The Netherlands and Scandanavia

When I was 18 years old and starting University in California, Kyle and I planned to take a trip through Europe together.  Well, finally, this summer, this plan worked out.  During our 18 day trip together we kept a written journal.  I have transferred a shorter version of that on here.  I hope that once I'm back in the US, Kyle and I can record a video reading and discussing this as we were unable to do that during the trip.  In 18 days, we visited 5 countries, stayed only 5 nights in hostels, had 5 days without any rain and walked well over 100 kms (65 miles) by foot.  We packed everything on our backs and were often carrying grocery sacks in our hands as well.  This was a true "backpacking experience" for the both of us. Day 1 (Aug 22nd)

  • Kyle Arrives with Airport issues, delays and Lost Bag
  • Maria Picks him up and drives Kyle to Landshut
  • Train to Deggendorf
  • Quick dinner with German Beer
  • Fransi drives us to Train Station
  • Sleeping German Festy on the train
  • Cold and lost upon arrival at 1am in Nürnberg
  • Cops help up find the way to Eurolines Bus Station
  • Fat Lady on Bus takes up two seats next to us
  • Police control Passports before departure
  • Rough time sleeping, no leg room, LONG BUS RIDE

Day 2 (Aug 23rd)

  • Still on bus
  • Met Germans on bus, David practices his Deutsch
  • Pit stops along the autobahn until mid-day arrival in Amsterdam (raining)
  • Discovered how dangerous it is to walk in bike paths in Amsterdam
  • Walk to Campsite in the rain
  • First time figuring out how our backpacks are going to work
  • Set up gnome sized tent amongst other family sized tents
  • Walked to city center with one backpack
  • Great Lunch with cheap beer next to canal and windmill
  • Walked further to NEMO to find coffee, great views and cool gadgets
  • First coffeehouses discovered
  • Red Light district tour through afternoon
  • Bought food at train station (FREE BREAD!)
  • Dusk sets in, saw first whores in windows
  • Cost??? Neither of us had the guts to ask
  • Got tapped at through the window by a male cross-dresser
  • Watched as dirty old man with a mullet comes out of one whore box and right into the next.
  • Dinner on steps of monument surrounded by restaurants (Homeless moment #1)
  • Watched more whores
  • Tram to Bridge, Bridge to Bar, Bar to Tent
  • Eat more…. Pass out

Day 3 (Aug 24th)

  • Wake up about 10am
  • RENT BIKES!!!!
  • Bike paths are the best thing about Amsterdam
  • VERY Windy
  • Find open market 1 ½ miles long
  • Enjoy pastries and coffee
  • Scouted out bed sheets to buy
  • Went to train station to drop off bags
  • Ate at the Pancake Factory (David dessert, Kyle omelet)
  • Ann Frank House with beautiful church adjacent to it.
  • Bike ride through canals away from touristic sites
  • Cruise to and through park
  • 3 story bike parking at Amsterdam Central Station
  • Bought bed sheets and watch (no haggle, not Mexico)
  • Almost got haircut but left, afro man comes running out trying to get David to stay
  • Bike tour of island off Amsterdam
  • Cool Architecture of Apartment complexes
  • WINDY!!! David almost falls off bike
  • Lots of boats and bridges
  • Found organic grocery store….bailed on it (too expensive)
  • But, did find the Holland version of my buddy Sneaker there
  • Found new grocery store hidden by alleyway
  • Ride bikes packed with sheets and food home
  • Dinner (Potato Salad, real salad, PB&J’s)
  • TOREENTIAL DOWN POUR! (Fail of Tent #1) [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlmdd-_KVuU&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Sleeping in puddle

Day 4 (Aug 25th)

