Friday, August 1, 2014

Always Go First Class If You Can


This is our last morning with Natalia and Olga at the B and B in Göteborg. She fixes us a fabulous Swedish breakfast of Salad, fish, and Swedish pancakes, then hands us a little lunch because, "everyone eats on the train." We have really enjoyed our time with her and I can tell Craig's rusty Swedish is improving by leaps and bounds as they converse in Swedish. Natalia and I converse in broken English and gestures with a lot of facial expression. We have really enjoyed our time with her. To me, places like Natalia's home are what's fun about staying in a bed and breakfast instead of a hotel. You really get to enjoy people and local culture instead of just a bed and a shower.

Craig really has the travel options figured out in Göteborg, so instead of a long uphill trudge carrying all our luggage, we zip right over to the city center on the ferry, trot through the mall, and there we are at the train station. The number of beggars at the train station is really astonishing. They are everywhere - all women, all of some sort of middle-Eastern descent. Some are old, but many are young and appear well-dressed and healthy. In a socialist economy like Sweden, we don't understand why these women are begging. Some are quite insistent. Craig thinks it's worse than Mexico and says there was nothing like this when he was here three decades ago. He gives them our leftover bus passes- which still have 8 rides remaining - to an elderly woman but has to resist the attentions of many others. They pretty much leave me alone, suggesting that they do better with men, I guess.

Since we were stuck sitting separately in second class last time, we have paid the small extra charge for First Class reserved seats. It's pretty similar except the seats are bigger, and we have a table. This train goes all the way to Copenhagen, Denmark and that gives us the idea of adding Denmark to our itinerary. Perhaps we'll do that Monday.


At dinner tonight, Craig ordered what he thought was venison (roe) and got fish eggs on toast instead. Gastronomic surprises abound when you can't quite read the menu...

We walk down the cobblestone streets (lovely to look at - a royal pain to pull suitcases along) to our next B and B. This is a small private apartment, not a shared house. Craig spent the first five months of his mission in Lund and has been looking forward to this city more than any other. Tomorrow, we explore.


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