So this morning, we were up at 3:45am ready to catch our taxi to the airport. We were downstairs ready for pick up at 4:30am and it was a quick trip to the airport, mainly because he sped most of the way! So we were there earlier than we needed to be. Stacey went to check in and so I thought I'd try and do the same if I was able, even though I was 5 hours early, because then I wouldn't have to lug my suitcase around. I was able to, and the check lady said that they may even try to send me on an earlier flight if the plane wasn't full, but apparently it was, so that didn't happen. Even if I got on an earlier flight, I would've still had to wait somewhere along the line, either longer at the Frankfurt stop over, or in Sweden, because Tove didn't finish work until later.
So once we'd checked in, we wandered upstairs to grab some breakfast. There wasn't much open at all, so I just managed to get myself a croissant. To get any further than this part of the airport, we needed to go through security. It was then that I realised I wasn't going to be able to take my $100 worth of wine with me because it was liquid more than 100mls. I was so angry with myself as soon as I realised because I know the liquid rules, and I had all of my toiletries, etc in the ziplock bag like you're meant to. All I was thinking about the wine was that I'd carry it on because I didn't want it to smash in my suitcase (and also knowing that you can take on duty free, but of course once you've bought it through the other side of security). I was just hoping that somehow they'd let me take it through, but I knew they wouldn't. So as I got up to the scanner, I told him I had the wine and said I can't take it can I, and he said no but then put it through the scanner anyway, so I thought oh maybe he just misunderstood me, but no, they put it in the wheely bin and then being so tired, etc I just burst into tears. Then once I got through the scanners, they also wanted to look at my stein, as it looked suspicious. So I was standing there taking it out of its box with tears streaming down my face, and I think the security guy thought that's what I was crying over, because he was very apologetic and thanked me very much for my cooperation.
Once we got through the other side, Stacey was ready to eat and then it was basically time for her to go. So we wandered down to her gate and said some quick goodbyes and then she was off. Then I had a couple of hours to fill in on my own, so I wandered around for a bit, deciding what to do, and then I saw these reclining leather chairs (that pretty much looked like beach chairs), so I went and laid down in one of those and used the internet for a bit. I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep my eyes open, so I just wrapped my arms around my purse with all of the important stuff and went to sleep. I kept getting woken up every 15 minutes or so and checked the time until eventually it was time to board. Luckily our boarding gates were very close to each other, so I didn't have to go very far.
The flight to Frankfurt was over before I knew it pretty much, it was really fast - quicker than scheduled. When the plane landed, it didn't come right up to the airport buildings and get attached to a tunnel like the international flights normally do, instead it just stopped out in the middle of the tarmac and we had to get on a shuttle which took us up to the terminal. I've never experienced this before. The next flight from Frankfurt to Gothenburg was then delayed by about an hour. I text Tove before leaving Germany to let her know that we were delayed, but didn't hear back from her in time. We got back on the shuttle and headed for the plane in the middle if the tarmac again and then we were off.
Both of these flights were with Lufthansa and I found them to be quite good for space - both seat width and knee room. Once I got into Gothenburg, I was half expecting Tove to be there waiting for me since the flight had been delayed. She had originally told me to get the bus into town because she didn't finish work until after I landed, and then she'd meet me in town. She wasn't there anyway because she didn't have the car, but I didn't know that at the time.
I had to change my Euros into Swedish Kroner's, so I went and lined up and once I got to the counter, the lady asked if I had a number, which I didn't because I didn't know what I was doing. So I asked her where to get one from and she pointed and said over there, so I wandered around for 5 minutes before I eventually realised where I was meant to get a number from. So I got my money sorted, and then I headed outside to try to catch the bus. I wasn't sure where I was meant to get the bus ticket from and whether I could just get it on the bus, because I had only seen a credit card machine to use, and I needed to use cash. But as I walked out, the bus driver was yelling at some man for not having a ticket, so I wasn't going to risk doing it that way! So I went back inside and found a counter selling tickets and then caught the next bus about 15 minutes later.
Now, the next problem was where to get off the bus! I thought Tove had said to get off at the end but at the city centre. But when I asked the bus driver, she said that the 3rd stop was the city and the 4th/last stop was the train station. So I was worrying about what stop to get off at and tried to text Tove but for some reason my phone wouldn't work. Turns out she had text me back when I text her about the delay too, but my phone wouldn't receive or send any texts or calls in Sweden. I decided to get off at the third stop which was the city.
So I got off and looked around and looked around and looked around, but no sign of Tove. It didn't help that I was already over an hour later than I was meant to arrive and didn't know if Tove had received my text about this, plus I didn't know if I was in the right place, so I was a bit confused as to what to do, as I didn't have a clue how far away Tove lived and whether it was worth getting a taxi or what. Because of all of my luggage, I didn't want to just wander around, so I kept trying to text and call her but nothing was working. After trying about 20 different wifi networks, I finally managed to find one and was able to Viber her, to finally find out that I was in the wrong place. Luckily though it wasn't far away from where Tove was waiting, and she knew exactly where I was, so she was on her way.
It was good seeing each other again, even though it was only 6 months ago that she was visiting me in Palmy - although it seemed like even less. From here, we caught the tram to Tove's tram stop, which was about 10 minutes away. Then I dragged my suitcase up the hill to her place and up the 3 flights of stairs to her apartment! We just sat down and chatted for a while which was great - just relaxing and catching up. Tove's apartment is really cool and cute, mostly because it's so different to what we're used to in NZ. I would love to live in a little apartment like that.
After I had a bit of a rest, we went out again and caught up with 3 of Tove's friends at a nice outside bar/restaurant. Tove forgot to mention to her friends beforehand that I only spoke English, so they were all a bit shocked at first. They all spoke English though, and were able to have most conversations around me in English - switching back occasionally though when they couldn't remember/figure out how to say something. We had dinner here too. It was a nice little area and seemed like a popular spot.
We went home after this, catching the tram back, and set up ready for bed. Tove had a little fold out camp stretcher for me and I was actually able to semi unpack my suitcase for a few days! Not having to worry about everything being packed up ready to leave first thing again in the morning. I was amazed that at about 11:00pm it still wasn't dark! It definitely wasn't broad daylight, but it certainly wasn't dark. Tove was completely unfazed by this though. She said that up north, for a couple of weeks of the year they have no sunlight, and then at the other end of the season they have no darkness for a couple of weeks. By the time it finally got dark, it was 11:30pm, which I just found so unusual.