Monday, June 23, 2008

Pablito Returns Safely

Rest easy knights, I have returned from my overseas trip in decent condition. My luggage however is still in London (or maybe in the air) so I'm waiting on that to be delivered tonight. Unfortunately, my camera was in my checked bag so I can't post pictures just yet; I'll just recount some of my trip with text.

After I arrived, I rested a bit, had a meal, and watched soccer. Then Pablena and I went to a neighborhood street festival to see members of her folk dance group (for which she wears a dirndl). Then we went to someone's house for many drinks and games. I think this was the only night I got reasonably drunk so that's good because I've been trying to cut down and I didn't want to not remember any of my time there. The next couple days were low-key and just consisted of hanging out in the day and watching soccer at night. The fanzones in Vienna were amazing and if you watched the matches on ESPN they showed the place I was at, right in front of the giant city hall.

Then Tuesday we flew with Ryanair to Stockholm. It's a discount airline so the tickets are relatively cheap but you don't get any food and there's not assigned seats. We had to make sure we got onto the plane quickly so we could sit together. Also the airports you fly into are actually an hour away from the cities they're labeled so we landed in Sweden took a hour-long bus ride to arrive in Stockholm. We had a very nice hostel in the middle of the old town so all the buildings were several hundred years old and there were stone streets. We walked around it the first day which didn't take long, it's about the size of 9 city blocks. Then we took the ferry to Djurgården to explore nature a bit but it started raining so we went to the Moderna Museet so we could be indoors. When it stopped raining we went back outside to the park and hiked around before going back to the hostel to eat dinner. After that we went to find a bar to watch soccer which was surprisingly difficult given that Sweden was playing! Most people didn't seem to be interested in the Euro tournament at all. After the game we went to the Absolut Icebar Stockholm where the bar, walls, and glasses are made of ice. Daymonster has previously visited this same place and Josey went to an identical one in Sydney. It was quite small but very cool and the other people there were mainly Asian tourists. We did more sightseeing the next day and eventually returned to Vienna on Friday.

Friday night was the Croatia v Turkey match and these are like the two largest minorities in Vienna so the fanzone was packed. It was a super exciting match too with Turkey scoring a super lucky last minute goal and then winning in a PK shoot-out. Afterwards the Turks went wild and marched all around town singing and waving flags. Some had flares and they were standing on cars and bus stops. We almost saw a fight between two rival fans but decided to leave the area quickly so I don't know if there were many injuries or property damage from the celebrations.

Saturday we went to Lake Neusiedl next to Pablena's hometown and did some boating, swimming, and mini golf after running a few errands. Then her parents had a dinner party so I met some family friends and we all watched more soccer. I also packed up my things so the morning wouldn't be as stressful. Then the next morning came too soon and I was back at the airport boarding my flight.


Daymonster said...

Well, I am glad you are back now safe and sound.

Daymonster said...

you get your luggage back yet?

Dammer said...

I saw the highlights of the Turk game, it was pretty crazy.