Monday, August 08, 2005

DAY 20 - pool, planes and two little homecomers

so this is it: the last morning in sweden. not even our beloved breakfast buffet can comfort us. there is no way around it - after we have properly stuffed ourselves, there is only one thing left to do: finish packing. when that's done, we still have some time to kill, so we head down to the games room and play some pool. i am actually not nearly as bad as i had feared, and though sepp wins both games, neither of them is a debacle for me. still, what can i do but swear that i will get my revenge (and, just in case you are interested: i have had it now, last week! *G*). but then it really is time to leave. check-out, and off we are to stockholm central. there we catch an airport bus to arlanda, and we leave the city behind.

to the aircraft

arlanda is much quieter than vienna was when we left home, which is good. we have to wait a while for our check-in counter to open, but at least there's no eternal queuing among hectic, nagging people! we follow the signs saying "till flygplanen" (to the aircraft) and spend some time looking around duty free shops. we find a couple of nice t-shirts which are on sale, so we both get one. i buy some moose salami for my dad, and we spend our last swedish crowns on a few other bits and pieces.

our plane takes off at 15:57. i cannot believe it's time to go home! sigh. mälaren disappears beneath the clouds below us, and there are clouds almost all the way to prague.

goodbye sweden!

we have some time at prague airport, but we don't do anything exciting. and then it's time to board another plane, and off we go to vienna. we are informed that the weather in vienna is not so good - at least there isn't one of those mid-summer heat waves, i am glad of that. but what they announce as a light drizzle turns out to be a heavy downpour! when we land at 08:30pm, we get quite wet from the few metres we have to run to the bus that's waiting to take us to the building. and our backpacks are actually partly soaked! and it's so dark - this is really difficult, i miss the light nights, i still do.

on the other side of the clouds

i never enjoy coming back to vienna. don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful city and everything, but i find it terribly difficult to be confronted with some typically viennese behaviour and attitudes whenever i return from my travels. and this time it is even harder than usual, and i get a vintage example of "welcome back to vienna" when i drop in at the airport supermarket: two people having an argument in public, a young couple, calling each other not-so-endearing names etc. and the check-out girl is kind of flirting (in a very viennese, rather dingy way). so, indeed: welcome back!

we catch a bus into the city, and driving through the dark, rather cool, wet night, i am trying to come to terms with the fact that our nordic adventure is now over. we had a fantastic time, brought back lots of memories and hundreds of photos and, at least in my case, a strong desire to return to the unspoilt, vast wilderness of the north.

coming, not going

day 20 photos

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