I arrived in Stockholm on a Friday morning with high hopes, a long to do list and immediate disappointment. The area around Central Station was far from attractive, the sky has opened up and the ground was bizarrely sticky. I hustled to my hostel, checked in and settled in for an uneventful afternoon.
Over my travels, I’ve been blessed to have met and made some people who have become great friends. One friend I met in Thailand on the scuba liveaboard was Jackie, who lives in Amsterdam. We have been constantly in touch and keeping up since we met at the end of March, and she had extended an invite for me to stay with her when I reached Europe, and she would host me for my time in Amsterdam and show me around her beloved city. When looking at a possible route for after Scandinavia, it made sense to land in Amsterdam in time to celebrate my birthday with a good friend!
The train rolled into Copenhagen on a beautiful Monday afternoon and I was immediately in awe of the city. As I wandered to my hostel I took in some of the views that were on my list of things to do: Rosenberg Castle, The King’s Garden and more. I checked in and settled in to my room before coming up with a plan for the remainder of the day: grocery store dinner in the park. It was sunny and beautiful and I wanted to make the most of it. But when I stepped out of the hostel doors to head to the store the sky opened up and the rain came down in buckets. I changed my plans and grabbed a bizarre combination of foods to eat in my hostel bed. I spent the evening relaxing, reading, blogging and researching. The next day I had a lot planned and I wanted to be well rested!
Almost 10 hours after leaving Texas I landed in Frankfurt, Germany. Why Frankfurt you ask? Well, it was the cheapest direct flight from Dallas to Europe. However, I chose to spend my time in Germany in Hamburg since I had read good things and it was on the way to Scandinavia. I had about 6 hours to kill in the Frankfurt airport before my train left for Hamburg, and my Priorty Pass Select lounge access came in handy once again. I plopped in a chair for the entire time with minimal movement and frequent naps. Then I started my first train journey in Europe.
I arrived in Copenhagen by yet another overnight train journey. Upon exiting the central train station, I had a 20 minute walk to my hostel, and arrived around 7am. My hostel check-in time was 2pm, but they let me get showered up and take a quick nap on a couch in the lounge before heading out on the free city walking tour at 10am. The walking tour guide met us at the hostel and led us to the courthouse where the tour actually starts. While waiting on the tour to start, I saw countless brides in wedding dresses exiting every few minutes, and learned that on every Saturday there is a wedding about every 5 minutes in the courthouse!
After leaving Tokyo I opted to make a trip back to Texas to catch up with friends and family. My visit to Australia to see family helped me get my head straight on what I wanted to do as far as my travels were concerned, but I was still homesick and wanting to see a lot of people. Since my next stop after Tokyo was Europe, I decided it was a good opportunity to detour back to DFW.
I got to Stockholm early evening via a long night and day of trains. Once I checked into my hostel, I got some much needed laundry started and while waiting on that to finish, enjoyed some time in the sauna that my hostel had – fancy stuff, Sweden!