Travel notes – Day 2

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

Swania%20view.jpg

I’m here now, though, and it’s a strange feeling. More on that shortly.

Some notes from the day’s wanderings:

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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.

old%20bike.jpg

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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.

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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?!”

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Abandoned BMW found in central Stockholm:

beat%20up%20BMW.jpg

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.

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A Hawaiian pizza here is the same as a Hawaiian pizza at home.

I’m a terrible traveller.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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14 Comments

  1. (another Aussie here)

    I arrived in Copenhagen today and this place is just soooo different. I’ve seen a lot of Australia, New Zealand, Italy and France. But this is just soooo different.

    Really don’t know what to expect in Trollhattan

  2. Brendan: Denmark is nothing compared to lovely Sweden. Denmark is flat! 😀 (I’m Norwegian, so I can be considered neutral)

    Swade: This is really fun to read, keep up the good work!

  3. so good to see you are there, lovely pic from the window. Also, for us here in europe, your postings are in our time zone, lol.

  4. Great job Swade, if your staying at the Hotel Swania say hi to the bartender for me. If my memory serves me correctly the choice of beverage is a Pripps, but I can’t recall. Don’t forget to check out the Vasa ship before you come home, Saabboy1

  5. swade, have you considered fitting in a visit to an Air Force base to check out the Viggen/Gripen.

    …maybe take a shot from the cockpit?

  6. Swade, I’d ask you to leave your cockpit out of any photo you might post. Thank you.

    Still dreaming of sharing that room with you…….

  7. As much as I enjoy your posts, try to get as much sleep as you can whenever you can. It’s hard to be in your “right mind” if you’ve had no sleep. Didn’t you post at 4:45 a.m. the other morning and then take a walk around Stockholm at 6:00 a.m.? Doesn’t leave much time for sleep. We can wait on the posts. Take care of yourself first!

  8. Mike, the posting clock is still on Aussie time, wheras I’m talking in Swedish time. Deduct 8 hours from the posting time and you’ll get the time it was in Sweden when I posted it.

    i.e. this one says 6am. Deduct 8 hours and you get 10pm (previous day) which is when I started writing this one.

    I do have to stay fresh though. Today I drive on the right (wrong) side of the road for the first time in 3 years. Eek!

  9. Oh, I thought you wrote those things, I wasn’t looking at the posting clock. Good thing to hear you’re getting sleep though. Gotta’ stay fresh and safe. Have fun!

  10. Swade: Dont worry about the T-shirt, as long as they dont say I “heart” Volvo you’ll fit in just fine. 😉 I’m saying this again form a comment I made last week, I love reading your reactions to everyday life in Sweden…

  11. It’s lovely to read someones outer view of Sweden, especially when that someone is so positively biased. 🙂

    A few clarifications, though:

    Some 40 Hummers are sold each year in Sweden, the majority probably in Stockholm.

    There are a lot of mountain bikes (though old style military bikes are a cheap and stylish choice for some).

    It’s not the underdressed people below 25 who’ll steal your bags, but the carefully “normal dressed” ones above 25.

  12. Swade, I work for the local newspaper in Trollhättan and we would like to meet up with you during your stay in Trollhättan. Could you please contact me asap so we could arrange something.

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