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J Mac’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 22 Apr 2006

MapArrived back in Swansea really early Friday morning after 23 days of solid traveling. What a trip it has been, seems like so long ago now. I did try to write updates on the road, however, I would spend a half hour writing about everything in detail and then something would always happen and it would not post. I would get pissed off and not even bother writing it again. Sorry, somewhat selfish of me.

So, instead of writing in detail again I will just talk about so highlights:

Favourite Spot: Switzerland and Norway tie for my favourite places. Norway had the most unique landscape and I am a huge landscape person. The one singular spot that i most appreciated was in a residental spot in Lucerne that i stumbled upon when looking for a supermarket. It was a look out of the city, lake and all the mountains surrounding the town. No other tourists around and so quiet I sat there for quite awhile.

Biggest disappointment: Crossing the arctic circle line was so touristy. Santa has a workshop there and everyone from everywhere comes to visit him. We had a better arctic circle experience when we traveled up to Kemijarvi (the most northern town in Finland). On the otherhand, I had a nice chat with Santa

Favourite city: Berlin. Filled with so much recent history and very cultured. I really wasnt expecting to fall in love with that city. It helped that I went on a walking tour and had a guide who was very passionate about European history.

Favourite train trip: Oslo to Bergen. Crossed an ice cap and saw many a fjord.

Least favourite train trip: Prague to Vienna. The train trip that was suppose to be 6 hours turned into 10 hours because they decided to take a detour into Solvakia, resulted in very bad moods in Owain and Alex but of course I was a bundle of roses.

Funniest moment: Kath walking nude into a communal suana in Finland (she thought it was only for females and there were signs on the door with a cross through the swim suit and towel) The two males on the trip were in there to view the entire thing, I am happy it wasnt me but we all laughed for days afterward.

Least funny moment: Waiting in the Tampere (Finland) train station for our bus connection. There was so many drunk people and one security guard. I acutally thought it was quite funny but the others were a bit freaked. Another not so funny moment was not getting the right connection on to a boat to cross Lake Constance in southern Germany to get the airport. It was quite a tense boat trip knowing we when got to shore we had about 10 minutes to find the airport to check in time. We made it in the end.

Favourite hostel: Vienna. It is ranked in the top ten hostels worldwide. We had a room on the top floor with a view of the entire city. The atmosphere was great and we met a lot of travellers from all over the world.

Least favourite hostel: Oslo.

Most stupid purchase: 9.50 CAN for a pint in Lucerne. Dammit Jen!

I have been trying to calculate the total distance travelled but am finding it hard to find information about the Scandinavian countries... I will keep looking and post that on later.

Love you all. Must get to work.