Archive | June 2012

TV Shows – Reveiw

Introduction – I often go and sit in the audience of TV Shows. Usually reality TV shows but I have done quite a few others. The main diary entries of these are on a separate blog which is for a particular audience for these shows and thus I edited them so they are understandable to everybody else and not as boring.

‘Britain’s Got Talent’

Live Shows (2012) – 2nd Live Show: Monday 7th & Tuesday 8th May  link

Birmingham Auditions (2012) – Last day of auditions: Sunday 19th February link

London Auditions (2012) – First 2 Days: Sunday 5th February to Tuesday 7th February link

 

‘The X Factor’

London Auditions (2012) – First 2 Days: Sunday 27th to Tuesday 29th May link

 

Keith Lemon Shows

Celebrity Juice (2012) – 1 episode: Wednesday 4th  March 2012 link

Advertisements
This entry was posted on June 9, 2012. 1 Comment

Stockholm – Review (Wednesday 30th May to Thursday 7th June 2012)

Introduction:

My Swedish friend Nona (who I know from Twitter) visits London a lot and that is usually where we meet. So this time I flew with her to Stockholm and she spent the next 9 days showing me Stockholm, as well as introducing me to some Swedish traditions, food, etc. I also go to meet some of her friends, who seemed to speak better English than me.

 

Day 1 – [Wednesday 30th May 2012] ‘Arriving’ (Arriving in Stockholm and going food shopping on a moped) link

Day 2 & 3 [Thursday 31st May & Friday 31st June 2012] – ‘The Cruise to No Where!’ (Nona took me on a cruise to Finland… although it was more a party boat and you couldn’t actually get off!) link

Day 4 – [Saturday 2nd June 2012] ‘Ikea and the Doctors’ (Nona’s foot had swelled up so we went to the doctors, followed by shopping i Ikea link

Day 5  [Sunday 3rd June 2012] –‘A Day at the Museum’   (we visited Stockholm’s Natural History Museum) link

 

Day 6 [Monday 4th June 2012] – ‘Grona Lund‘ (a day at the theme park in Stockholm, we had to get a little ferry to it) link

Day 7 –

Day 8 –

Day 9 –

This entry was posted on June 8, 2012. 1 Comment

Stockholm: Day 6 – Grona Lund (Monday 4th June 2012)

Introduction for all of this series of blog posts: I went to stay with Nona for a week in Stockholm. I have known her for a year now online and I have gone to quite a few shows with her before. However this time this was her showing her country and her city. These blog posts are my day to day diary of my 9 days there. I will put in a summary each day plus photos taken by us both throughout the day

Link to the previous day – https://thenewcarly.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/stockholm-day-5-a-day-at-the-museum-sunday-3rd-june-2012/

Summary: We chose a good day for it seems as it didn’t rain at all. We went to the theme park in Stockholm called ‘Grona Lund’. To get there we had to get a train, followed by a boat. It wasn’t as busy as expected, barely queuing for anything. It was a great day, and went on so many rides. We also managed to win 2kg of chocolate 🙂
Getting to Grona Lund:
We got up, had breakfast and left by about 9:30-10am which was early for us. First we had to get a train to the old town. From there we had to get a boat across to the river to the theme park itself. The boat was no extra cost because we could use our travelcards. The weather wasn’t the best but pleasant enough to stand outside. The journey was fairly similar to before. We even went past the Viking Lines boat which we got the cruise on before. It did strange though to arrive at a theme park by boat. The boat literally arrived at the entrance of the theme park.
Again it was very useful to have someone who knows what they are doing. We got the tickets and were waiting at the main entrance of the Theme Park. If it wasn’t for the queue that built after we arrived I wouldn’t have guessed this was the main entrance. We some how got there 20 minutes earlier than expected. Being us we got chatting to guy who worked there waiting to open the gates. He said that I could open the theme park. Although there was 2 others doing the same thing. Also was more difficult because I didn’t understand a word they said in the announcement. When we eventually opened the park everyone started running. We kind of speed walked though. We knew where we wanted to go.

