2023-24, Allie outbound to Sweden Dec. 26, 2023

Dec 26, 2023

The end of November and the beginning of December have been quite busy for me. I’ve been to hockey games, concerts, Christmas markets, and trips around Sweden. I did most of this while being sick, which I still am, that is why my journal is so late compared to the others. Just yesterday I returned from Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. This trip was only for the weekend. I was meant to leave on Friday at 15:30 and stay the night at a Rotarian’s house; since the Rotary excursion didn’t technically start until Saturday, but I couldn’t arrive on time if I left on Saturday. Then, in class on Friday I got the notification that my train had been canceled and the only train available was at 20:30 and I’d arrive at 23:40. I didn’t go to bed until 1:00 on Saturday, but because of my last arrival I got my own hotel room which made up for it. The entirety of Saturday I was walking around Stockholm with some of the other exchange students. We visited three museums (the ABBA museum, Vasa museum, and Viking museum), the Royal Castle, Sweden’s Old town and Parliament where we were able to actually go onto the floor since the lady showing us around worked there. In the evening, the rest of the exchange students located in Stockholm joined us for dinner. It was nice to meet everyone again and the people who weren’t at the intro camp at the beginning of our exchange year. The place where we had dinner was also the place we’d be staying for the night so we luckily didn’t have to make the fifteen minute walk back to the bus stop in the snowy forest until the next morning. On the first floor of the building where we were staying was the kitchen and eating hall; up the stairs were the bedrooms we would share. The only problem was in the stairwell and the common area of our floor you could see your own breath. Thankfully the room I was in was like a sauna, unlike one room that had a broken heater. Although no matter what room we were in, everyone slept terribly. So, it wasn’t much of a surprise that we were all a bit miserable at breakfast. On Sunday we only went to one place, Skansen. It was a museum and a zoo combined into one, it also had a Christmas market and light show. The Christmas market was my favorite since it’s not really something we have in the U.S.. After lunch everyone had to rush either into a car to the central station or on a tram because the roads in Stockholm were being closed (this was because of the Nobel Prize dinner being held later on that day). My friend and I were able to get tickets for the same train so we were the ones who left the earliest and had to be driven. Apparently, the person driving us thought our train was leaving an hour later than it actually was, because of this he wasn’t at all worried that our train left in 10 minutes and we were still far from the station. This man was even laughing about making wrong turns while my friend and I were panicking and looking for different train times or flights. We had to run like our life depended on it but we made it, somehow. After that disaster I was incredibly tired so when I got home I just ate dinner and passed out on the couch. Then I was preparing for Christmas and completely forgot about this. (Forgive my passing of this journal. I was not all there when typing this because of my never ending cold.)

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