Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sweden trip

There are such silly things i feel happy about ! I ACTUALLY found the lost glove next to the bus station ( the one the pick pocket had chucked ) !! hurrah...

I thank Jacob every morning at the hotel for lending me his electric kettle because i can now drink tea without room service! yippee...

Anyways lets talk about the Sweden trip...

When i was here in Denmark, a few years ago, Pashu suggested Sweden many times but at that time i think i was still not used to the cold and declined. I am glad this time i went, Pashu' old college mate Ajit Pandey was in Sweden at that time as he was on a project with IBM. His family also was with him. I had not met Ajit since our pre marriage days, on one such occasion, Ajit has gotten very drunk and irritated me a lot!! :)...doesn't sound a good enough a reason to meet does it ? ..but no i was looking forward to seeing them as well.

We woke up at about 12 noon and i was still nursing a hangover, so had a bath, popped some panadol and we went out for breakfast before we boarded the intercity train from central station. Pashu had been missing Shwarmas, so he convinced me to have one as well. I wasn't keen but went along. I need my tea when i wake up..they didn't serve any..and THAT alone labels them useless in my eyes.

Sculpture just before the townhall in central Copenhagen

It was a beautiful bright day with loads of weird is that ?!

A Carlsberg beer marketing stunt at a cafe in central station , which basically says " you don't have to drink alone " ! ..a lil girl very amused with it

So we walked to central station and took a little more time than we anticipated in getting the Malmo train tickets. We went to one of the many coffee shops and i finally got myself some tea and a cherry muffin :)

Munching on a muffin
We finished and headed for our platform and boarded the train, there was a real nice lady sitting on the next seat with a little dog in a bag. Makes me wish i could travel with my doggies...but then, my doggies are neither little , nor can they fit in a bag, in fact i think Phoebe would make quite a scene, if she was going on a train, i can imagine she'd be thrilled and friendly and take it on personally to meet and sniff each and every person in the compartment!! on this thought i gave up fancy visions of traveling with phoebes :)..Puddles on the other hand is better behaved. Not that Phoebe isn't a nice dog, she is my favourite..but she is too Human if you can believe it!

I love Danish trains, they are fast, spacious, on time and the rides are pretty, pretty much the fanciest local trains i have seen ANYWHERE in the world :). Having said that, we sat back and enjoyed the ride, past fancy neighborhoods of Copenhagen on the sea side! This is where the rich Scandinavians stay!

watching the world go by

As the train approached Helsingore, we could see Ferries and the coast and right across you could see Sweden.

Now the Ferry, isn't an ordinary ferry, so i have to write about it, for starters it is HUMONGOUS! I was expecting a launch ferry, like ones you see in the rest of the world,
"Scandlines is one of the largest ferry operators in Northern Europe, transporting more than 20 million passengers each year. Operating 12 ferry lines between Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Baltic states."

Some details on our ferry MS Aurora are here

RouteHelsing�r - Helsingborg
Building year1992
Building yardLangsten Slip & B�tbyggeri, Tomrafjord, Norway (#157)
OwnerAurora 93 Trust
OperatorScandlines AB (S)
Length111,2 m
Breadth28,22 m
Draft5,0 m
Machinery4 * W�rtsil� 6R32E
Speed14,9 kn.
Number of passengers1.250
Number of beds0
Number of cars238
Number of railway tracks3
Length of railway tracks266 m
Port of registryHelsingborg
Former names
Former ownersSweFerry (1992-1993)
Sister shipsTycho Brahe

Forget about carrying 1200 people at a time, these buggers can ferry Buses full of people on the bottom deck! Comprising 6 decks, it has casinos, restaurants, shops, smoking aisles etc, brilliant. It was a great ride and we were the only 2 sillies, on the top open deck taking photos, i didn't mind, it was a beautiful day, full of sunshine :)

On the deck on the ferry from Denmark across to Sweden

Leaving the city of Helsinore in Denmark behind as we head to Sweden
Helsingore Castle, the summer home of the Royal Family in Denmark

We reached Helsingbore in 20 mnts, i was so surprised once inside the ferry that i actually asked Pashu, where the Ferry was, and he said, "you' re standing inside it" . The sea in this part is deep and treacherous, but as the ferry moved you could not even tell it was sailing! I'm sorry to be such a bore, but i get totally kicked about these things :)!!!

We reached inside the terminal and realised we were 20 mnts early and Pandey would not be around as yet, so we were lounging next to the escalator and Pashu spotted a familiar face coming up ..we made silly noises and finally Pandey recognised us. He hasn't changed at all..looks exactly the same and promptly reminded Pashu that HE did not look the same! ( i love this ...hee hee ). It was good to see him again.

Pandey & Pashu, meeting after a very very long time :)

City center in Helsingborg , Sweden right outside the main ferry station in Sweden
His place was a short walk and in the main area. We saw a few things on our way to his place. Helsingore, is the 6th largest city in Sweden with 118,000 i will leave the math there :). It was pretty and the sun was still out.

Ajit and Ritu' year old daughter Suheli

We met Pandey's wife Ritu and Daughter Suhali, Suhali is also called Paakhi ( means bird in bengali) so being a bengali, i was rather pleased. Most evening we guys chatted made egg curry and caught up. One of the strange things in Sweden is it is illegal to buy booze unless from a govt shop! as opposed to Denmark, where i wont be surprised if i saw vending machines in children' parks ! It being a Saturday and the shop being closed we stuck to cans of Tuborg. We chatted into late night and i wasn't up before 11 the next morning.

At the market in sweden

Probably one of our happiest photos, in front of the fort / castle in Helsingbore, Sweden
thanks Ajit!

We guys left home at 1 after a quick brunch and strolled in the main market square and saw the fort up close. The city is quaint with little shops and narrow streets. As we shopped and window shopped, it got pretty cold and we all ducked into this fancy Thai Restaurant. Over some wine and food, we all warmed up and finally headed home at 4. At 5 after tea, Ajit dropped us off at the ferry station. It had been so nice catching up with them that we didn't want to leave and he did not want to say good bye...anyhow all things do come to an end. We headed back on the ferry towards Denmark. We were back in the hotel in 50 mnts. Imagine that, crossed 2 countries on 3 diff modes of 50 minutes
..think about it :)

Click Here for the link to our Sweden trip pictures

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