Tuesday November 23, 1999
The day began early as I awoke at 6:00am to take Roger to work so he could go to the airport with me. I spent the bulk of the day packing and running last minute errands, including picking up American Coke and Taco Bell supplies for my friend Joe in Sweden who I was going to visit. At 3pm, I met Roger at his work and we headed off to the airport. Now, British Airways says be there two hours ahead of departure, so I figured making it to LAX from Beverly Hills before 3:30 would be a snap. An hour later we arrived at the airport and proceeded to check in at the desk. I was assigned a middle seat, but was able to get a seat on an aisle after a bit of negotiating. I said goodbye to Roger and headed through the security check-point, where they questioned my 24 AA batteries. I told her about the digital camera and she let me pass.
I did not sleep on the plane. It was a Boeing 747-400 with video screens in the seat backs, so I was able to select from 12 channels of entertainment and watched: An episode of the Saint with Roger Moore, A behind the scenes look at The World is Not Enough, Remington Steele, Absolutely Fabulous, Payback with Mel Gibson, Wild, Wild West the movie, Robbie Williams’ Millenium Video, and Sheryl Crowe’s Tomorrow Never Dies video (the last two about 3 times). When I looked up, we were ready to land in London.
Wednesday November 24, 1999
I arrived in London about noon, though a bit disoriented from lack of sleep. I proceeded to walk the 50 miles to the bus to transfer to terminal 1. By the time I arrived, I still had about 2 hours to kill before my plane to Copenhagen. I spent most of the time vegging in the Lounge and dining on some very bad British McDonald’s. Managed to make it to the gate, where I answered a few questions to a nice lady who was conducting a survey for the British Airport Agency. I spent a good chunk of the flight to Copenhagen in various stages of sleep, too bad the flight was only 1.5 hours, I needed more sleep. Landing in Copenhagen, I proceeded to walk another 50 miles to get out of the terminal, part of the time was spent on some sort of bizarre catwalk. I met Joe outside of customs, and we proceeded to wait about 45 minutes for the bus to take us to the ferry to Malmo. The bus and the ferry to Malmo were pretty uneventful, with Joe pointing out some of the finer points of the city and the shoreline as we passed. I do not quite remember most of it, but we plan to go back on Saturday. Arriving in Malmo, we had about another 45 minute wait to catch the train. I noticed at this time that yes, in fact, it gets VERY cold in Sweden. Like Lake Tahoe in the morning in December was 7pm. The train to Lund was also uneventful,though when we arrived in Lund, we did the mad 100m dash to the Bus so we wouldn’t have to wait in the cold again. Finally at 9pm local time (12 noon US time or 30 hours after I woke up) I sat in Joe’s dorm room and watched TV, played Quake and then fell sleep.
Thursday November 25, 1999
Thanksgiving Day in Sweden. Not too much different from any regular day here. I spent most of the day relaxing and getting used to being here. We managed to go out and about in the city and do some shopping. I didn’t find any Jarre CD’s, but did see some overpriced merchandise all over. We had tacos for dinner using the Taco Bell supplies I brought from home. As a nightcap I did manage to see my first movie in a foreign country. Our movie was “End of Days” starring Ah-Nold. It was OK overall, and it was quite funny to hear the Swedes in the audience laugh at his accent. All in all a pretty laid back day, with the bulk of the touring happening Saturday and Sunday. Tomorrow promises to be another day in Lund, and perhaps Malmo in the evening. Until then, enjoy a few pics that we took today.
Friday November 26, 1999
It’s the busiest shopping day of the year, and here in Sweden its no exception. Joe and I headed out to downtown Lund and did some souvenir shopping. While I was downtown, I took some pictures of the local environs to show typical Lund sites. I managed to snap a shot of the movie theater that I saw my first movie in a foreign country. Another highlight was trying a hot dog in a French roll. It was OK, but it had that same crunch when you bite into it as the hot dogs from Pink’s in LA. Joe was pleased that he was able to converse with the shop keepers in Swedish without thinking about it. We went to the state owned liquor store and there were 70 numbers between ours and the current number. To pass the time, we shopped around at other places. After 30 minutes we picked up a bottle of Absolut Mandarin. We headed back to the dorm and enjoyed some Sparta Restaurant Pizza. Joe and I then decided it was time to teach Ludde and Anke the fine art of the drinking game “Quarters”. Of course we were distracted easily so no one really got drunk. We did manage to wreak havoc on webcamnow.com until 3am our time, or 6pm in Sunny CA. Some of the pictures from the late night are blurry, but I think it captures the ambiance of the night. Tomorrow promises to be low key as we recover, but I think we will manage to make it to Malmo and hopefully IKEA. We need to make our reservations to go to Copenhagen on Sunday and to possibly spend the night on Sunday so we don’t have to get up quite so early to catch my plane to the US. If we do spend the night, I will be unable to update the last two days until I get home. I’ll keep you posted.
