Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Europe Trip Journal Week 1, Stockholm-Malmo-Copenhagen

Day 1:  June 22nd.  We had an early morning going to the ariport.  Jen was nice enough to take us.  Not sure what we're in for.  Leaving today to fly to New York at 10:00, then on to Stockholm at 7:00 EST and arriving in Stockholm at 9:00 AM.
On way to Sweden
Day 2:  June 23rd.  Arrived in Stockholm a little tired but not too bad.  Mason did pretty well on the flight, but I wasn't able to sleep at all.  We took a taxi to the hotel, a very nice Courtyard about 5 subway stops from T-Centralen.

We walked downstairs and asked the person at the front desk how to get to Gamla Stan by subway.  He suggested that since it was such a nice day, we should take the "short" walk to Gamla Stan.  After the long flight it sounded nice to stretch our legs.  The short walk turned out to be about 2 miles each way, not to mention the stroll through Gamla Stan and walking down Drottningsgatan.  All in all, I think we walked about 5 1/2 miles.  I forgot that Swedes walk evey where and to them 5 miles is nothing.

I had a kabob for lunch and shared some with Katie who surprisingly liked it.  Korv was a big hit with the kids.  Mas said "yum" after every bite.  Gwen was most excited to try the Goddis and we bought some at the airport.  I had to buy a kaneela bulla and Fanta.
Gwen and Mason in Gamla Stan
Day 3:  June 24th.  We all slept well last night.  Woke up feeling like it was 6:00 AM and saw that it was really 11:50.  We went to Alens and bought Katie a new hair straightener and blow dryer that worked better on European voltage so she could enjoy the rest of the trip.  We then went down to Vasterhaninge so the kids could see the temple.  Found out about the Stokholm north and south stakes "Midsommar Party" the next day.  We walked past the temple to see some old Viking graves.  It was such a beautiful night out.  We walked down this nice trail and saw some perfect Swedish homes with families out enjoying  ficka.  It was such a nice Swedish experience that I'm glad I could point it out to Katie so she could see it.

The kids thought the train ride was fun.  They also enjoyed their first Marabou chocolate.  Mason managed to squeeze himself between slats in the temple fence and we had to send Gwen in after him.
Mason in front of the Sweden Temple
Day 4:  June 25th.  Today we got up early to go to Midsommar.  We started the day off a little earlier than the one before.  Katie was back on track with her running.  We went to Vasterhaninge and met Brother Klarin.  He made arrangements with his son in law to take us to the spot where the church was celebrating.  Gwen and I danced around the Midsommar Pole.  She and Katie made a wreath of aspen leaves.  The leaves made Katie's allergies flare up.  I bumped in to Glen Ekelund whom I knew from my mission.  We tried a few different ice creams.  Overall, a very nice day.
Gwen and Mason at Midsommar
Day 5:  June 26th.  Today ended up a little rainy.  We went to Skansen and thought we would see the Vasa Musuem, but I think everyone else had the same idea and it was far too crowded to get in.  We ended up in town where Mason dragged us into a McDonalds.  I didn't even know he knew that word until we passed one and he kept repeating it until we relented.  We then went to the train center to order our tickets to get to Berlin via Hamburg via Malmo.  I saw Patricia Espenoza working there and thought we would go visit them that night but both she and Veronica had to work.  They made me promise to stop by when we come back through.  We ended up playing at the park across the street from our hotel, which has become our nightly ritual.  Sweden has some amazing parks and there are two great ones within a 5 minute walk from our hotel.  This place is so kid friendly.  It's nice to see how a warm summer night doesn't go wasted in Sweden.  Every night that we go out, there are plenty of people out enjoying the lovely evenings here.  I always thought Swedes lacked drive, but as I get older I respect the way they enjoy life along the way.

Day 6:  June 27th.  Today is a day we won't soon forget.  We started on a train ride bound for Malmo at 3:21 that was supposed to arrive at 7:30 and ended up arriving at 1:15 a.m.  The track apparently had a large cable fall across it when we were about 2 hours into the ride.  The train stopped while they sorted out how to take care of it.  Since it was a Sunday and also a holiday weekend, it was very difficult to find someone to fix it.  We waited in the train for about 2 hours before they had us get off and get on board buses that were going to take us around where the problem was and put us on trains on the other side that could take us to Malmo.  The trainride itself, and especially the bus ride, were extremely beautiful and reminded me why I loved the Swedish countryside so much.  Beautiful lakes, cabins, flowers, fields, biking trails and animals all along the ride.  I even saw a moose running through a field right next to the train.  We finally boarded the other train and found there wasn't enough room.  Apparently 4 trains were crammed into that one train.  Buster was finally starting to get cranky and I was very disappointed that no one offered their seat to a woman with a young baby.  In typical Swedish fashion they all looked ahead and tried to pretend not to notice us.  We were then pulled off and put on another train that had some room.  With stops, it was after 1:00 before we arrived.  We asked directions to the Renaissance and walked several blocks before we realized we had been sent to the Radisson.  We then had to backtrack pulling a 70 pound bag, stroller, two backpacks, crib and a couple tired kids.  We found the Renaissance tucked away down an unassuming alleyway.  It was after 2:00 before we went to bed.  At least it turned out to be a great hotel.

Day 7:  June 28th.  Mason woke us all up around 10:00.  We were disappointed because we had planned on going to Tivoli in Copenhagen but with such a late start we didn't know if would be worth it.  After doing some things and getting ready for the day Gwen talked us into just going.  I knew we would be getting a refund from our train ride, so spending a little at Tivoli became easier.  We took the 1/2 hour train ride across the ocean to Denmark.  Tivoli is such a neat amusement park and just across the street from the main train station.  Gwen and I went on her first roller coaster ride and she loved it!  It took some coaxing to get her to try, but in the end she went...several times.  She then wanted to try all the scary rides but wasn't tall enough.  Mason had his first melt down of the trip but after an hour, Katie finally got him to sleep.  When he woke up, Gwen took Katie on all the rides while Mason and I went to the playground.  We then walked around Copenhagen, it is such a great city.  I wish we had more time to spend here.

This was a special day full of "thank yous" and "I love this place".  I'm so glad Gwen got us out the door this morning and forced us to have such a great day.
Katie and Gwen in Copenhagen


  1. Cute pictures. I have enjoyed reading about your time in Europe, it looks so beautiful over there!

  2. Spot on with this write-up, I really think this website needs a lot more
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  3. I loved the photos. Happy future travels!


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