It’s 10pm and I’ve been in Trollhattan for about an hour. I was meant to get here about two and a half hours ago, but there was some sort of accident on the railway line and the train I was on to Gothenburg stopped for an hour. Consequently, I missed my connecting train to Trollhattan and arrived late.
UPDATE: the view at 10.45pm
I’m here now, though, and it’s a strange feeling. More on that shortly.
Some notes from the day’s wanderings:
Stockholm’s a very pedestrian-frindly town. Bicycle-friendly too. I didn’t have a bike, so hoofed around so much this morning that I now have a bleeding toe. Occasionally I walked in the bike lanes and nearly got hit. I’m not used to them being around. All the bikes back in Australia are quite modern. Here, it’s almost like they’re making an attempt to make everything fit in with the old-ness of much of the city. I saw one bike that looked like a war-era machine. I didn’t see one mountain bike at all, which may not surprise you as I was in the city, but I see a lot of those back home, even on the streets.
The websites I looked at for train travel all warn you about people offering to help travellers with their bags etc. Apparently there’s been an increase in theft around Central Station in Stockholm in particular. They also run announcements over the loadspeakers at the station. I think they’re on every 15 minutes or so in Swedish and in English. They had me so paranoid I was giving every slightly underdressed male below 25 years of age the evil eye.
I’m now quite sure it’s just a campaign to get people to spend money on a storage locker. I did.
The word of the day is “paj”.
Used in a sentence: Jan-Ake came up to Swade and shouted “When are you going to shut your paj-hole and stop talking about our new cars before they’re released?!”
Abandoned BMW found in central Stockholm:
Al Aero, back in Australia, was talking with someone in Sweden today and apparently there’s only two Hummers in the country (or is that in Stockholm – can’t remember). And to think I found one of them just wandering around at 6 this morning.
A Hawaiian pizza here is the same as a Hawaiian pizza at home.
I’m a terrible traveller.
I’m really sorry but I didn’t carry my cameras around with me on my second walk this morning. They were back at the hotel re-charging,
If I had carried them with me I could have taken a photo of the original any-color-you-want-as-long-as-it’s-green Saab 92 that drove past me in central Stockholm as part of some sort of classic car event that must have been on somewhere. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was just coming up to an intersection when I noticed there was a large crowd lining the street. As I got there, the 92 cruised past. I don’t know how many cars went before it, but I watched another 50 or so after it and didn’t see another Saab there at all. Lots of Americana, actually.
It was a beautiful sight to see. There were three people in it. No trunk lid on the back at all and just a little rear window. No smoke from the two stroke exhaust, either.
The other Aussies travelling here will notice the same thing I did straight away – this place is green. I’m not talking about their recycling approach here. This place is green and lush. Australians haven’t seen countryside like this for around 5 years or so. We’ve been stuck in a drought for about that long.
If you’re taking an X2000 train in Sweden, consider carefully the option of paying a bit extra to go first class. It’s not that much, especially on a long-ish trip like Sthlm-Gtbrg. 1st Class gets you internet access included in the price, and you don’t have people walking past you all the time to get to the bistro car.
Also, try and get a seat away from the toilet…..
Most people were quite considerate about their use of the WC on the train. They were in and out like the SAS. One guy in particular put a stop to that, though. I knew he was going to be a while. I couldn’t believe it when I saw him approach, but he bought one of his habits from home with him and took a book into the loo.
As I mentioned at the top, it’s a little bit surreal being here now. I think I’m going to have to go shopping tomorrow and buy a new shirt. I bought four Saab shirts with me, but now that I’m here I feel like an imposter. This is the city where it all started, where they’re made even today.
And here I am, some drifter from the other side of the world. I know we all have our own love for Saabs and we come to it in different ways, but these people I’m amongst for the next week or so actually own this brand’s heritage. It’s their collective way of life that brought about the Form Follows Function philosophy. Who the heck am I to come here and act like I know what’s going on.
I have two ears, two eyes and one mouth,and I think I’m going to take my cue from that – listen and watch plenty and talk very little.
More on all that shortly, too.
Today was essentially another travel day. I’ve got a little bit of film I’m going to start on now but the real Saab bits of this trip start tomorrow.