Saturday November 27, 1999
After a late night last night, today we got a late start (so late that we had maybe 2 hours of sunlight left). We spent most of the day just hanging out. Joe and I did manage to make it to the train station to get our tickets for the train and boat for tomorrow to take us to Copenhagen. The picture at the left is of the nice tree in the ticket office of the train station.
Later in the night, we attempted to see Tarzan, but it was sold out. We ended up renting Volcano (and thus exposing the locals to a bonafide disaster flick). It was interesting seeing locations in LA that I am so familiar with in Sweden. I did get to meet more locals, so that was a big plus of the day. Johan, Calle, and their friend (whose name I forget, but made a lasting impression showing up at Joe’s door in some sort of military hat) were having a party on a lower floor and invited us downstairs. We spent a few hours down there listening to music as well as listening to Calle relate boxing stories. They invited us to go out into Lund with them, but unfortunately we could not go because we had to catch the morning train to go to Malmo and Copenhagen. We do not have any hotel reservations, but Joe is confident that we can go to the train station information kiosk and be able to get a discounted rate. After a nice couple of days of relaxed vacationing, I am ready to tackle one full-on tourist day.
Sunday November 28, 1999
We woke up early to catch the train to Malmo to meet the boat to take us to Copenhagen. After packing and hustling to the station, we realized that the train we were there to catch wasn’t one that we could use the tickets we bought yesterday. After seeing if we could catch another train, we decided to pony up the extra money and buy the tickets for the train – again. When we arrived in Malmo, Joe realized that he forgot his passport in Lund. Realizing that there was not enough time to go and retrieve it, he hatched a plan to get Ludde to come to Copenhagen on Monday and deliver it. There is no need for a passport to get to Denmark, only to come back to Sweden.
The trip over was mildly choppy, though the announcement on the boat specified that NO hot beverages would be served during the trip. Arriving in Copenhagen, Joe and I proceeded to walk to the train station, which while looking close on the map, was actually a 30 minute walk. Along the way, we traveled down the pedestrian street in Copenhagen and got to do window shopping. Arriving at the train station, we realized that the info booth was back out on the street. Once there, we found out that the booth was closed on Sundays (along with 80% of the businesses in Copenhagen). So we were on our own to find a hotel room. After balking at the $200 price tag at the swanky Radisson-SAS, we settled on the Grand Hotel – near the train station and -bonus- they were able to discount our room 50% because we were going to be there only one night. The room was nice and comfy. We decided to Lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, and then we were off to the Little Mermaid.
The walk to the Little Mermaid was about an hour, but we did manage to almost break our ears off in the cold. I was able to snap some good Gorn pics, and then we headed off back to the Hotel. By the time we reached the Town Hall Square it was time for the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree which was spectacular. It was a bit crowded in the square so we decided to head back to the hotel and take a nap. After the nap it was off to the Tivoli Gardens to see the Christmas lights and the shops. I didn’t see anything that I wanted to get so we hoofed it over to a pizza place to have dinner (The Manhattan Pan Pizza Co). After dinner we decided to go to see Tarzan. It was cool seeing Danish people laughing in the same places as the US audience did when I first saw the movie back home. After the movie, we headed up to the room and relaxed and went off to sleep. It was my final night in Europe, and I was a bit melancholy. I would be glad to go home, but I always wish I had a bit more time to explore and hope that I get back to Europe soon….
Monday November 30, 1999
Time to go. Joe and I headed over to the train station for our trip out to the airport. After a nice quick ride it was time to check in. I opted not to plastic wrap my luggage, but I still thought it was a cool idea. After stocking up for the plane at a gift shop, Joe and I said our goodbyes. The Copenhagen Airport strictly prohibits non-passengers from the gate area. So up onto the gangplank I went as Joe headed off to meet with Ludde to get his passport to go back to Lund. I headed to the music shop and picked up the CD of the A*Teens: The ABBA Generation and the prepared for the flight.
I managed to get some snoozing in on the quick flight to London, and after wandering through the shops and picking up Michael Palin’s Hemingway Adventures and a CAR magazine that features the BMW Z8, I boarded the flight to LAX. More snoozing on the flight (no cool video screens here) and opted to skip the movie.
Roger greeted me at the airport and we embarked on our hour drive to get home. nothing like returning to LA after Sweden. It was only in the 70’s but I was VERY warm. And the long lines at Customs didn’t help. Oh well I had another Grand Adventure – perhaps I should change these from Trip Diaries to Josh’s Grand Adventures. I do hope to get back to Europe soon..