  • Kyle wakes up early for walk till David wakes up.
  • Great sky colors and views in the morning
  • Kyle only time shaving on trip
  • Bail on breakfast buffet (False advertising, not buffet, must pay-per item, Homeless Moment #2)
  • Return Bikes, worker angry with David for not using bike lock correctly, David doesn’t care
  • FREE TRAM ride to train station
  • Train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam
  • Purchase tomorrows tickets, get Swedish Kroner and Tram info
  • Tram to Station Blaak
  • Left bags at cool yellow hostel building
  • Short walk till check-in time
  • Beers at waterfront restaurant
  • Met Miko from Finland in Hostel
  • Go out to explore city of Bridges and amazing Architecture (Rotterdam) [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFs4_M6htlc&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Saw draw bridges and a whole living community with green roofs
  • Discovered the “Gallery of Shops” has NO SHOPS [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCIDQ2oRVj4&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Beautiful passages
  • Found Lidl Grocery Store
  • Bought our trusty canvas sack that would last with us the rest of the trip
  • Had a snack by waterway watching a Hallandaise family outgoing (They fished and smoked weed together)
  • Little rain while waiting for draw bridge to go down to get back home.
  • Met Miko’s Spanish roommate
  • Met Germans in our room
  • Went at night in Rotterdam
  • Stalked by creepy man in the dark
  • Book it up and across rainy ass bridge, man follows
  • Cold walk home
  • Running toilet in hostel room all night

Day 5 (Aug 26th)

  • REAL Breakfast Buffet at hostel!
  • Tram to train, train to Eindhoven airport
  • Awkward bus to Airport
  • Bus controlled and only paid fare for half-way due to lack of coins and no acceptance of bills (ESCAPED!)
  • Met “stalker girls” (these two girls from Holland that just happened to be everywhere we were going to be the next few days)
  • Kyle drinks our leftover beer outside airport with Jack Daniels T-Shirt on at 10am, classy
  • Dipped bread in jams/peanut butter in airport terminal for lunch, total mess (Homeless moment#3)
  • Boarded plane with stalker girls behind us
  • Flight to Rygge, Norway (Suburb of Oslo) [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgj--QI-RbU&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Rygge, Norway is dead, did not see a single person in this town only grass and vacant buildings
  • FREE bus train station
  • Beautiful train ride to Oslo
  • Bought train reservation at train station (man offended when David asked if he speak English)
  • Avoided drug dealers outside train station (“coke, weed, speed”) – doesn’t give the best first impression of Oslo, but we were sure to be impressed later!
  • Trouble finding hostel, seek help from locals
  • Stalker girls at hostel TOO!
  • Norwegians skiing on pavement with roller skis
  • Found Grocery store ($$$NOK$$$)
  • Communal cooking at hostel
  • Crazy old Australian lady unites everyone and ignites a roaring applause when someone new comes in the room
  • Met nice Germans and Belgians but creepy Italians
  • Massive meal (Pasta and bread)
  • Never ending sunset

Day 6 (Aug 27th)

  • Checked out of hostel, then took showers
  • Bavarian in shower room thought David was German
  • Stalker girls in tram to train station (took photo for us)
  • Finally talk with the two of them over our coincidences
  • Drop off bags at storage and avoid drug dealers again (“Hash, coke, weed, speed” is what they would say)
  • Tram to Oslo Statue Park
  • Beautiful green rows of trees
  • Met Norwegian lady and baby who was married to an American [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lbI7TFmy_I&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Found famous angry baby statue and several other unique creations
  • Tower of naked people, fountains, bridges, beautiful
  • Bus to Viking Ship Museum (Free Entrance!)
  • Walked to Kon-tiki Museum in rain (in T-shirts and shorts)
  • Caves inside museum (Easter Island Replicas) scared us both [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mneXu99_is&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Life size whales and sharks
  • Lunch along waterside with birds as company
  • Rainbows over Oslo
  • First real look at Norway
  • Arctic Museum with BIG FRAN SHIP completely inside
  • Took ferry to Olso Port
  • Magnificent old town building
  • Cruise ships
  • Weird rain patterns (sideways, off, on, here, not there)
  • Local fisherman
  • Ascended Opera House made of glass and white granite
  • No cars on Oslo highways at 5pm
  • Back to train station… can’t take bags
  • “Hash, coke, weed, speed”
  • Walked aimlessly to REMA grocery store
  • Tram and night bus to Olympic Ski Jump
  • Lots of beautiful Norwegian girls and Oslo cityscape
  • Bus to train station
  • Night train to Stavanger, Norway
  • Train has power outlets and COOL sleeping gear!

