For four months, I studied abroad in London, England. These notes are select entries from my experiences in the United Kingdom and Western Europe from that time.
Friday, December 4 –
After a most interesting night sleeping in a shared compartment from Duisberg, Germany on a EuroNight train, I woke up around 8 a.m. when the conductor gave me my passport and Eurail pass back. Apparently shortly after the man was arrested in our compartment last night for a false passport, our train boarded a Scandlines Ferry in Puttgarden (Germany) for a 12-mile sailing across the Baltic Sea to Rødby, Denmark that took about 45 minutes. I had slept right through it! I put my contacts in and brushed my teeth before getting my gear together. I talked to a British/Australian national in my cabin about his journeys before we pulled into Kobenhaven (Copenhagen) Station around 8:40 a.m.
I took a look around the station for a few minutes before my 9:15 train to Hassleholm, Sweden. I made a mental note to come back to Copenhagen one day. Unfortunately I didn’t have time this trip, but what a beautiful city!
When we arrived in Helsinger, I prepared to observe my first train ferry crossing to Helsingborg, Sweden. The cars were already loaded on board when our train boarded a Scandlines Ferry via a bottom ramp. It was very interesting how they drove the train right on board the ferry amongst the cars and buses. Once on board, we crossed by a 20-minute ferry leaving Denmark behind as we traveled to Helsingborg. The ferry was as nice as those used from Denver to Calais, and I grabbed two Christmas sweets and a chocolate milk on board for breakfast.
Once we arrived in Sweden, we had Swedish customs agents come on board and check everyone’s gear (probably more so for drugs, but I believe for weapons as well.) After re-boarding the train in Helsingborg, we departed for Hassleholm where we arrived around noon. There I ate my sandwich (from Amsterdam) and drank my water while I waited and read USA today. It’s was nice reading an American newspaper for the first time in a while, although I did read the international Herald Tribune, published by the Washington Post and New York Times, amongst the British papers such as the Guardian, Times, the Telegraph, Daily Mail and the Evening Standard. I was fascinated by NASA starting construction on the international space station in orbit.
I caught the 13:20 p.m. train to Stockholm and I had supper on board consisting of a sandwich, some wonderful chips and a Pepsi. We arrived in Stockholm at about 19:00 and I was shocked to see that the tourist information and hotel center was closed. However, once again the folks at Lonely Planet didn’t let me down. I found a nice place and splurged $65 for a private room with a shower, toilet and TV for the first time in a while.
The subway was interesting and I had a hard time finding the hotel once I arrived at the closest Metro stop. It was snowing heavily and I finally found Hotel Alexandra at 20:30 p.m. and read for a little while. I then went out and explored beautiful central Stockholm at night. It’s a very charming city with interesting architecture, especially under a layer of fresh snow.
Around 1:30 a.m. I called home and talked to Mom collect because AT&T messed up my card. I then returned to my room and went to the sauna for about 30 minutes. I returned to my room, packed and prepared a sightseeing list to see the next day before leaving for Oslo. I went to bed at approximately 4 a.m.