Us on the boat on the way to Grona Lund

View from the boat looking back at the town

Going past the Viking Line, which is the boat which we went on

 

The theme park as seen from the boat when we arrived

A pic Nona took of me holding the catch on the barrier ready to open it and the park 

The rides:

Extreme – Basically an arm which twists round, and apparently very scary if you don’t have the bar pushed in enough as you feel like you are holding on for dear life. For some reason this is the ride we tried have conversations about politics and history for some reason. Before me resorting to shouting everything I could see; like “floor, floor, sky, roof, lights, rollercoaster, more rollercoaster”, etc lol.

A photo I took while in the queue one time

Fritt Fall (Free Fall) – A drop ride. They also kindly put the camera just where you started to fall. I had a funny photo from this as I thought it would be a great idea to wave to the camera.

A photo I took as we just joined the queue the first time we went on it

Katapulten (Catapult) – Basically like free fall but not quite as high and they literally catapult you up there before dropping you back down. I know they weren’t saying anything useful but I wish I could understand what was being said before we left.

Insane – We went on this several times and swear this was more scary the first time we went on it than all the other times. Basically it zig-zagged while travelling down but the arm you were on also pivoted quite violently so you were somersaulting at the same time… actually quite hard to explain.

Jetline – Was quite a typical rollercoaster in honesty. We got our photo on this one and being us were a little stupid. It wasn’t quite the pose we were planning but the only thing we could do on this. Even then we banged our heads due to the speed and it actually hurt. We chose this one because Nona knew exactly where the camera was. Although we spent the rest of the ride singing ‘Lets Get Ready To Rumble’ with the dance!

Our photo on the roller coaster and us… well being us

Flygande Mattan (Flying Carpet) – Kind of just goes up and over and as I find if the bar is a little higher than usual you can just go flying out of your seat. There was also some girls on one of the occasions who started screaming before we even really started.

Vilda Mussen (Wild Mouse) – A lot like the Wild Mouse practically everywhere with the same feeling you will fly off the end on every bend! Was also funny on one occasion as they actually stopped the ride for 5 minutes due to the testing the warning sirens. They were more like fog horns than the ones we still test which was the old air raid sirens from WW2.

Pop-Expressen – We didn’t go on this until the very end because they had changed the safety bar and Nona didn’t think she would fit, we tried it and it worked fine. Although we did see a big guy who did had to get off as they just couldn’t get the bar down. I loved this just because of the loud music they played and us attempting to dance through the whole thing. The ride was basically the same as what we call the Waltzer.

Twister – A wooden roller coaster, which as always we spend most of the time trying to sing and dance to ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble’ through the whole thing.

Blackfisken – Like a normal Twister in the UK again we just sang ‘Lets Get Ready To Rumble’ every time as loud as we could.

Kvasten (The witch’s broomstick) – There actually was a queue for the front 2 seats. It was quite long and I didn’t get why and then worked it out it was because the way the ride worked meant apart from the front 2 seats you couldn’t see a thing. The only problem with the front 2 seats is we seemed almost forgotten about.

Bumper Cars – I did joke that you could tell they were Bumper Cars as they kept the lights on. Also they had the arrows the other way round. Good thing nobody ever followed this as I automatically went anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise) anyway just like would in the UK. The phrase for this and actually too for most of the day was “This isn’t Bumper Cars Olly”…. if you don’t understand don’t worry, it’s a very long story.

Other rides – We also did the things like the House of Fun which was a lot harder than it looked! Also the house of mirrors. We went on the ride in the Haunted House which Nona insisted was scary… yeah right! :)) And this very peaceful ride on this boat thing which had lots of old fashioned toy/dolls, apparently very characteristic of Sweden.

The house of mirrors… if you hadn’t have guessed

A view across the whole park

A different view across the park

Can see how the rides over lap and why you can’t put your hands up on many. This is Catapult, Jetline and The Wild Mouse

Another view across the seating area next to catapult and over the water


Around the park:
There was a lot of other stuff to do around the park. Nona insisted on doing this shooting game. It only took her 2 attempted to win. You had to get all 10s with 5 shots. As predicted loads of people around the park commented on the badge which she won. We did try a few things like the horse one (which is the same as in the UK), flinging rubber frogs to lilly pads, as well as this lottery thing which you select numbers and they spin a wheel. If your number comes up you win 2kg of chocolate. Which we actually did 🙂 Nona actually called her Mum to tell her. We also played this game where you complete against each other and have to throw balls into holes which got progressively harder. In the end Nona won 3-2 in games. She got a medal and my runners-up prize was a pink hat, which of course I loved although it was annoying to carry around on the rides.

