In the few days leading up to my flight I was waking up at 3:00AM EST in preparation for the time change. This paid off when I boarded my non stop flight from JFK to Stockholm-Arlanda and slept straight through the nine hours. Luckily, I had a window seat in row 33 without anyone next to me. Cole and Jeremie did not have as much luck, but they would be able to fight through the jet lag fueled by a mix of Swedish beers and American Spirits.
We landed around noon local time and one of our friends from The Bunch, Douglas Kallsbo, picked us up in his trusty Volvo hatchback (classic Swedish style). After arriving at Douglas' apartment and relaxing for a bit we took a walk to the grocery store and purchased some meatballs (classic Swedish style) and pasta to cook ourselves a meal.
Being that is was Saturday and we were in Sweden's largest city we took to the subway once the sun had set and went off into the night. Lucas (LSM) joined us in the city and the hours went by faster than Cole's drinks. Although we are over 6,000km away from home there are still some commonalities that we encountered. The final bar we went to was across from a McDonald's so when 3am rolled around we were loving it.
https://www.newschoolers.com/videos/watch/766606/Lappland-by-The-BunchRecent edit featuring our Stockholm tour guides
Easter Sunday was our first full day in Sweden. Not a bad place to be considering that Swedes eat more candy than anyone else in the world (Jeremie is in snack heaven). We went out for a healthy Easter lunch at Max, a Swedish fast food chain whose logo I recognized from JOSS videos and never realized what it was. Don't get it twisted, even though its fast food, keep in mind that Jon Olson found it of high enough quality to be partners.
These guys can't stand not skiing for more than a few days. Some snow is left in the city at local hills so we went to a closed resort to hike a downrail that had been set up by snowboarders. You've got to be a full on addict to be in a completely foreign city for less than 24 hours and one of the first things you do is track down a desperate opportunity to ski in the scrappiest conditions just to get your fix. After a few lip on blind 2s we were satisfied and cruised back to Douglas' apartment to get our bags together and relocation to the residence of Sakarias Majander on the other side of the city.
Pretty picture I took while walking around in Stockholm
Sakarias (aka Saigon) and Erik Pousette had just returned from the US that day. They had been with us in Boston and spent an extra day in NYC exploring. Erik took us out this day for his version of Stockholm. He brought us to fun skateparks and walked us along the waterfront in a historical area. Erik pointed out statues, buildings, and awesome areas across the water while he told us about these things. Travelling around a city on foot and skateboards is a great way to truly get a feel for a place.
Somewhere along the water, the historically significant building we were next to is not pictured
The next day we were led by Saigon through Stockholm's central and downtown areas. Checking out thrift stores and trying to come up on fly gear. Jeremie got a fresh safari shirt while both Erik and Saigon purchased some windbreakers. After the thrift store tour we enjoyed a Chinese buffet for a late lunch. Erik was moving into a new apartment so we gave him a hand with moving his bags to the spot to round off the day's activities.
Saigon on his bike with ski bag trailer.
The plan was for Douglas to come pick us up early in the morning, drive six hours to Bjornrike and start building and preparing for The Bunch's event "Creation Nation." Cole took responsibility for setting an alarm and after watching most of a Trailer Park Boys movie we managed to fall asleep around 2am.
*Knock knock knock* was the sound that woke me up. So much for Cole's alarm. Slightly dizzy and unable to see clearly, I stumbled over the bodies strewn about the room and opened the door to a Douglas that was ready to hit the road.
(Part 3 coming sometime before Part 4. This will be about our time in Bjornrike and the Creation Nation event. Check out the #bunchcreation tag to see some of what went down)