Day 7 (Aug 28th)

  • Arrive 7:15 in Stavanger
  • Take extra overnight kits from train (Homeless moment #4)
  • Run around Stavanger for 45 minutes
  • Bad directions, found wrong bus, was 3 minutes late for departure to Fjords
  • Wait 1hour 30 mins for ferry for alternative activity
  • Find jungle gym at port made of old ship parts
  • Jellyfish all throughout water
  • On ferry, met Verra (German working in Norway) [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H290defaAo&hl=en&fs=1]
  • FREE COFFEE
  • Stayed on deck whole ferry ride
  • Rain and beautiful views
  • Bus to Pulpit Rock hiking point
  • Hike with Verra, backpacks, bags, and rain
  • Beautiful waterfall in distance
  • Valleys and lakes
  • Catwalk along Cliffside
  • Arrive at Pulpit Rock [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaccKgPigsE&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Lots of photos
  • Eat snacks atop of rock [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyYyc4bPHlc&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Cool helicopter dives through fjords in front of us
  • Rain comes, hike back
  • Sleep on return ferry to Stavanger
  • Thought we were tired (had no idea what we were in-store for)
  • More beautiful Norwegian girls
  • Grocery shopping with Verra
  • Long bus ride to Verra’s staff house during which we spot possible camping sites along Oceanside
  • Met French roommate of Verra
  • Internet, cherries, water and couch!
  • All rooms in Stavanger too expensive or occupied (no place to stay because we planned to camp where the morning bus would have taken us, but we missed it)
  • Go for camping “Gold Mine” spotted on way in
  • Bye to Verra
  • Bus back a few stops costs 60 NOK
  • Pitch tent on seaside brush near government communication polls [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyCQvnh6myU&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Dinner along seaside
  • Spotted small deserted hut
  • Rain on dinner
  • Use brush as cover for our bags because tent is too small for all 4 of us
  • Lots of food
  • RAIN…. Never stops for us to really sleep

Day 8 (Aug 29th)

  • 2am wake up from continuous downpour
  • Everything soaked – Time to bail (Homeless #5)
  • Evacuation to nearest bus stop
  • Ditch tent and sleeping bags (soaked)
  • Change clothes and eat small snack in lonely bus stop
  • 14km hike back to city center begins at 3am
  • NO LIFE IN NORWAY, only Taxis, mountain goats and sheep [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0VLiz0ySt8&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Spot cat from night before
  • Nice bridge, take night photos
  • Round-About-Overpass at sun rise
  • Walk through nice park
  • First sight of humans, 7am [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIdUe43WJMA&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Dropped off bags at train station, nice lady helps us exchange some NOK
  • Walked to port and waited for the bus we missed by 3 mins the first day
  • Bus was late this day
  • Slept on bus
  • Stopped at animal petting zoo
  • Met Billy goat up close and personal [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDiA1Nc4TQw&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Took bus up through mouth of fjord through windy roads
  • Stopped at rock pile garden with rock pile countryside
  • Tons of sheep, lakes and ponds
  • End at lodge atop of fjord, base camp for hike
  • NO PACKS :- )
  • Steep hike up rock slabs with chain guides
  • Hike up rock slab to lookout point
  • Take photos above fjords [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S11o48Tgpck&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Turned around to find Kjeragbolten (wedged rock) [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSXfdXJooiw&hl=en&fs=1]
  • BACKGROUND: Kjeragbolten, Norway, ca. 1000 meters high. I saw a photo of this when I was 18 years old. I told myself that I will go there and do this in my lifetime. 2 years later and a 2 hour bus ride and 3 hour hike from the closes habitable city, I made it happen and here I was standing on this rock wedged between two massive Norwegian Fjords. Feelings of accomplishment galore.
  • Large plateau waiting area for ascending rock
  • Pose for photos on rock
  • Discover that the Lithuanian language is beautiful
  • People in David’s rock photo, David angry, 3 photo shoots
  • Saw a BASE JUMPER!
  • Spend about 2 hours admiring view
  • Hike out filled with groundhogs
  • Mountains with beautiful valley of greens and sheep and streams
  • At end of 5 hour round trip hike starts to rain
  • Rock slabs become slippery
  • People still going up at 4pm!
  • Return to base lodge jetting out over fjord
  • Only snack bought in Norway, 99 NOK for muffin and sandwich
  • Crazy angry sheep thought David had wool too
  • Long cold wait for bus
  • 2 hour bus ride back to Stavanger (David sleeps, Kyle not)
  • Made train just in time at 10:20pm
  • Night train to Olso
  • Walked 30 Km today