Nona’s badge from the shooting which she wore very proudly for the rest of the day, also hint for the photo

Us with the medal and hat from the game. We actually tweeted Paula this saying this is why her fans shouldn’t be let loose out for the day together lol

 

Obviously it wouldn’t be the same without candy floss (‘cotton candy’ in American) at some point. Being me I paid a bit extra to have it pink 😉

Us with our 2kg of Chocolate we won

Fish and Chips:
I did learn that Fish & Chips is just not the same in other countries. It is Fish and Chips but it’s definitely no where like the chippy! Firstly the chips aren’t chips, they were fries. I know it is basically the same thing but most people will know what I meant by that (espeically British). Also the fish is kind of battered but more like you could find in a supermarket rather than from the chippy. When I tweeted it I got a few replies from British people replied laughing at how it came in a cone. We only do chips in paper cones; if you ask for the chips to be ‘open’. The weirdest thing though was the sauces. In the UK in the chippy you only get asked one question: “Do you want Salt and Vinegar?” that is all. I only have had salt and vinegar with Fish and Chips. As well as Ketchup they also did loads of other sauces which you would never see in England. Nona insisted that was untrue and according to Wikipedia they have one of these sauces in the north but when I asked a few people from up north and they had never heard of it so not sure where they got it from. From this too I found that London is different to the rest of the UK. Nona insisted she had to been to a normal chippy in London but nothing she said matched a chippy at all. I asked Val who lives in London and she said they do have chippys in London but you need to know where to go. This became apparent to many things in London she had tried which is different to everything I had ever tried every where else in the country.

The Swedish attempt of Fish and Chips

The rest of the evening:

We headed home when the park closed but literally stayed there until the very end. Consequently the queue for the boat was ridiculous and we had to wait for ages on the boat before we finally left. When at home we just finished AI Se5 until she ran out of episodes saved on the TV.

This entry was posted on June 4, 2012. 2 Comments

Stockholm: Day 5 – A Day at the Museum (Sunday 3rd June 2012)

Introduction for all of this series of blog posts: I went to stay with Nona for a week in Stockholm. I have known her for a year now online and I have gone to quite a few shows with her before. However this time this was her showing her country and her city. These blog posts are my day to day diary of my 9 days there. I will put in a summary each day plus photos taken by us both throughout the day.

Link to the Previous Day – https://thenewcarly.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/stockholm-day-4-a-visit-to-ikea-and-the-doctors-saturday-2nd-june-2012/ [First day can be found on the side tool bar]

Summary: We almost considered going to the theme park on this day because it was suppose to be now the better of the 2 days, but decided to stick with with the original plan. This too was a good decision as the weather was dreadful in the for most of the day. Thus we went to the National History Museum. As this was close to some of the University campus, Nona used this as an opportunity to point out parts of the campus. We also met Nona’s friend Linda, who lived close by: Although she seemed to only realise this on the phone, with her comment; “oh that is where I live”. Afterwards we went to the ‘posh’ part of town so I could have a mini guided tour by Linda and to McDonalds there before going to the Medieval pub in the Old Town.

Getting to the Museum and the map of the University Campus:

For a while the plan was to switch the days around and do the Theme Park today. However the weather took another turn and we returned to the original plan. We actually got up fairly early for this reason and just lied in bed for a bit.

We headed to a different part of Stockholm this time. On the way Nona was texting and phoning people to remind them about the BBQ on Tuesday. One of the girls, Linda, couldn’t make it however she wanted to meet up with us some point and when finding that we were going to the Natural History Museum she said; “I live there” in a silly voice as if she had only just realised (obviously in Swedish though rather than English).

