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Scandinavia Part Deux 2007

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 04 September 2007

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Went to a local football dirby Hammerby - AIK, Magnus's cousin was there with us too with one other friend of his... They told me dont worry about seat numbers as we will be standing with the passionate fans who stand all game. I thought there is going to be a group of like 20 people that we would join or something.... Infact it appears that one entire side of the stadium was the passionate fans. They kept singing the entire game .. even when AIK was down 1 goal... then AIK came back in the second half and won the game 2-1. It was a surreal atmosphere... People genuinelly happy to support their team... They were having the best time in the world... I had a pretty terrific time too...Initially when the teams were getting on the ground... i thought the people are standing and singing to welcome them but hell no ... they kept doing that all the way.....

I guess my time is up.... What can't go on forever must end. I felt a bit homesick once in a while last few days but i think i have to go leave this world of dreams and get back to the sipping lattes and talking interest rates.

Be Good,
Until next time,

Tarun
Signing Off

Sunday, 02 September 2007

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

We went to a very nice upscale bar in stockholm. We had a very good time..... Drank a lot ofcourse...

Saturday, 01 September 2007

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Bye Bye Copenhagen... I had the best time ever ... No more enjoynig the sun while sitting by the canal with a beer, cigar and reading a book, sitting on the Nyhavn square and people watching, taking the bike to everywhere, sitting in the communcal palace gardens, sitting outside and enjoynig Kaffe Lattes, the rod polsker hotdogs, enjoying the dinner for the whole evening....... the danish lifestyle.....

Found the overnight train to stockholm for 75€ so that was good. ...

The train wasnt that cool. I think the Euro rail they show in commercials is the business class section of it and its like the business class of a plane which is what it is...

So while i was getting out of the train... I saw this girl crying in her cabin and it seemed like she had lost a shoe and when i brought that up she totally started crying and was mad at me for thinking its funny. She was going to a trip to the islands in an hour and wouldnt have time to buy new shoes.... So i calmed her a bit helped her fuïnd the shoe and the crying stopped immediately.....She was just scared...It was a bit funny though....'

So we got back to magnus's place... Its a bit out of town but thats ok... I am not going to do a whole lot of things anyways... He was quite hungover from the previous night so we just decided to watch a movie and then later go to the city and check whats up

Its quite astonishing the difference between sweden and denmark... The danish are so much helpful and polite and laid back and having a good time always....Swedes are a bit more businesslike stockholm being the business capital of scandinavia...


Tomorrow i am thinking of checking out the islands.. magnus has to go to work for a bit, we'll see ...


Friday, 31 August 2007

Location: KÝbenhavn, Denmark

What cannot go on forever must end.

Last day in copenhagen today. I can't believe time flied like that. ...... I have booked my tickets to stockholm by the overnight train... that way i dont have to waste my day in travelling....

Last night was a long one again... Sofia was back from reykjavik so i went to hers for dinner. There were few of her danish friends there too. Nice to hang out with all of them... Then we went out... Bars close here at 5AM i thought that was pretty cool....Who needs sleep anyways when there is so many better things to do in this city.


This morning i had to do laundry so i was walking to the nearby laundry station in shorts and a guy stopped to say that its cold now and the shorts say something else. But then i told him somethings about minnesota so it was all cool... Laundry was a bit tricky because instructions were in danish. A couple of peple, who did not speak a world of english, helped me out. Funny how the sign language works. lol.

I have got used to the city now. Can get to anywhere from anywhere on my bike without consulting the map very much.

Oh yeah finally i found the tourist information center.... on my 4th day here that is.....

The weather is a bit overcast today... Kaffe Latte is a very very famous drink here. The preparation and how you drink is it a bit diffrent than what we get in US. Infact its so different that i had to ask the waitress what the hell is that thing that everyone seems so into....


All right... have to go out now... last day today. sad but it is what it is...


Be Good...

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Location: KÝbenhavn, Denmark

Hello,

Danish people know that they are good at things and they are not shy about that :)... Saw a lot of the outer parts of the city on bikes... Weather has been very generous.. No rain so far. Low 60s only a bit windy..

As i got out of my hotel this morning i saw one of those city bikes. Ofcourse it wasn't mine but i stole it. What the heck. Now we are even. Then went to a rental shop and got my own as the city bikes are crap...........

