9 January 2010

Sweden, Part II

Monday 29th December I jumped on a bus from Vasteras into Stockholm, where I met up with my friend Rich. I havn't seen Rich in about 5 years (or more), but he doesn't seem to have changed much. We made our way back to his place to drop my bag. He lives in a really nice apartment right by the harbor with his partner Lynn.

We dropped my gear at his place, then headed into the city to take a quick look around. We visited Lynn at her uni for a bit, as well as checking out Gamla Stan (old town) and the parliament buildings. No pictures as I forgot the camera, whoops. We grabbed a bite to eat, then Rich had to leave for work. I made my way back to the apartment to pick up some clothes, then to the harbor to catch a ferry to Helsinki, Finland. Its a huge trip - 15 hours! But the ferry was filled with so much cool stuff it doesn't seem long at all.

I decided I would find my cabin before taking a look around. I took the cheapest possible option in a D-class cabin. The cabin was BELOW the cars! I think it was even below the waterline. I was also sharing a 4 bed cabin with... well, I was about to find out. One guy showed up about 15 minutes after I arrived. He looked pretty scary, quite rugged, a big beard etc. Turns out he was a pretty decent guy.

I took a good look around the ship. They have a duty free shop as the ship stops at some random island in the middle of the ocean which is not part of the EU. (So my crazy Finnish room mate ended up getting a huge case of beer). The ship itself was awesome! It had everything. And all very flash. But one funny thing - I guess it was because we were travelling on open waters - but there was lots of gambling and everyone was smoking inside the pubs. It was like a mini-vegas.

I returned to my cabin to find that noone else was sharing the cabin, bonus! My Finnish friend invited me to join him for a beer - be rude not to I thought. We ended up having a couple in the cabin then headed up to the pub. A random thing that happened on the way - we were in the elevator with one other guy, when he walked out, my friend informed me that it was the director of Die Hard 2. No idea if there is any truth to that or not (probably not) but I thought it was pretty funny. Anyway, we ended up upstairs at the pub, drinking the pub special - a pint and a shot of Jager, which I paid for both that night and the next day. They had a girl playing acoustic guitar who was really good. The Fin struck up a conversation and she ended up joining us for quite a bit of the night.

There were also a couple of other people we met - a Swedish guy and Russian girl. The girl was a really good artist and was drawing people in the pub. She drew me, which I thought was really good, but I do look about 60. So we hung out in the pub for a while, things getting a bit rowdy. The Fin randomly starts making these digeredoo noises, completely randomly. Pretty weird.

I ended up heading to bed about 1am. My Finnish friend didnt get in till about 5! Good effort I think. I woke about 9am with a bit of a headache, had a quick shower then headed off the boat to experience all that is Helsinki. More on that soon...

Next Post - 'Fin for a Day (Helsinki)'

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