Email sent 20th July from Sweden

SWEDEN - Stockholm

              2013

I had met both Carin (Sweden) and Sofie (Denmark) whilst we were all doing volunteer work in Nepal.  We all ended up working together at Chitwan Medical Centre and somehow we just hit it off.  Could be they were crazier than me !!!!  But sometimes you just meet people that you know you will meet again one day.  Genuinely nice people with a zest for life.


So here it was - 7 mths later....

On my way home from Russia - how could I not stop off in Sweden!!!  

I was smart enough to book only 4 days / 3 nights. ha ha ha  

Sofie caught the train from Denmark and Carin picked us up at the airport.  OMG!!  the rest is history... 


A BIG THANKS TO CARIN - an amazing host.  Great country.


The Finale - S W E D E N  

It all started with an email Carin sent late Friday night just before I left Moscow.

It read...
Seriously... Haven't heard from you... ARE YOU ALIVE?????? Did the Russians get to you before I could have a go????? 
We are sleeping on a rock in the ocean tomorrow... No I am not kidding! It will be great! Can't wait! 
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I replied...
I am barely alive. Rock ??????? In the ocean ?????? Not kidding ????? ARE YOU MAD !!!!!
I'm about to go to sleep. I may not wake up in time for my flight. 😴 Hmmmmm lol... Seriously ?? Rock ?? Ocean ?? 😟
HELP !!!!!! Somebody help me!!!!
See you tomorrow. Maybe... Lol...
******************************************************

Unfortunately I did wake up in time. I headed to breakfast where these 2 nice old ladies started chatting. I told them I was going to Sweden to sleep on this rock in the middle of the ocean with friends that drank vodka. I told them I had just come off a mountain, a whiff of vodka would knock me out. They laughed and said I would probably pass out, slip into the ocean and never be seen again. SEE !!!!!! They know. They're trying to KILL me !!!!!!

But... Somehow madness kicked in and I headed to the airport, got on a plane and headed to SWEDEN.
And... there was Carin - waiting for me with a big smile. OMG !!! She then tried to squeeze me into her fancy BMW sports car (which took 3 attempts to get me in) lol... and off we drove. 'What's those 90 signs we keep passing mean'? I asked. 'They mean 90km per hour' she replies. I look at the speedo. 'But your doing 160' I say 'oh 90 is only a guide' she casually replies.
And you doubt she's trying to KILL me !!!!  I must admit though - it didn't feel like 160. Their highways are 3 lanes and only like 3 cars on the road. Very nice, very smooth.
So - we continue on and pick Sofie up from the train station before dropping me off at my hotel for quick shower and change. 'Don't forget your sleeping bag' she says. 'Pick you up at 1.10pm.'. (Not 1pm or 1.15pm - no 1.10pm) ha ha ha

OK ready - I get picked up and we head to the marina with Frederick (Carin's boyfriend), Sebastian. (Carin's mate) and Dotty (Carin's best friend) and her husband Mike and Sofie of course. Who would have guessed that Sweden is made up of thousands of very small islands. Everyone has boats.  They've brought enough supplies for a month and I question if this is indeed only one night on a rock. I have visions of Guilligans Island. Ahhhhhh

Off we go - WOW what a day.
​Boat ride out to the islands to find our 'ROCK' (very important to select the right rock) where they cooked Swedish meatballs. YUMM !!!!!!! We ate herring in all sorts of sauces - hmmmmm amazing and drank little bottles of schnapps, whilst they sang Swedish songs and then skulled. They even played ABBA songs for me - ha ha ha Very funny. Then we headed out for some tubing and water skiing (haven't done that in a million years) forgot how much fun it was. Of course returned to the rock for a BBQ of their finest Angus Beef and more drinks (rose and fanta would you believe - their national drink) whilst we sat around a nice fire before settling into my sleeping bag on the ROCK. great day !!!! Mind you Carin slept on the boat. Yeh yeah yeah. Hmmmm. But rock was better. Only had to fight off a swarm of Mosquitos at 4am. No kidding - you know how I love Mosquitos. Emptied 2 full bottles of aeroguard - the only place I didn't have some was my eyeballs. And,.. They still got me. Ahhhh. By the way check the photos out - bikinis on the way there and blankets on the way home. Welcome to the Swedish summer they say. Ha ha ha

Arrived back at hotel, via their stables to visit Carin's horse πŸ‡ and then a much needed nap before meeting for lunch. Like we needed more food. But... More herring and huge Swedish meatballs. OMG. We waddled off down the road on a tour of the city, promising never to eat again as long as I lived.

So - here I am Monday morning alone at the all you can eat breakfast buffet in the hotel. I need to throw up. Who would leave me at an all you can eat buffet. Seriously !!!! OK must waddle - I'm meeting Sofie for some more walking and shopping before Carin meets us for our ABBA museum afternoon. Yeeeeeeha.

******************************************************************
OK it's time to make my escape to the airport. I think I can sneak out whilst I'm still alive - just !!!
Let me tell you - it all went crazy with ABBA. Poor Carin was in shock I think that I dragged her to the ABBA museum - ha ha ha. But check out the photos (she's Benny). I danced and sung my way through the museum - very exciting. I wasn't the only one in white pants reminiscing. Mama Mia here we go again Ma Ma how can I resist you..... πŸ˜€ However, I did miss my big opportunity to get on stage and become ABBA's 5th member dancing and singing with them whilst it was filmed and the crowd cheered. So close but seriously we decided that we needed vodka for that. We should have drunk 2 bottles before going then we would have been famous. Excellent singers. Finally we escaped but not before buying my ABBA t-shirt. Carin headed to the nearest bar to order drinks. Traumatised she was.

More drinks and burgers (very Americanised they are) and of course Sofie decided it was time to drink her Danish beer she had brought and my Russian vodka. I changed into my ABBA t-shirt much to Carin's horror and off we went across the park to Carin's place. Sat on her balcony enjoying a few drinks until Frederick arrived home and decided that there was nothing better than Swedish vodka 50% proof - ahhhhhh and God knows what other drinks after that. More vodka more champagne and the night ended with me dressed as a Swedish clown or was it a soccer fan or a hockey fan - not sure (check the photos out) OMG !!!!! Somehow Danish sunglasses were found and Sofie was right at home. Carin as you can see ended up in the only place she was safe - on the floor.

What a way to farewell Sweden.
Now I must escape whilst I still can.
I'M COMING HOME !!!!!!!!!!!!

​See you back in Australia.
Signing off from Sweden.
Ted & Marg xxxxxxxxxxxxxx