Day 9 (Aug 30th)

  • Short stop in Oslo
  • Stole more sleeping packages from night train
  • Continued to Trondheim, Norway
  • Huge beautiful Norwegian lakes
  • Stole spoons from train for PB on bread
  • Stop in Trondheim for 2 hours
  • Unloading trash like bums into trash bin in Trondheim train station, look up and right in front of beautiful Norwegian girls, no shower for 4 days and beards (Homeless #7….most shameful point in trip)
  • Biggest grocery shopping trip ever (stocking up for cabin)
  • Over 650 NOK (3 pasta sauce, 1.5 Kilo rice, 2 ground beefs, 2 loafs bread, frozen veggies, 4 potatoes, 6 Clementine’s, Kiwis and pairs, breakfast meat patties, 2 packets dried apricots, peanuts, cider, lunch meat and cheese, 4 beers)
  • Snack outside train station
  • Train to Östersund, Sweden
  • Pass the city of HELL, NORWAY
  • Eyeballing coffee machine on train
  • Took toilet paper from train, cups and tea for our trip to the cabin in the National Park
  • Cute Swedish girl working next train (Östersund to Sundsvall, Sweden)
  • Tons of ski resorts along the way, would love to come back in winter
  • Train seating like plane, 3 wide
  • Arrive at midnight in Sundsvall

Day 10 (Aug 31st)

  • Warm cozy train station
  • Need to look for ATM
  • Asked Swedish person, headed downtown
  • Kermits Pizza Restaurant
  • People walking around parks in the dark
  • Found ATM after 30 mins
  • Nice city center
  • Colorful underpasses with Jazz music [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns9zfWds7CU&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Come back to CLOSED train station
  • Must wait/sleep outside in bus stop for our bus at 5am(Homeless #8)
  • Bums everywhere
  • Scared for life, freezing to death, Kyle makes friend with bum
  • Train station opens at 4:15
  • Slept in station, then boarded bus along Swedish coastline
  • Arrived in Dockstra at 7:15, Kyle wakes up to Swedish girl staring at him
  • Hike to National Park begins on highway
  • Cows following us, David talks to cows
  • Turn off highway onto side road along Baltic Sea
  • Breakfast on the side of the road, ended abruptly by sighting of a car and jumping up with the hopes of a hitch…. No hitch
  • Continue hike off side road onto mountain gravel road UP hill
  • Old man in car drives up and stops
  • Refuses hitch, even though Kyle was halfway in the car, language difficulties
  • More walking, with sacks
  • Cows speak to us
  • Finally make it to National Park after 2 failed hitches, steep roads, and cow shit in the road.
  • Hike along root covered path near Baltic Sea
  • Short break on beach
  • Spotted cabin #1
  • High hopes…..found people
  • Builders for new cabin
  • Met Sweeds, told us what cabin to go to (same as Antoine’s last year)
  • Hike continues… backpacks killer and two sacks each
  • Rain begins
  • Hike up fallen rock-slide
  • Beautiful view from atop
  • Downpour starts
  • Drenched clothes and railpass
  • Old German couple in cabin…. Bummed
  • Talk for a while then they left….Stocked!
  • 20 minutes later, more people arrive, 4 young Germans
  • Ate chocolate and took pictures together, they left
  • Cooked dinner, celebratory beers for making it to the cabin.
  • Swedish girl arrives around dusk, claims she’s hiking all the way out that night (crazy?)
  • Passed out before sun completely set
  • Total day’s Hike:  14 KM

Day 11 (Sept 1st)