When we arrived to walked there from the station and this involved going past past of the University of Stockholm. Of course for Nona this was her cue to explain to me about most of the University to me. It was interesting and is strange seeing where people go on a daily basis.

Us at the Underground

A pic I randomly took at the bus stop of all the bus routes in Stockholm

Nona pointing out parts of the University Campus 

At the Museum, Hot Dogs and Crayfish Dispute:

At the Museum we booked tickets for a 3D in the Auditorium there. Apparently it was something we just had to do. We told Linda what time it would be as she wanted to meet us after.
We had a little time to spare thus we went to get something to eat. There was a hotdog stand outside and we got some strange French styled ones; in that the roll was cooked too and had an end sealed, the sausage sat in like pocket. Although ketchup was available they also did this like garlic with it. I am use to onions but not Garlic. We did kind of rush this as it was raining and didn’t want to be there longer than needed.

After this to Animals of Sweden section. Well the wildlife definitely was different with Mooses, etc and caused a few interesting conversations in names.

The main of these was a kind of Lobster thing, which Nona actually had to use Google Translate for. It translated as Cancer. This confused me and she didn’t get why as she kept saying that made sense as it’s the same as it’s the same as the star sign. This too confused me as for us Cancer is a crab. She went through the alternative words and I recognised Crayfish. She then called us weird for having a crab so I did some asking around and it turned out that only Scandinavians use a Crayfish/ Lobster for Cancer, all the other countries we asked on Twitter had a Crab.

Approaching the Museum (from the side)

Approaching the Entrance of the Museum

Auditorium and Film:

We joined the queue for the Audiotorium which was already getting quite long. On the way in we had to show our tickets (even though we were wearing stickers which came with it) and pick up some 3D glasses. I also had to pick up this weird box things (was a lot like the audio tours at Castles in the UK) and borrowed Nona’s earphones. They showed me how to use it and how it had to face the screen to pick up reception. Poor Nona had to put with me worrying about it, as I thought knowing my luck it wouldn’t work and I don’t think I would understand enough in Swedish rather than English.
It was quite interesting and clearly the original was the English version which I was listening to. Firstly the names on the screen appeared only in English and also mine had different accents (even if the Australian accent was clearly an American doing a very bad attempt), while the Swedish was dubbed in the same man’s voice no matter who was speaking. Nona also said that even without the headset you could hear the English version with it too slightly in the background.

When finished we met with Linda. Think I worked out how she is so intelligent, we were in a Museum and she actually took some notes. Think I should start doing that in the future! She did ask us if we were going the same until I pointed that this part of the Museum didn’t have any English translations and I don’t understand Swedish obvioulsly. There were touch screens in most parts which had the choice of English or Swedish so it was easy to understand.

Me in the Auditorium with my translating to English headset and sticker on

This was when we went around the rest of the Museum with Linda. She didn’t get our humour I don’t think. I twitpiced this as Nona said she thought it was of me! lol 

This too was with Linda and she didn’t get the joke. We were joking that it was Gary Barlow, and Nona even tweeted him that. Only because it looked like the same expression she got a photo of him doing at ‘The X Factor’ Auditions a week previously

The ‘Posh’ Part of Stockholm and McDonalds:

After an hour or so doing the entire museum we headed out. The original idea was to go for Chinese, but I wasn’t that hungry and Linda said she didn’t want Chinese and was going home. Linda said she fancied McDonalds so we went there instead. We got the Underground to the ‘posh part of Stockholm’ as they called it and did a quick tour before McDonalds. At McDonalds they were laughing at my pronounciation of McChicken as I actually pronounce it as ‘Mc’ and they pronounce it as ‘Mac’ (I’m saying that as a Brit and how I would read it, I know we could dispute that all day). Oh and I call it ‘McChicken Sandwich’, which could be confusing as they drop the ‘sandwich’ part. After Nona spilt her drink accross the entire floor and had a new one we chatted for ages about literally everything! Someone actually came up to us to say they were were closing in 10 minutes and couldn’t believe it was 7pm already. Not sure what I was more confused about though: where the time had gone or that McDonalds closed as early as 7pm!

