Travel Day: Hamburg to Sweden

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Snowing and blowing in Hamburg, a Christmas trip wouldn’t be complete without a delay and running to catch your ride. I guess we Americans aren’t used to trains, because, unlike planes, you don’t have to arrive two hours before for security, check-in, and baggage check. So we were early, and in typical holiday travel fashion, our train was delayed. I had to change our reservation for our next connecting train from Copenhagen to Sweden. For this trip, we both bought 2nd class EuroRail passes. You select the number of days you will travel in a two month period and select the countries through which you will travel. The whole pass bit worked out fine, but the rules (there are many) say that you are required to make seat reservations and wherever we went, the people behind the desk always told us we didn’t have to make reservations, got something wrong and clearly didn’t know much about the EuroRail pass. Turns out, EU members can’t buy them and almost always tourists buy first class. Makes sense. After making yet another friend of a clerk and making sure our first class reservations weren’t a (huge) problem, our trip finally began.

Our ride north included the train getting on a ferry to cross part of the Baltic Sea. It was mind-boggling. We made it to Malmö, Sweden by evening and attempted to figure out the buses to get to our place. On the first bus, we ask the driver how to get to the next (thank goodness 99% of the population speaks English,) and after the driver watched us fail at finding the next stop,  he got off the bus and walked us the few yards to the right stop. The Swedes definitely make an impression.

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After the forty-five minute wait in below freezing 35mph wind, we danced around inside the bus shelter, praising all the gods for our fur and wool coats. We survived, took the bus, and were promptly dumped off in the middle of nowhere. Wind howled and it was dark; there was three inches of snow. We pulled our rolley suitcases and clutched the printed directions as if our life depended on it (because it did,) following the path we got to a crossroad in the village and huddled around the streetlight to figure out where next. Right then left, last house on the left, brick with the tower: It looked like the Addams Family could live there.

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