  • Woke up at dawn, then 9:30 got out of bed
  • Made breakfast
  • Saw Swedish friends that showed up which cabin (discovered its some sort of summer course they are doing but here in the National Park)
  • Girls stayed at cabin while boys hike to top of mountain
  • Kyle and I hike up to top of mountain 15 mins later [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS3X75htjMQ&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Great views of Baltic Sea, our lake and cabin below [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwhgwqK5ipA&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Hike down through gorge (Sweden’s Grand Canyon as the Sweds called it)
  • 7 people eating outside our cabin, wouldn’t leave for the longest time
  • Chopped wood, did laundry
  • Met Finish dad and daughters, hard to communicate, never did understand what they wanted to tell us
  • Guy passes by our cabin and offers us mushrooms, David takes, still alive to date
  • Swim / shower, 1st since Oslo
  • David cuts hip and foot diving into lake
  • Awesome pasta
  • Gets dark, options: talk or sleep (View outside cabin at night)

Day 12 (Sept 2nd)

  • Woke up to see sunrise [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDi5wsCY6Nc&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Very slow sunrise in Sweden
  • Very cold mornings in Sweden
  • Went back to cabin
  • Warmed up, went back
  • Took sunrise photos (2nd time)
  • Started breakfast…. But crashed
  • Weird dreams
  • Woke up, made breakfast
  • Ate, then walked to island in Baltic Sea (connected by land bridge)
  • Found perfect writing table
  • Started this journal-
  • Explored island and cabins on it
  • David made rock tepee on island
  • Searched out cabin for our last night (Closed to entrance of park)
  • Nobody there
  • Big cabin, cozy, lots of beds and wood
  • Hike back takes 1 hour
  • Went for swim
  • David swims to island in lake and hangs out for a while
  • Hung up clothes
  • Rice and meat patties for lunch [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_z_ewC29sY&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Surprise visit from Richard (Mountain man who recently quit his job, sold his flat, and spent the last 2 months traveling through northern Sweden alone)
  • He sets up tepee tent
  • We cook together
  • Richard stays for late evening talks (11:30pm)
  • Beef, tomato and rice soup – Good
  • Veggies – awful
  • Learned about Swedish folklore, northern Sweden, language, camping info, teepee, coffee grounds, life….
  • Beautiful bright shining stars, first time seen
  • FIRST COMPLETE DAY WITH NO RAIN IN WHOLE TRIP!!!

Day 13 (Sept 3rd)

  • Both wake up to painful full bladders
  • Back to sleep
  • Weird dreams again for both of us
  • Drank coffee with Richard
  • More camping info and more coffee
  • Guy likes to talk
  • Shows us tepee tent
  • Richard recognized Kyle’s Sierra Nevada Chico, CA T-Shirt and has tried it before in Sweden!
  • Said goodbyes, left our cabin to Richard for the next few days
  • 50 minute hike to new cabin by the ocean and closer to the Park Entrance
  • Sill unoccupied
  • Lay in sand/beach for good amount of time
  • Photos with 7 day beards 
  • Started fire, made rice
  • Kyle encounters Wild Fox 5 feet from door [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iDfb5pYcXQ&hl=en&fs=1]
  • 15 minute pursuit of Wild Fox begins [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFmELCVSZ0I&hl=en&fs=1]
  • Lots of photos and videos
  • Rise has plastic in it
  • Brief visit from hikers
  • David sleeps, Kyle explores
  • Scouted out path for tomorrow’s exit
  • Found rock by Baltic Sea to update this journal-
  • Return to cabin
  • Take photos of chopping wood
  • Prepared pasta, ate pasta (Kyle opening can of Tuna for tomorrow)
  • Kyle makes prediction and doesn’t knock on wood, Trolls ruin night
  • On cue, French (very stereotypical French) couple comes in at sunset
  • Sets down bags and enters cabin without saying anything
  • They come out and tell us they will stay with us tonight
  • When they saw that David speaks French, they gave up all efforts to speak English and David became translator between them and Kyle
  • Couple washes their selves in creek next to house nude
  • Kyle and I stoke fire and got a bed
  • French couple comes into house and try to poison us with toxic candle smoke, nearly impossible to breath in stuffy smoky cabin

Day 14 (Sept 4th)

