Ha ha – my luck has changed! Instead of booking my ferry tickect yesterday I decided to turn up at the terminal and hope for the best. However the concerned looking woman said (to a sad looking me) “You are supposed to book – we are full” “…oh, hold on a minute we have one place left – you are very lucky!” Lucky I was – there are over 2000 passengers on board 🙂 So I was quite happy. Although I had to pay a slight premium the upside was my own cabin/shower/TV etc.

After my time in Estonia I opted for a quiet night to watch and didn’t participate in Super Bingo, the ball room dancing, Kareokee or the ´Aluminium Disco´. I was also 30 years younger and 10 pints more sober than my 1999 Swedish shipmates. Instead, the Travel Channel entertained me with a story of two guys who tried to row accross the Indian ocean – but failed, and the painfully crap ´Caprice’s Travel Show´. The boat was nice though, built only last year and apparently does 22 knots (not that I know what it means).

Arriving in Stockholm was pretty painless, I somehow jumped past most of the passport queue and jumped straight on a bus into the city center before jumping straight into the closest hostel. After that I joined the local alcoholics for a sleep in the park and then took the essential 2 hour ‘find my bearings’ walk around Stockholm.

The city is an imressive place and is far more scenic than Helsinki. Surrounded by 24,000 Islands the city itself if built over 14 Islands and so water, boats and even Canoes are almost everywhere you look. It ishome of the Nobel Prize and a rather attractive Princess.

The brocure poses the question “Have you ever had a drink in and ice glass whilst wearing a fur-lined coat?” …well actually, Yes – I have thanks. Helsinki has an ice bar too you know. Good fun but a massive gimmick and strangely enough – very cold.

It´s not as impressive as the brocure for Pärnu (in Estonia) which claims

1. To be very popular with the locals
2. That each day there will increase the length of your life!

Given that the life expectency for Estonian males is only 66 I suspect that one of those claims is a lie.

I´m not really planning on doing a lot here in Sweden largely because I just fancy a few days relaxing and also because its quite expensive. A return visit will definately be needed though (sometime after my lottery win) as Sweden is home to thousands of lakes, Samis and raindeer in the north, Danish castles in the south, 25,000 iron age graveyards, 1140 prehistoric fortresses, 2500 open-air rune stones, 3000 churches and 10,000km of trekking and bicyle paths.

Apparently, like in Slovenia there is a hostel here built from an old prison so I might stop there for a night just to double my number of prison stays to 2.

Tonight I had supernoodles but I can’t read (or deduce from the taste) which flavour. I also worked out that since the 10th of June I have enjoyed,

1 Plane
4 Taxis
11 Buses
2 Trains
10 Beds

in 8 differnt towns.

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