy lost and so when the driver rounded a corner in the middle of a nowhere forest in Sweden too hard, he flew out the window as the bus tipped. The bus landed on top of him and it is unknown if he was still alive when the crane came to lift it off him but it is definitely known that when the crane slipped and dropped the bus back down on him again, he died. There was a small tomb stone with some beer cans and guitar picks as tribute and I know Mick definitely appreciated this stop.

Sticky date pudding for dessert?
Dancing with statues in Stockholm


In Stockholm we settled down to a quiet dinner with drinks around the cook tent. I laughed at one of the boys (Tom) who saw me cutting up mushrooms and took himself quietly off to get another dinner because he doesn’t like them but didn’t want to complain. He came back after it had all been eaten and was disappointed when I said that the mushrooms had been for tomorrow morning! Oh dear. Music and banter went down well but nothing crazy. The next morning we ate the mushrooms with scrambled eggs and we all went in to town for a tour of the Town Hall where they present the Nobel prize. Mr Nobel was the guy who invented TNT. He became very rich and did many good things but was disappointed when he saw that his nickname was the Master of Death. He wanted to be remembered for something positive so upon his death his will read that his fortune should be awarded to those who contributed to the world in different ways. The beginning of the Nobel prize. The Blue Room (it’s official name) was beautiful, designed to look like an Italian piazza, and that is exactly what it looked like, even with a blank high ceiling which they can project images of an open sky on to.. The Gold Room above looked to me like what the inside of a pyramid should look like. Huge and mosaiced with gold tiles it came upon us totally unexpectedly in what was otherwise a fairly ordinary Town Hall.

The Blue Room
The Gold Room
The Gold Room
The Gold Room
Stockholm Town Hall


We went further in to the city and got out at the Vassa museum. This was all about a huge war ship that had sunk in the 1600’s after only managing to sail a few hundred meters into the harbour. It was left and almost forgotten about for 300 years until in the 1900’s it was attempted to bring it back to the surface. They found it amazingly preserved, including several skeletons and have reconstructed it with a museum surrounding it explaining all that the ship can tell us about those times. It was one of the best museums I’ve ever been to, the ship is the size of several houses and in the most amazing condition, preserved in the cold waters and thick silt of the harbour.

The Vassa
The Vassa

 After the Vassa Museum Mick and I dropped the passengers at the palace and made our way to the supermarket for a quick shop which one of the passengers (Wade) joined us for. It was a grey and rainy day and I spent it back at camp cooking the Lasagna and Trifle for dinner. The trifle was funny. I needed jelly crystals and sent Mick to find them in the supermarket. He was unsuccessful and I sighed and went to look and found them. We both agreed that they were indeed jelly crystals. Then I wanted thickened cream and was very happy when I found some that was vanilla flavoured. All these discoveries were in Swedish remember. Back at camp and when I started making it, it turned out that the jelly crystals were in fact jam crystals and that the cream was yogurt. Oops. We laughed and put it together anyway because it was all I had to work with. Surprisingly it set and even better it tasted great! Some passengers laughed at us when Mick and I took the first bight together and turned to each other and said, ‘this is actually good!’ You should try it next time you make trifle.

The Helpers roster
Meg serves lasagne


After dinner Monika was taking passengers out to party in Stockholm. I had full intentions of going until I got exhausted and had some pains and strains in my body (I’m not going so well with my back so far). Also the next day was going to be my only day in the city and I didn’t want to wreak it by going out and getting tired, also it’s very expensive out here! All in all a lot of reasons. I disappointed Monika though, I know that. Mick said not to worry that its not my job to go out and there were other passengers staying back but I still felt bad. Oh well. I was doing breakfast in the morning (breakfast burritos) when one of the passengers (Colin) turned up in a taxi (this is about 10am
) still with a beer in his hand, so some of them had a crazy night.

Chilled drinks in the cook tent
Hello Rekorderlig in Sweden!

I was well rested and after a very casual morning I went in to town by myself at about 1pm. I went in to Skansen, an area set up like Sweden was in olden times like Sovereign Hill but much larger. I caught a ferry over to it and dodged runners from the Stockholm Marathon that was going on that day. (The end result of what to do about pickups- ect? basically just that we could not do them until later, and we ended up paying for the taxis for those who needed to go to the ferry). I asked a guy in a high vis jacket if he spoke English. ‘Much little’ was his answer. ‘How do I cross this road that is full of runners? ‘ He grinned and gave me a little push and all of a sudden I was jumping and hopping through the red faced, puffing runners with him laughing behind me.

The ferry to Skansen
A Viking Ship?
The theme park was pretty tempting too…
The Stockholm marathon


In Skansen I saw old fashioned shops, watched people carving draws, Upholstering chairs and blowing glass. Their gardens were beautiful, full of herbs, vegetables, fruit trees and flowers. They had a zoo and for hours I watched otters, moose, wolverines, bears, seals and generally had a ball. It was late by the time I got out and I caught the ferry back to the main town to wander and find something to eat before coming home on the train again. Again it was a nice quiet night of drinking and chatting around the cook tent.

Wood carving at Skansen


This morning was a super quick pack down. The passengers keep amazing me with just how helpful they all are and we were ready 15 minutes before departure. We watched the Swedish version of ‘the girl with the dragon tattoo’ which was great then pulled up at at servo and supermarket for me to do a quick shop. I’ve never shopped at a service stop with all the passengers hanging around before and it was quick but not too bad. One passenger, Moose, came and helped and I don’t think he will ever want to come again! (He did). I taught him tricks like how to find out if an item is sour cream or not. Open it, stick your finger in and if it tastes like sour cream, buy it. Now we are just cruising toward the Norwegian border. It is very forested land and still flat. I can’t wait for the mountains to start and I think Mick can’t either, he is bored.
 
 

Skansen

 

Skansen

 

Skansen

 

Skansen

 

Skansen

 

Otters at Skansen
Moose!
Skansen
A bear way too far up a tree
Geese at Skansen
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