The bike shop was right outside Røseborg which is the guards barrack. The guards come out of there and go to Amalienbørg )Queen's palace). So the guards walk on the road in a parade fashion and it was very unique so all the tourist were just following them . i did that too and when we reached the Queen's palace there were thousands of people waiting to see the change of guard. Interesting stuff !!

Then went to The Holy Grain Of Denmark. The DANISH ARCHITECTURE CENTER and got a student discount. Don't know for how long i am going to take this student discount.. :) Met this cute danish girl Ida at the DAC exhibition who was a 3rd year architecture student and told me about all the cool buildings in the city. Even marked them on my map and how i could go there.... I bought a book about 50 top danish architectures in copenhagen.... Then went to check out some of the buldings mentioned in the book ....... It is completely surreal what danes do in terms of designing. What one can't do on paper they can create a functioning object like that....Very impressive. Took some nice pictures. will post them later.


The weather seems to be good today.... There is this restaurant that i want to try but whenever i get there its 2 hours after kitchen close. WTF.

So i was going through that book i bought and i realized that i bought the danish version of the book instead of the english one... Was paying too much attention to that girl i suppose. Cannot believe i did that.

Tomorrow want to go to Ødense birthplace of H.C. Anderson ... 450 krones return ticket expensive but we will see...

Also i am completely broke... bleeding money like anything. !

If one was to find a correlation between US and Denmark we would get a negative coefficient at the most. lol. :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

WOWZA !!

Its an amazing city. I was thinking to keep only 3 days for it but i think even 10 is not enoough.... Might be here all week before stockholm.

Had a good sleep last night first time since US. Started the day from the city center and went to nyhåvn. Was too hungry so while i was looking for a place to eat i reached the queen's palace and took a small tour. The princess is divorvced with two kids and dating a much younger photographer. booyah ! Then went to this most famous smørebræd place called Ida Davidson. Had the best smørebræd sandwich in the whole world and then off to Nyhåvn again. The sun was nice and shining so spent the whole day at the canal ... Its like the oslo canal area except lot more cultural and many many more people.

If i said this city had 2 obese people it would be an exaggeration by a factor of 2. Unbelievable. Everyone bikes...

Its funny when people ask me where i come from and i say US they say ooooooooo...... And then they ask me where in US and when i say Minnesota they make a weird face. WTH. We have to start promoting minnesota i think....

So i heard about this thing that the city, to promote tourists to bike, gives free bikes. You put in 20 kronas and get the bike out ... use it and put it back and get your 20 kronas back-... Was completely thrilled once i saw an available bike.. But once i was on it i saw there are no breaks. But wait the break is if you paddle reverse.. Took a bit of getting used to but i was a rockstar in not so long... I had also heard that if you leave your bike outside it would get stolen because there is no lock on it and its a state's bike anyways... i completely hid the bike amongs 200 other bikes in a bike stand and went to a coffee shop and when i came back , it was f'n GONE. Dammit ! So Danish designs can have flaws too eh ?

Tomorrows weather looks sunny too so i have to pick my choices on where i want to go...


I am still thrilled by the fact that you can drink on the street. So many people are carrying a beer with them all the time... When i was at Nyhåvn today two ladies came and sat next to me took out small wine glasses and small bottle of wine from the PURSE and BOOM we have a PARTAY!
'
Met some american people in the bar today... We might go check out the new ice bar in downtown later in the night.

Be good...

Tarun


Monday, 27 August 2007

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Only 2.5 hour flight from reyjkavik so it was not bad at all. Some confusion with directions so went around a 2 block circle and the hotel was where i started. Very cultural city. Old buildings. I am already in love with it.

Went to the city center to check it out. Had the red pølska hotdogs. Good stuff then went to Cafe Europa. The waitress, apart from being super hot, told me that they have won 3 world championships for Cappuchino and Caffe Latte so i had to try. 42 danisk krones, 8$ not bad but i cant believe they charged me for WATER also. seems like they dont sell water for free. second exprience today.

On the way back i found out that it is allowed to drink while walking on the streets and is very common. Ran into some drunk swedish people who were in town to hang out. What a shocker? :) Once a guy found out i came from minneapolis and told me he loves US and has been to Illinois and NYC and loved it. I joined them ofcourse for the drinkig and walking thing but they were too drunk and talking in swedish/danish. Great city.

Tomorrow i might goto ødense the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. Weather forecast is good. Will call Magnus and Ida to check when they are coming to town.

While i was typing this i am in reception area and seems like the hotel is overbooked and lot of people are pissed.

