Hitchhiking knee deep in snow!

Swe1 So we finally managed to leave our lovely home in Copenhagen (if only for a week) and headed to Sweden.  Inspired by our fellow travellers in Tegleholme we decided to hitchhike for the first time.  It was ver cold and our promise of a ten o’clock start had turned into an actual 3pm start.  So after 45 minutes just as we began to consider getting the train a car pulled over for us and took us to the exact place in Malmo we needed to go.  It literally takes half an hour to get to Malmo, just have to go under the tunnel, over a bridge and through a toll (40 euro).  Quite a few people commute from Malmo to Copenhagen.  People live in Sweden (its cheaper) and work in Denmark.  So our first hitch quite successful all in all.

So we went to a cafe Jo (my activist lonely plannet guide – http://agirlandherthumb.wordpress.com/) had reccommended, and within 5 minutes we were talking to a lovely guy who was telling us all the secrets to good hitching.  He never goes anywhere by any means other than hitching!  First impressions of Malmo definately good!

So then we met our couchsurfing hosts, another first for us.  But as you’re required to have winter tyres in Sweden and we didn’t really fancy driving in the snow we were persuaded by our fellow travellers again to try couchsurfing – couchsurfing.org.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, you can join the site fill out a profile and offer your couch to surf or if you’re travelling surf other people’s couches.  I got a bit excited before we went to Malmo and got so many replies that we had the choice of around 6 couches to choose from, we chose a vegetarian couple who love to travel – Linda and David.  David arrived down to meet us dressed in summer trousers and flip flops – Brian was in his ski trousers and I was in full ski outfit with my salopettes and ski jacket (my uncle Chris’s from the 70s).  David immediately started laughing at our outfits – a common theme throughout our trip so far.  We clearly don’t know how to be fashionable in the snow!

skating on the frozen lake

skating on the frozen lake

David and Linda were the most perfect hosts, we hit it off straight away sharing lots of things in common.  After a really delicious meal cooked by our hosts we drifted off to sleep with a list of places to visit the next day. We arranged to meet David and Linda the next day to go for a sauna by the beech.  David walked with us through a beautiful park where the lake was completely frozen over.  The sauna was amazing, with a very interesting addition – the pluge pool was outside in the sea, where they had knocked a hole in the ice at the bottom of ladders.  Definately something to try once in your life (http://www.ribban.com/vinterbilder.asp?bild=vinter/11).
So after a wonderful few days in Malmo we headed on the train to Stockholm, off to our next couchsurfing adventure.  The train ride itself was worth it, we passed the most beautiful countryside.  If I had only one word to describe Stockholm it would be ‘snowy’.  We thought we had been in snow before, but my goodness was there snow in Stockholme.  We decided to go for a walk on our first evening in Stockholme, our couch surfing host Evin was really surprised we even wanted to go out it was so blizardy! snow angelWe took a really long walk along the harbour of Stockholm’s main island.  To everyone around us it was obvious we weren’t used to snow, we played every game we could think of involving snow and ice! we arrived back red faced, snow in every crevace but boy did we sleep well that night (well I did, Brian was on a couch half his size). The next day we went to visit one of the many islands in Stockholme, really beautiful and gave us a much needed sense of countryside.  After a really nice all you can eat buffet with our host Evin (I suck at the buffet game – I loaded up too much on my first run and didn’t manage any more whereas Brian had at least 4 plates full) we went to the old town, where I met my long lost cousin!

Swe12Outside some old back there was a statue of some guy who I’m convinced is a Gannon, he looks like he could be singing in the base section of the people’s college choir in between my dad and uncle Pat. Lots more walking and sightseeing.  Outside the Royal Palace they’ve 18 year old guards very similar to the ones outside Buckingham Palace, the ones that don’t talk or move.  We were wondering around trying to get to the train station when we went into a no go zone without realising it. “halt” shouted the guard, we turned to him apologised and then asked him directions to the train, he was most upset at having broken his silence rule! we wanted to go back the next day and make snow angels in front of him and try to have a snowball fight, but unfortunately we couldn’t find him again.

After so much sightseeing and a tremendous amount of snow we headed back to Malmo where Linda and David were having a house warming party. It started on the Friday night and by Monday the last guests besides us had left.  Such a great weekend! In Sweden you can only buy alcahol from state run shops open Mon- Fri until 6pm and half a day on Sat and they’re really expensive.  So there’s a black market in alcahol, where people buy from Germany and sell to your door in Sweden. On Monday afternoon we hitched back to Copenhagen, getting a ride after an hour.

Our favourite couch surfers!

Brian with our wonderful sign!

amusing sign!frozen lake

we got into that naked!another frozen lake!how cute!easily amused...

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