Around the world in 125 days
To go to Sweden from Finland, you need to cross the Baltic Sea via an overnight ferry operated by the Silja Line. The ferry in this case is more like a cruise ship. It had nice restaurants, duty-free shops, and a casino. For dinner, we were offered a delicious seafood buffet, featuring famous Scandinavian smoked salmon, cold cuts etc. It was excellent Scandinavian cuisine for sure. It also advertised music and dancing but I did not really see any on offer.
For this overnight cruise, we paid extra so that we had our own room. Most tour members did not read the fine print on the brochure that the price was based on four sharing a room, unless you paid a supplemental. And they only allowed people of the same gender to share a room if they were not married. The tour director had to shuffle the sleeping arrangement so people of the same gender shared rooms. One British fellow in our group was traveling with his wife and her two sisters. The two sisters, in this case, according to the rules were not allowed to stay in the same room with the couple.
Consequently, there was some scrambling to put foursomes together. Each room had two bunk beds, so two passengers would have to climb to the top. That could be rather tricky in the darkness on a rocking boat. We heard that the Australian girl, on her way down from the top bunk, slipped and banged her nose against the wall, spurting blood all over the cabin. I did notice that her nose was a bit crooked next morning.
I was a little worried, because one of these big ferries sank a few years ago - killing hundreds of passengers. Not wanting to alarm anyone, I decided to keep quiet.
Stockholm is pretty in the Summer-time. We visited the Stockholm Palace, which is the official residence of the monarch. Inside the palace, there were displays of the royal jewels. In the downtown area, we found a museum that had free Internet access. We used it to send some e-mail. We also came across a small Volvo museum that displays their old cars.
The hotel that we stayed here was a bit far from town center, but we found a nearby Chinese restaurant. That night four of us, Anna and Levia and we two, ate there. Next morning we crossed over to Denmark by taking another ferry to Helsingborg, before proceeding on to Copenhagen.
© Dave Cheng 2000