Conversation 1 (messed up english)

Receptionist R: I am sorry we do not have room
Italian guys (I) : What do u say
I: We drive all from Italy
I: We have to go to street now
R: Its not my job to take care of stay
I: Its not my job. I have other job. This is your job
........


Conversaton 2:
Singapore lady (S): The taxi driver charge me more. 20 kroners. 3 days it happen. it not happen in my country. we can report to police.
R: In our country we can report
S: My husband is yelling outside.
S: I travel all world. This is wrong...



It was very funny to hear these conversations as both people could not speak proper english and trying to resolve an issue.


Ok seems like i have insommnia now. Go to bed NOW


Sunday, 26 August 2007

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

I had to wake up at 7:00 for my Golden Circle Tour 9 hour starting at 8:30 but i had set my new phone to not bother me on sat and sun even if the alarm is on. So as fate would have it i forgot it was a sunday. But still got up at 8. No shower and no breakfast and out i go.

First of all this weekend was the best weather in the whole month. Picture perfect.

We started off with small stops here and there and i was busy buying a postcard at the first stop and the bus alsmost left and i had to run to catch. everyone saw me getting in late. Very embarrassing. From that moment on the tour guide wont start the bus before looking for me.

Then we went to the Hekla volcano which is now dormant. It was only a 15 min stop and they said at best we can circle the top but i thought heck i should go all the way to the bottom of the crater. Super cool stuff. I met a danish girl Sofia who was from copenhagen so had company .she was visiting her danish girlfriend who came to iceland for school but now has an icelandic boyfriend. Later she invited me for dinner at her home in copenhagen and to show me around copenhagen once she gets back on wed.

Then we went to Gulfross waterfall. It was ok and there was a non grand CANYON there which was pretty cool.

After that it was the Strokur Geysir which erupts every 5 min. People would hold their camera all the time to capture the kodak moment. Interesting stuff to see how mother nature is.... once it erupts the water goes 100 meters high probably.


Got back in town at 6 in the evening and then when i reached the hostel i heard some ping pong noice in the basement. ofcourse i was complelled to go. A couple of spanish dudes were playing and i told them i'd play the winner. I beat him 22-20 . It was fun as he did not speak 1 word of english but fortunately we both new NUMBERS. Its pretty strange how different people from barcelona are with respect to northern spain. North spanish are not modern ..crude... no english .. very rebellious... but party like rockstars :) so we have a common ground.

Later in the night i stayed up late 1AM to check for Aurora Borrealis and another american guy Drew was going to go with me .. no luck .. woke up at 4:30 AM and out of reyjkavik.

Iceland was superb. If you don't like the weather just wait for 10 min. People are super nice and helpful. Party like no one else can. Next time i WILL do 7 AM. Hell yeah.

Go Iceland.



Saturday, 25 August 2007

Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland as they say is @creation in progress@ 11% of it is covered in lava. daily there is some active volcano somewhere. Everywhere around the greater reyjkavik all you see is lava rocks.

I got here at 6AM and no sleep in the 5 hour flight. They said i cant check in until 2 PM so i said screw it. i took a bus to the city center and checked out the small shops in reyjkavik downtown. Went to the top of a church ... not much to do so i went to the must see place called blue lagoon. Its an open air geysir (hot water pool basically) that everyone goes to . water temp is around 40C Its completely surreal that you can stay in a geothermal pool when its 30F and windy outside. it was a great experience.

Got back to town and checked in. good there was a common kitchen. everyone was getting their grocery and making their own dinner. I met a spanish family in the kitchen who just got back catching a bunch of trout from the North Icelandic region and it was too much for them. They kept on offering me that uncooked trout and i kept on saying no but there was too much of communication gap. Cant believe the cooked a proper fish in front of me and ate it.

So it was sat night. the only thing icelandics go at that time is pub crawling. They party until 7AM . plus i had not slept since Thu night in US. FACK. who cares. its iceland.

way too expensive city. 10 min internet is for 150 icelandic crones which is like 2Euros. A sandwich is atleast 800 kroners and i can eat three of them easily. Also since the currency is weak and inflation is high everything amounts to a large number. Like bus ticker 1200 Krones. Its weird to see high numbers although they are not as much in $$

The hot water for daily use is obtained naturally through geothermal processes and it hasa high sulphur content so it smells ridiculous like one cant believe. taking a shower is horrible. but the smell doesnt stick to the body so its cool.

Getting ready for the Golden Glacier Tomorrow.


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Have Fun !!!
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FUN !!

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