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Chapter 3 Excerpt

 

6 June 1990
...Eivind and Angela had sold Steve on the two of us taking one of two cruises. For most of the day, Angela and Steve worked to convince me...
“Of course, it took 12 hours of coaxing,” laughs Steve.

We would take an overnight boat ride to Frederikshavn in Denmark, spend a few hours there and take a three and a half hour boat ride to Gøteborg in Sweden, spend the night there and return to Oslo Friday morning via train. We could then say we had set foot on Danish, Swedish and Norwegian soil on this trip.

We rushed back to Skien to grab our luggage and Angela then drove us to Larvik... On the ship Peter Wessel...we enjoyed a wonderful smorgasbord dinner...We ate by a window as piano music played in the background. We continued to marvel at how late it stayed light. I took pictures of the sun starting to go down at about 9:45 p.m. From the deck at 11:25, I took pictures of the moon reflecting in the water...

7 June 1990
...The ship docked at Gøteborg at four p.m. The banks were closed, so how were we going to exchange our money for Swedish kroner? Fortunately, we found a post office which was open until six, that exchanged money. That adventure out of the way, we moved onto the next one. We intended to stay at a youth hostel, but we didn’t have a name, address, telephone number or a map of the city. The steward on the boat had told us we could take the tram to the tourist bureau, but since we had no clue where we were, we called the tourist bureau. It was closed. We could not find youth hostels in the telephone book or figure out how to call directory assistance from the information on the telephone.

Steve spent a hour and a half trying to use his AT&T card to call the Oslo Youth Hostel so they could give us the number for the Gøteborg hostel. He was trying to get through to an American operator through the Swedish operator. After this didn’t work, we finally found the number for directory assistance on the phone. There were five hostels and naturally, we called each one to compare prices, find which one was closest to where we were, and get directions...

At this point, naturally, it began to rain, but things picked up. We had a wonderful meal and a nice waitress. Without our asking, she called her daughter, who was visiting from the United States, to see if she could suggest where Steve and I could go in Gøteborg that evening!

First, we checked into the hostel. Finding it was yet another adventure. The woman from the hostel told us the tram stop, and to then go over the bridge and look for “the big house.” It became a perfect example of how things can get confused in translation. When we got off the tram, I thought we should go right. There was a hill and a “big house” in the distance. To the left would take us over an expressway and there didn’t seem to be much in the distance. First, we went right, but that didn’t take us to the youth hostel. The only option was to head in the direction of the expressway. There were no signs or maybe no signs that we understood so we asked a bike rider. “I’m going there. Follow me,” he said.
He then drove on. We finally found “the big house” a 12 story youth hostel! We never expected the “big house” for a youth hostel to be such a tall building.

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