Saying Goodbye and the Medieval Pub:

So we headed home, we waited a bit until Linda had got her train and said goodbye to her. Instead of going home though we went to the Medieval Pub in the old town still whil Nona laughed at every time I tried to pronounce one of the train station names.

This pub was just kind of weird I have never been to a themed pub before. It was a lot like going to a museum by the effects and was very dark and a tad damp. One of those occasions which was strange but nice 🙂 Of course they didn’t do pints in glasses it was all in kind  porcelain type beakers… then again that is kind of wrong again as they don’t do ‘pint’s and only work in metric (while in the UK we use both).

Me and Nona in the Medieval Pub:

Link to the following day – https://thenewcarly.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/stockholm-day-6-grona-lund-monday-4th-june-2012/

This entry was posted on June 3, 2012. 3 Comments

Stockholm: Day 4 – A Visit to Ikea and the Doctors (Saturday 2nd June 2012)

Introduction for all of this series of blog posts: I went to stay with Nona for a week in Stockholm. I have known her for a year now online and I have gone to quite a few shows with her before. However this time this was her showing her country and her city. These blog posts are my day to day diary of my 9 days there. I will put in a summary each day plus photos taken by us both throughout the day.

Link to the previous page –  https://thenewcarly.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/stockholm-day-2-3-the-cruise-to-no-where-thursday-31st-may-friday-1st-june-2012/ [Link to the first Day can be also found on the right hand side of the blog too]

Summary: Nona wanted to get some new plates, etc in Ikea, which of course a perfect opportunity to show me Ikea in Sweden. Thus of course this meant more Swedish meetballs and trying Swedish food. As well as messing around on trolleys and looking a tad lost. We did have to make a minor detour via the doctors because Nona was complaining that her foot was bruised, but the ‘bruise’ seemed to have spread and her foot had basically completed swelled up.

The morning and minor detour via the Doctors:

For some reason we were very tired and didn’t wake up til around 11. We had breakfast in the same Swedish style, which strangely enough I am getting use to now. We also of course were watching AI Se5 at the same time. It was also the Jubilee in the UK. As I was in Sweden I still decided to be a tad patriotic and putting my Union Jack up. I thought Nona would complain or make a comment, instead she asked if she could keep the flag. As it was only £1 from Wilkinsons I was hardly going to complain.

Nona’s foot seemed to have a bruise which seems to have spread. It looked horrible, after a few days now not only had it got better but both feet seems to have turned black and blue and swallon to about double the size. Thus she made an appointment with the equivillent to our Walk-In Centres. We got the train to it and almost was soaked through as it was so cold and wet.
I did learn a lot about the Swedish medical system in the process. When we arrived it weird it seemed strange to a) have to you prove your identity with a passport, etc and b) to have to pay in cash. I know we pay for some dentist work but not just to visit the doctor. Their system is you pay up to the equivalent of £90 (or $160ish) and then it’s free after that and they mark it off on a card they give you.
When Nona went in I went with her. That too seemed strange usually unless you are family, like a parent, you aren’t allowed in. Made no difference to me as I didn’t understand a word, although being Nona and typical Swedish she switched between English and Swedish anyway. Also some words are so similar I actually understand bits too. The doctor didn’t seem to know and was confused so we had to go back to the waiting room to wait for some blood tests.
The next part was just felt like moving room to room. Did blood test in one room and blood pressure in another. End conclusion was probably infection and needs more tests at the equivillent of the GP. Eventhing though looked exactly like our doctors.
We then headed back down the street to the Pharmacy and traditional Swedish style we got a ticket. The Swedes just don’t queue they do everything like a delicitesen, with numbered tickets and you got when your number is called. This was only a quick trip collecting the medication and a support sock.

My flag hanging up in Nona’s living room, with my cup of coffee in her “I ❤ London” mug:

At a train station on the way to the Doctors

Heading to Ikea:

After here we went to Ikea. Of course this meant getting wet in the rain. We went Ikea and were hungry so ate there. As always I didn’t order I let Nona choose and just had what she put on my tray. It was really nice, and the chocolate mousse was very rich. Of course it was Swedish meatballs. I did start start singing “I made myself meatballs covered in cheese…” and she just gave me a weird look lol. I also got weird looks as we got a trolley and I decided to sit on it and Nona was pushing me around on it. It didn’t take too long as we only went for plates and a mug. On the way out there was a little stall which sold Sweedish sweets. Nona got some and they actually just taste like rock (as in the rock you get on holiday at the seaside, but in smaller pieces).

