I have been writing about visiting the Baltic Capitals for some time now, and it wasn’t until today that Iwan and I were able to get together to figure out our plans. We have decided to leave the 23 of December, take the night bus (wish it was like the one in Harry Potter) from Umea to Stockholm. This bus leaves around 8:00 p.m. and arrives in Stockholm around 6:00 a.m. I already know this is going to be a long night.
Immediately from Stockholm we will travel to Oslo, Norway via train, which leaves at 8:30 a.m and arrives at 2:30 p.m. One of Iwan’s friends who is studying in Lund is also going to meet us in Oslo for a few days.
Interesting fact: in 2011 Oslo was ranked as the #1 most expensive city in Europe. Most of the Nordic European countries are quite expensive though, such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, etc.
I am planning on leaving my suitcases at the Stockholm Central Station and getting them before leaving home for the U.S.
We haven’t booked a hostel for Oslo yet, but have found some promising options.
We plan on leaving Oslo on the 27th of December at the crack of dawn – 5:00 a.m. and take the high speed train to the airport which is inconveniently located a number of kilometers outside of the city center. Our flight leaves from Oslo at 7:40 a.m. and arrives in Stockholm at 8:40 a.m.
Iwan and I will have most of the day to see Stockholm before our tour leaves around 4:00 p.m. for Helsinki. We will tour tour tour for the next few days, then return to Stockholm in the morning of January 2nd. Then, we will see more of Stockholm, and spend one last day together before staying the night in another hostel, and parting ways on the 3rd of January.
My flight on this day leaves around 1-2 in the afternoon, which will give me ample time to get ready, get organized, and get to the airport in a timely manner.
In a way I am glad we are not leaving until the 23 of December because this will give me some time between returning from the Laplands (Dec. 11-14), finishing up my last week of classes (Dec. 17-21), packing, and getting my marbles together for leaving Sweden which includes turning in my bike, cleaning my room, etc. Not to mention I can fit in a couple more gym workouts before being without them for some number of days.
I also just want to add that I am so happy to be traveling with someone like Iwan! He is wise beyond his years, and is just all around a good person. Not to mention he understands Europe because he was born and raised here, and during times of stress (which I can only anticipate), he will know exactly what to say to calm me down.
Plus he speaks like 500 languages, I swear. Golden!
December is going to be a very, very, very busy month! Wish for the best!