  • Wake up after long night of anticipation and listening to the French  couple smooch and God knows what else the whole night (2:45pm)
  • Pack up (very loud) and leave
  • Path very dark, flashlight fails
  • Use cell phone as light in slightly overcast night
  • Stormed out of park with no breaks and no sacks!
  • 3 hours for 14 km (previously 5 hours)
  • Houses in Sweden at least have lights on, there is life here unlike Norway
  • French couple drives by, then stop to pick us up
  • Got ride by French couple last km to bus stop town “Dockstra”.  Ended up not being that bad after all
  • Must wait for 2 hours
  • We are completely alone here in this town that looks straight out of Northern Exposure.  Just waiting for the moose to walk by... would not have been surprised!
  • Eat final meal in Dockstra bus stop, we have absolutely no more food (homeless #9)
  • Swing sticks, go on walks, and dance in highway to pass the time
  • The smallest things give us enjoyment after nearly a week isolated from civilization
  • 2 hour bus ride to Sundsvall
  • Poor old lady chose to sad next to Kyle’s smelly ass and gnarly beard
  • Arrive at train station
  • Scout out food joints
  • Walk through town and realized it’s actually beautiful
  • Return to station after sightseeing
  • Free awful coffee and free Amazing cookie at train station
  • Eat at Texas Pizza Buffet, guy doesn’t speak English (Only one in Sweden who doesn’t and works at this American place, wtf?)
  • Take turns washing up in restaurant bathroom (Homeless #10)
  • Kyle decides to keep beard (Homeless #11)
  • More sightseeing of Sundsvall
  • Many haircut places spotted
  • David too dirty and too homeless to have people touch his hair at this point
  • Walked through festival and downtown market
  • Filled up water bottles in only drinking fountain found our whole trip
  • Found shady grass area in city center to lay down (still don’t know if it’s allowed as we are the only ones on the grass)
  • DAY 3 OF SUN!
  • Photos riding dragons in park
  • Wrote in journal-
  • Return to train station
  • 3 hour train to Stockholm
  • Swedish controller doesn’t mark passes (Bonus days!)
  • David shaves in train bathroom after no longer being able to handle his caveman appearance in public
  • Arrive in Stockholm Station and completely overwhelmed by the number of people (woodsmen we are)
  • Tram to hostel with cute receptionist
  • Hostel has FREE coffee and pasta
  • Grocery shopping and cook best meal of trip to date (Salmon, broccoli, milk and rice)
  • Fist internet in about a week as well as first true shower (with soap)
  • David spends nearly the whole night indulging in both activities

Day 15 (Sept 5th)

  • Slept in late however woken up through the night by extremely loud snoring guy
  • Enjoyable walk through Stockholm towards Vassa Ship Museum
  • Sat along beautiful Stockholm harbor to have lunch
  • Vassa Ship Museum – 400 year old warship
  • Spent 3 hours in Museum
  • Walk back through Stockholm and come along Brazilian music festival
  • Return to hostel (one of the best hostels we’ve ever stayed at)
  • Buy more snacks
  • Even BETTER dinner! (Salmon, asparagus, portabella mushrooms, pasta, bread)
  • Spoke and drank coffee with Germans in hostel from Desden
  • Last use of internet on trip, better sleep this night, snoring man checked-out

Day 16 (Sept 6th)

  • Woke up early to catch 8:25 train.
  • Left hostel at 7:30 and walked
  • Asked builders how to get to train station entrance and they couldn’t agree upon their selves but enjoyed their break from work helping us
  • Kyle and I run to station and make train by 3 minutes
  • Played musical chairs getting a seat without a reservation on the train
  • Friendly conductor didn’t stamp passes (Sweden has the best train staff in Europe)
  • 6 hour train to Malmo, Sweden
  • 20 minute train over long and beautiful bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark
  • Arrival in Copenhagen
  • Met friendly Swedish man on train who says he travels 35 weeks a year (bullshit?)
  • Decided to walk 5kms to hostel
  • BABIES EVERYONE in Denmark
  • Local Danish lady shows us shortcut to Hostel (we’re not the first lost backpackers in the neighborhood)
  • Arrive at hostel to find dozens of young Danish kids checking-in.
  • Hostel has additional fees for everything!
  • Walls covered in kindergarten-like paintings
  • Play structure in backyard next to animal petting zoo…wtf are we??
  • Found one occupied bed in our room of 12, had papers in German and very feminine clothing laying out
  • Gives us hopes of staying with a cute German girl
  • Went to buy groceries
  • Cooked rice, beans, chicken stir fry and keish pie
  • Danish kids walk by admiring our wonderful meal
  • Began to do laundry (first time on trip, as laundry in the mountains smelled like camp-fire)
  • Realized how bad everything really smells
  • Met tall, blond, kind of odd Danish man in room
  • Never got his name
  • Loved telling stories of his travels in New Zealand
  • Always left the room abruptly on the high point of his story
  • Visited us again in the laundry room to share stories of traveling through the West Coast of the USA
  • Left abruptly again, saying he had to go work…???   Odd guy he was
  • Finished laundry
  • Returned to room to the disappointment of a nearly full room and possible cute German girl was an Asian guy