Us at the bus stop, to get the bus to Ikea

Arriving at Ikea

Me sitting on the trolley, with Nona pushing me around Ikea (This was taken in the reflection of the lift; only way I could do it)

In the Queue in the restaurant in Ikea

Lunch at Ikea

Me not looking impressed by Nona’s photo taking while in the queue 

The Cinema:

Across the road was a kind of Leisure centre. At first we were in an electrical shop as Nona still needed a vaccuum cleaner. As the shops were closing our choice was bowling or cinema. Due to Nona’s foot decided cinema would be best. It’s a lot more expensive, as tickets were 100kr (approx £10/ $18) each! Also they don’t do sweet popcorn! It’s all salty and even then there is the option like Nona did to add more salt! We decided after a lot of debating we settled on “What to Expect”. Nona wanted a horror which I refused, even trying to trick me pretending word for horror in Swedish meant comedy. We also did both want to see ‘American Pie: The Reunion’ but we missed the last show. The whole experience was… interesting. It was all in English but had Swedish subtitles. Also was intesting to see who similar our languages are and I could understand quite a few words.

[I thought I took photos here, but apparently not as I can’t find any]

For the rest of the evening:

The day just flew past as the next thing we knew it was 9pm. The rest of the evening we just chatted and watched AI with a few other shows and videos. Also ordered Pizza online while relaxing back at home in dry clothes. As always Nona ordered for me and ordered one that consisted of 4 different quarters and very popular in Sweden. As for drinks we got …, it tasted familar in a nice way, but can’t for the life of me remember why that is.

 

Link to the next day – https://thenewcarly.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/stockholm-day-5-a-day-at-the-museum-sunday-3rd-june-2012/

This entry was posted on June 2, 2012. 3 Comments

Stockholm: Day 2 & 3 – The Cruise to No Where (Thursday 31st May & Friday 1st June 2012)

Introduction for all of this series of blog posts: I went to stay with Nona for a week in Stockholm. I have known her for a year now online and I have gone to quite a few shows with her before. However this time this was her showing her country and her city. These blog posts are my day to day diary of my 9 days there. I will put in a summary each day plus photos taken by us both throughout the day.

Previous post/ first post of the trip: https://thenewcarly.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/stockholm-day-1-arriving-late-tuesday-29th-wednesday-30th-may-2012/ 

Summary: This post is over 2 days as we did an overnight cruise. It called the ‘Cruise to no where’ because on this cruise you go to Finland but you don’t actually get off it. The concept seemed so strange to me (and it seems most people that I know in the UK when I asked around) but apparently normal to Scandinavians. The point more of their cruises is more like what we call in England a booze cruise because there is a Duty Free, and with prices like they are in Sweden it is much needed. It also has a casino, night club, restaurant, etc. Did mean that I got to try a variety of different Swedish foods that evening, which was… interesting. And I did get a free glass too.

Getting up and Swedish Breakfast
Like I have done a lot recently I woke up quite early about 8am. For 2 hours I was on my phone as Nona was asleep and I had nothing to do while I couldn’t sleep. I did fall to sleep again about 9:30 before waking up again about 11am.
At 11am we had breakfast. We had a traditional Swedish breakfast. It mainly consists of bread, cheese and patte. I first tried bread and the cheese (called prästost). Also the same with this type of bread which has the same texture as nann bread (without the spices in it) called polarkaka. Only tried this with cheese as I was going for one step at a time. I did try Kalles kaviar (basically very salty Caviar) which Nona thought it wouldn’t like. To me it was OK, was like a slightly more salty and stronger tasting version of patte.

