E ric and E vey .com

Jul '17

1

Vasa Museum

Really a beautiful ship

Our last morning, and last opportunity for delicious breakfast in this Bergen hotel. We savored the final breakfast there and then finished packing up for our flight. Our plan was to check out, walk about two blocks to a bus stop, buy bus tickets at the kiosk, and then take the airport bus from there. Seemed super straight forward, convenient, and the plan had been verified with the front desk staff.

It was going well until we got to the bus station kiosk and it was either broken or turned off. We decided to walk to the next station over and just try to use their kiosk. That one was also broken or turned off. At this point the bus was arriving to the stop and we had no tickets. We debated just waiting for the next one and working on solving our ticket issue, especially as they came every 15 mins and we had time. As the bus pulled up Eric ran over and asked the driver if tickets could be purchased from him on the bus with a credit card as we had no local currency. The driver said yes, so we jumped on that opportunity. It turned out to cost a little more to buy it on board rather than in advance from a kiosk, but it wasn’t much more, and it was a decent solution. The broken kiosks did annoy me, though.

The bus was practically empty, only two other couples on board from Bergen to the airport and nobody boarded at the other stops along the way. It was a relatively nice drive of about 25 minutes. Arriving to the airport, checking our bags, and getting through security was fast and efficient. It was a small airport and not very crowded on that Saturday morning. We got some sandwiches from the shop there to take on board with us as we would be flying right during lunch time. Eric also grabbed a couple bottles of Urge as it is only sold in Norway!

Unfortunately the plane was slightly delayed arriving to our airport so we were slightly delayed getting on and taking off. We were not really delayed landing, though, so I think the pilot made up the time and it’s a short hop from Bergen to Stockholm anyway. Upon landing we did not need to go through immigration, I think because we had entered from a Schengen country already. We just collected our bags, walked through customs easily, and grabbed a taxi to our hotel.

This hotel was definitely the “fanciest” we stayed at during the trip. Not necessarily my favorite, though, I really enjoyed the hotel in Oslo for several reasons. This one was very nice, however. We put our things down and set off to walk to the Vasa Museum which was about 20 minutes along the water and across a bridge to the Djurgården area. It was a nice walk, and the museum did not disappoint. We enjoyed seeing the Vasa all rebuilt inside and learning everything about her. There were exhibits on how they pulled her up, how they are restoring and preserving everything they found, information about the original paint colors and decor, and a glimpse into the way life and battle would have been on the ship. There was also a small section on the people who died when she sank. Some of their bones were recovered and they have made reconstructions of what the people probably looked like and who they might have been. We thoroughly enjoyed the museum.

After that we were feeling somewhat tired, we hadn’t slept well the night before and even a short flight can wear you out apparently. So instead of doing any other big sightseeing we just chose a dinner restaurant. We opted for an Italian place nearby the hotel mostly because I was a little “fish-ed out”. Was craving something non-fish like pasta. We approached the restaurant at 6pm and found it quite empty. A hostess said she had only one table she could give us and we had to promise to get out by 7:30… we agreed because we were hungry and had already looked over the menu online. We figured we would be pretty fast in ordering and eating. Unfortunately we were not the slow down. Nobody came to take our order for at least 20 minutes. And then we didn’t get any food until after 7. We ate fast and had paid and left at 7:15. But I was still kind of annoyed at the overall experience.

There was a T stop just a couple blocks from the restaurant where we thought we could pop in and buy a 24 hour travel card to use for getting around the city the next day. We approached a ticket machine and looked for one, but it only sold single journey tickets in a variety of options. We saw a man in the booth nearby so we went to him and said we wanted to buy the 24 hour travel passes. He said we could get them at the machines. We told him we had just tried and they were not an option, but he insisted the machines sold them and we should go buy them there. So we went back to the machine, which was entirely in English so no confusion there, and clicked through every menu and scrolled through every list. Every single ticket was only valid for between 75 minutes and 150 minutes as they were all meant for single trips. We went back to the booth man and told him they really truly are not sold in those kiosks. We somewhat insisted he sell them to us. He did sell them to us, but spent the entire transaction time saying how buying from him meant we had to pay extra for a plastic re-loadable card instead of the disposable paper ticket and that we better not come back trying to return the plastic card or ask for a refund. We assured him we understood how it works and that we were fine with it. Meanwhile, this process took so long that a young Swedish couple was impatiently prancing and huffing and waving things around behind us because we were in their way to get something done.

After the dinner and train station experiences, and just generally being tired from the day, I was over Stockholm. We just went back to hotel and flopped. My first impression of Stockholm was that the city was very very huge compared to Copenhagen or even Oslo, and the people were not very friendly. Did not start out a fan of Sweden, though the architecture and feel of the city was quite nice.