Day 17 (Sept 7th)

  • Woke up, showered, check out of “kindergarten” hostel
  • Asked guy at hostel for brunch suggestions
  • Went to Citron in city center (walked again)
  • Best brunch of all time
  • Sat outside, had eggs, bacon, pancakes, salmon sandwich, yogurt, cheese (maple syrup and cheese discovered to be great), coffee, coffee cake, pineapple, and cantaloupe
  • Brunch was the best memory of Denmark
  • Scouted out infamous Copenhagen Ice Bar
  • Went to park to wait for Ice Bar to open
  • David takes short nap in sun
  • Returned to Ice Bar, no one there, recommended to come back later
  • Spent more time in park
  • Walked around to find Kebab shop (Kyle has never had one)
  • Walked halfway back to the hostel and back, no luck
  • Found kebab in city center
  • Enjoyed kebab dinner by lake in park
  • Saw guy throwing LOTS of bread into the lake at birds
  • Approached closer and accepted his offer of a free loaf of bread from stranger
  • Ate bread (Homeless #11)
  • Slightly stale
  • Still healthy to date….
  • Returned to Ice Bar at 7:30pm
  • 150 DKK for entrance and 1 drink
  • Kyle and I are the only people inside
  • Drinks served in ice glass
  • After drinking, kyle smashes his glass and David sucks on his till it melts
  • Talk to bar tender and he’s full of shit (says 250 people came 4-6pm??)
  • We say we leave at 8:30
  • 3 mins before we leave, 2 American arrive
  • 2 guys, Les and David, gay, buy us 2 drinks each, great talks
  • Spotted single Cameron Diaz look-a-like, too young to approach but hottest older woman ever seen
  • After Les and David left, we met girls from Austria
  • Spent 3 hours in Ice Bar!!!
  • Felt like Maui when we exited outside at 10:30
  • Went to public facilities in park
  • Creepy in dark, took care of business fast!
  • Return to train station
  • Board train at midnight

Day 18 (Sept 8th)

  • 2 hour train ride to Nykøbing, Denmark
  • While exiting at 2am, talked to by strange old (66 yrs) man from Denmark
  • Talked to us about his time in the US and spoke of how crazy it was before AIDS (he was really odd)
  • Offered us a taxi ride or to buy a drink, we passed on both offers, no thanks
  • Man left, had a weird thing about him, repeating words out loud, don’t know if he was all there
  • Spent 3 hour layover sleeping in train station platform smoking box (Homeless #11)
  • No DKK left to check out McDonalds across the street
  • 5:11am board train for Røbdy
  • Ferry from Røbdy to Germany
  • WE CAN USE EUROS NOW!
  • Very happy to be back in Germany “home”
  • Connection in Lubeck to Hamburg
  • Train travels through wind farm
  • Final goodbye and ending trip photo
  • David to Poland via Berlin, Kyle to Munich

Before going back to Deggendorf, I spend two days in Leszno, Poland.  My second time to Poland, and I was once again really impressed.  I’ve really enjoyed my times in Poland even amidst train crashes, etc. :- )  For two nights I saw the city of Leszno, met friends, and practiced my Karaoke skills.

However, Norway and Sweden proved to be two of the most beautiful countries for me.  I absolutely loved the nature aspect of both countries and was so happy to have changed my plans to avoid only cities but to see the nature as well.  The National Park in Sweden was a completely amazing tip from Antoine in France to go there.  I’m so happy that all worked out.  If I get the chance I will surely go back to both Norway and Sweden in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this post, it took a lot of work to put together.  MORE TO COME SOON!!!