2/8 Monday The last time we saw Sherry we had no plans to go to the Netherlands, so we almost didn’t realise we’d be here at the same time. Luckily Craig remembered and we organised to spend a day together in Utrecht. We wandered around the canals, regurgitating the stories Floor and Bregje had told us the day before, had an un-Dutch lunch due to the restaurant we wanted to go to being closed, and climbed the Dom, the highest tower in the Netherlands. We had a few drinks with some of Floor’s friends from uni then headed home for a South American-themed evening, complete with pebre and Chilean wine.
3/8 Tuesday After a lazy sleep-in, we met Guido, otherwise known as the Happy Hotelier. We’ve known him on Twitter for quite some time, so it was nice to finally meet him in person. He picked us up and took us for a drive into the country, we cruised along beside rivers and canals and had a pleasant lunch in a beach bar by the lake.
In the evening Craig and I went for a walk and Floor surprised us with a present – stroopwafels and Dutch licorice!
4/8 Wednesday Since Bregje and Floor had to head to work, we dragged ourselves out of bed to say goodbye to them. Our train didn’t leave until 11, so we had plenty of time to pack our bags and get to the station.
We’d changed our plans at the last minute and decided to stay in Hamburg for a night instead of going straight to Copenhagen. Luckily we found a couchsurfing host – Nadine and her son Killian were lovely to stay with, we played games with them until late in the evening.
5/8 Thursday Nadine had to leave early in the morning, so we headed into the city to explore. The weather wasn’t very pleasant, but we enjoyed seeing the architecture and relaxing in a cafe. Our train to Copenhagen was delayed by an hour, a time which got longer and longer … and the first-class compartment seemed to be full of loud children. Not the most successful train trip ever! We got a little lost trying to find our couchsurfing host Mona, but she’d prepared dinner for us – it was the perfect end to a day that had seemed full of problems.
6/8 Friday After a pleasantly productive work morning, we set forth to explore Copenhagen. It’s a really pleasant city, with lots of lakes and canals. We enjoyed looking at the buildings and had a nice hamburger each for lunch. In the evening we met up with Frej and Astrid, another couple of couchsurfers, and ended up going back to their place for dinner. It was a mix of flavours – I made pebre and tortilla española, and Astrid introduced us to typical Danish sausages, cheese and cold-cut meats. We finished the evening with my new favourite dessert – koldskaal. It’s a kind of thick milk that you crush special biscuits into.
7/8 Saturday It was the weekend, so we slept in. Not that we are very good at telling what day of the week it is, but to be honest we’ll find any excuse for a sleep-in. After a tasty breakfast of spicy fruity porridge, Mona took us out to show us her favourite parts of the city. We relaxed in the afternoon and had dinner on the rooftop terrace.
8/8 Sunday Although our train didn’t leave until 10.23, we still managed to be in a rush to get there. Luckily we made it, and our first-class tickets were very useful, since second class was packed – even the aisles were full of people.
We made it to Goteborg and were met at the station by our host Ola, who took us on a tour of closed restaurants before we found a nice Japanese place to have lunch. Afterwards we met our other host Therese, who had been working, and caught the tram back to their place through the rather spectacular rain.
We spent the evening playing a Swedish travel board game called Near and Far (or something like that) – it was definitely a good idea to choose the teams according to gender rather than just playing couple versus couple, since that meant each team had a good range of knowledge. Plus someone had to translate the questions from Swedish – who would have thought Craig would do such a good job at it?