The Breakfast that Nona put out on the coffee table

In town: Hotdogs, Off-Licences and Sushi

As the boat wasn’t until 5ish in the evening we headed towards more central Stockholm. There wasn’t a great deal to do but walked around shops and was insteresting to see the differences. We tried hotdogs, mainly because Nona called them ‘normal sausages’ and I was intregued to know what they were. They were exactly what we called Frankfurts. Also went to the Off-Licence. This is the only shop which is the only place to sell alcohol, unlike us who sell it every where from corner shops, supermarkets, etc as well as the Offy. Was strange to see the bottles lined up at the top looked different as well as bigger that ours.

Although we just had hotdogs it was mid afternoon and hadn’t had lunch. Nona took me for Sushi. I had never tried this before. Apparently I’m not so good with chop sticks and Nona laughed at me, especially when I told my food to roll over. I liked Sushi but it was a bit sickly. This too was the start of my phrase: “I’m not insane, just incapable”, as this was my reply to when Nona said I looked insane as I made a mess of using chopsticks. Was also funny when Nona ordered in Swedish then turned to me and asked me if I wanted a drink… but still in Swedish. Strangely enough I actually understood what she said.
We were a bit early for the boat but decided to head there anyway. The weather also wasn’t the best and was getting progressively worse. On the way Nona was telling me how they actually have ‘flag days’ in that they are only aloud to fly the flag on particular days of National relevence. The rest of the year they are only aloud to fly a small version which just has the colours on it.

At the train station on the way to the centre of Stockholm

The street we walked down in Stockholm

Hotdog stand

The off-licence

Sushi (there is a video of me trying to eat Sushi; which I will upload as soon as Nona sends me it)

Getting onto the boat:

We arrived with plenty of time to spare but checked in early anyway. Good too as the walk was a bit longer that Nona remembered. We had to wait in what felt like a departure lounge of an airport before getting on board about 5:10pm.
When we got on we headed straight to our room. I’m glad Nona knew where we were going. It all felt like a Travelodge… but smaller and on water. The room was very small but sweet. We got more settled in and got changed as it is a bit more dressy.

Although would look normal in the UK I did feel a bit over dressed and Nona kept saying I looked ‘very British’… strangely enough! lol As there was only half an hour until dinner we played Yatzi, which we bought in one of the little shops. I know it’s a common game but I had never played before. I got the hang of it in the end.

At the dock walking to the terminal

The ticket desk to check-in and the escalators to the boat (although actually taken while taken while waiting for the Taxi when we got off)

Waiting in the terminal

Leaving the main centre of Stockholm

Going past Grona Lund (the Theme Park at Stockholm, which we went to a few days later)

Going past the Old Town out of the window

A view from the window, after we left Stockholm

Another view out of the window, while playing Zatzi

Dinner

When we finally could we went to dinner. It was a very strange meal and my intention was just to try as much as possible. They were split into cold dishes, hot dishes and desserts (eaten in that order). The cold dishes was mainly fish. Which to me was strange as we only really eat fish warm and cold salmon is weird. I actually liked the cold salmon, especially smoked but wasn’t as keen on the cold herring. Espeically the apple one which I still insist tastes like bananna! There was also like kind of crackers, one which translated as ‘sour bread’ and is what we call malt bread.
The main course of hot dishes was basically all meat. This is not 100% normal just because it is a buffet. There a lot of hams, ribs, etc and I recognised it a lot more although very filling and struggled though it slowly. Then there was dessert which is exactly what I was use to, lots of exotic fruits, ice cream, sweets (‘candy’), chocolate eclairs, etc.

The cold course (mainly raw fish, meats, malt bread, cold potatoes, etc)

The hot food course (lots of Swedish meetballs, sausages, meets and the sauce is Bearnaise – even if pronounced a lot different in Swedish) 

Casino, drinks, dancing and a lot of talking

After dinner we went straight to the Casino. I had to remind myself of the rules of Black Jack. Nona seemed to double her money. Then they changed the deal we both went down hill from there. I lost about 80kr (approx £8/ $14) and Nona seemed to gain about 100kr (£10/ $18ish). I came in after the dealer changed. He was nice though.

What I wasn’t use to is random people do just come and chat to you out of no where. Think we had about 6 random people come up to randomly. For example one asked me where I was from in England as he actually had a friend in Bedford and thought my accent sounded similar, strange that I actually went to Uni there. This happened so many times, including one guy who said in a strong accent “oh Southampton, like the Football team”. One too was this guy from Nigeria who we tried actually losing over and over again because he was just getting annoying. We came up with a new solution, which was to talk about subjects that we knew he would not understand at all and chat among ourselves. There was also one guy too who offered to buy us a drink. We kind of turned it down but we chatted for a while and as he walked away he gave us a 500kr note! (About £50/ $90) saying that we should gamble it and tell him if we win a million… of course we didn’t, instead we got some drinks and it paid for our taxi home. Nona did waste about 10kr of it though gambling like he suggested.

We spent most of the evening/ night in nightclub or chatting in the bar. We went to bed in the end about 3:30am in the end. Most things by this point had closed or were closing soon after. We did too want to Kareoke but seemed to arrive just as it was closing. We had the perfect and very appropriate song too! And the first time I’ve seen it available on Kareoke: “Straight Up” – Paula Abdul.
I did too worry about Nona when you went to order drinks at the bar and had a mind blank on her own native language, and just ended up saying random words in English instead :))

My dancing in the night club which Nona was laughing at

Having a drink in the pub which Nona forgot how to order in Swedish

The morning on the boat:

The next morning we got up as Nona had a panic that although it was 9:30 we were now officially in Finnish time which made it 10:30 and breakfast might be closed. But luckily it wasn’t. Breakfast still feels strange to see what is provided. I also was confused by what I thought was regular scrammbled egg. Nona says they have that too but this was a slightly different version and was a lot more runny and very salty! Personally I didn’t like it. I couldn’t go wrong, keeping with things that I recognised like toast, melon, soft (or as they call it ‘loose’) boiled egg, even if it seems weird to me to have white eggs.

After checking out when the opening hours of the Duty Free (or as Nona calls it ‘The Tax Free’) we came up with a great idea how to spend the next few hours… we went back to bed lol. After getting up a few more hours later we did the Duty Free. We didn’t get too much. Nona got lots of beer because it’s cheaper here and half was to give to her friend Micke. She wasn’t sure at first as he said he didn’t want anything but then decided it’s not like it will go off and can always give it to someone seeing the price of it. In the end he texted back saying “you only bought 2 cases!?” so probably a good decision. For the last hour of the journey we sat by the window at the pub just chatting and making the most of the free Wi-Fi which is only available on one part of the boat (decks 7 & 8 at the end with the pub and restaurants).

Coke and pastry (which again Nona chose for me) at the pub – or as the Swedish call it: “fika”

Trying to get off the; the massive queue which formed in the lobby

Back on dry land:

When we finally got off which took a while we headed to the taxis. We wanted to just get home so thought although more expensive it would be quicker and drier. For some reason there is no taxi ranch only just booked taxis. Nona then tried calling (first time we used our phones as they cost a fortune on the boat). We went through so many companies. We tried the apps too. One company even called it a ‘unique’ app although we found every single company used the same one but jut in a different colour. In the end after tonnes of phone calls we finally got a taxi an hour and 10 minutes after we arrived. At least by staying inside we were able to not be as wet or cold. While waiting we sat in the terminal building and I took photos of the big model of the boat they had there.

The traffic too was dreadful. The reason Nona thinks it’s so busy this day was it’s close to ‘Upper Secondary School’ graduation and in Sweden when you graduate you celebrate in open top lorries/ vans (we would call ‘backies’ in South Africa) and drive through the centre of town.

For the evening we just watched more AI Se5 and Colly Flurrs videos while having dinner. Nona cooked something traditionally Swedish. We had like a Frankurt sausage cut with tomato in it, with slices of tomato and potatoes kind of mixed with cheese (Mum has alwasy made something similar in the UK). We finally went to bed just gone midnight.

At the dock, while Nona called one of the Taxi companies

Me with the model of the boat

Closer view of the model of the boat

The dinner Nona made when we got home

 

Link to the next day: Day 4 – Day at Ikea, Cinema and Doctors > https://thenewcarly.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/stockholm-day-4-a-visit-to-ikea-and-the-doctors-saturday-2nd-june-2012/

This entry was posted on June 1, 2012. 3 Comments