Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Friday afternoon I met up with Tom in town to collect the rental car for our roadtrip. This thing was a beast! It was bigger than I expected so we had to be extra careful not to damage it when driving out of the city. Visability from inside the car was not great so I had to act as co-pilot whilst we navigated our way through the streets! We could relax once we were on the highway as there were very few cars on the road. That's the thing about Sweden. It's one of the largest countries in Europe yet there are only 9 million people living here! There are are approximately 8 million people living in London alone! Once you get outside the cities its just highways and open countryside.

We were going to be staying in a small village called Nianfors which is around 300km north of Stockholm. It was my job to sort out the music for the trip............and I didn't disappoint! We had everything from rock to indie to brit-pop! Without some good tunes the journey seems to take forever! Music is fundamental to the success of any roadtrip so you have to make sure that you are tuned up! We got there in just over 3 hours and only had to stop once on the way. Whilst at the services I made sure I got myself a picture with the Camaro............

Once we arrived and had unpacked everything, I decided it was time for me to have a spin in the Camaro. The roads around the area were deserted. We were in the middle of a forest so it was a good place to test out its handling! The only disappointing thing was that it was an automatic..............but it still had some bite once you put your foot down! After taking the car for a spin I made us some dinner. As it was Tom's responsibility to get the booze, it was my job to get the grub. I knocked up some swedish meatballs with mash, then we washed it down with some beers! We spent the rest of the evening watching some of my stand up comedy dvd's...............which are twice as funny once you've had a few jars!

Once I woke up Saturday morning the first thing I wanted to do was take a shower. Unfortunately there had been some problems with the plumbing over Christmas and it hadn't yet been fixed so none of the amenities in the bathroom worked. I had to wash myself in the kitchen sink using water from the kettle as the hot tap didn't work either! Anything else we needed to do we had to do outside (if you know what I mean!). We had to use fire to heat the place as well, as only the kitchen had radiators. It didn't bother me too much though. In fact it made me appreciate the luxuries we take for a toilet that flushes for example!

We then drove out into the country to find somewhere to buy supplies................and somewhere for Tom to take a dump! After driving for around 30km we stumbled across a small village with a supermarket. Once we bought some lunch we decided that as it was a nice day we would drive on and see what was about. After driving for 20 mins we decided to head back as we felt we were heading further and further into the wilderness. We found a track off the main road to turn the car around but it turned out to be the driveway to someone's house. When we attempted to spin the car around the back wheels got stuck in the mud! As the car was rear wheel drive the wheels just spun and chucked dirt everywhere. My initial thoughts were not of the car but of the farmer whose property we were trespassing on! We were in the middle of nowhere and I had this image of some old redneck walking out the house with a shot-gun! After a few minutes we managed to free the car and got the hell out there! On the way back we stopped off by the side of the road and took some shots of the landscape and of the cottage.............

That afternoon we went out for walk around the area near to where we were staying. It had snowed the previous night so some of the tracks were a little slippery under foot. On the way back to the cottage we decided to take a short cut across a stream which ran alongside the cottage. To continue walking on the path would have added another 5-10 mins to the journey and seeing as we were both hungry we chose to cross the stream instead.................

We managed to make our way through the trees and to the side of the stream but getting across it was another thing entirely! We had to jump across some stones, which doesn't sound too difficult but when they are wet and covered with ice it makes the task a little more tricky! Whilst the stream wasn't deep, the water was freezing cold plus if you fell on the rocks you could do yourself a serious injury. I managed to jump across and successfully make to the other side but unfortunately Tom could only get half way. I was egging him on to jump but he decided against it. It was probably the right move looking back but I couldn't stop myself from capturing his plight on camera!

As Tom headed back towards the path he remembered he had the keys to the cottage and decided to throw them over to me. Unfortunately this wasn't his day and his throw ricocheted off the side of the cottage and into the stream! Luckily the keys did not get washed away with the current and I was able to fish them out! Without them we would have had to smash a window and considering this place belongs to his girlfriends dad it was a good job we didn't need to!

After dinner we sank a few more beers then put on a film which I hadn't seen before called 'Paranormal Activity'. I had heard that it was a pretty intense movie and it even says on the box not to watch it alone. I won't give away what happens but the plot is set around a couple who set up a camera in their bedroom to film at night as they keep being woken up by strange noises and footsteps. I have to say it is probably the scariest film I have ever seen! It is all filmed with a camcorder as well which adds to the realism. I was genuinely frightened afterwards! Sounds lame I know but it really got to me! I even woke up in the middle of the night and could get back to sleep thinking about it. What made it worse was that we were in a forest in the middle of nowhere and every time I heard a noise I was freaked out!

We left early the next morning as I needed to be back in Stockholm by 12pm as I was meeting with Micke to watch AIK at Rasunda stadium. Rasunda is also the national team stadium and was host to some of the games during Euro 1992. There 3 professional football teams in Stockholm, AIK, Hammarby and Djulg√•rden. AIK are the biggest club in Stockholm although (to some) Hammarby are considered to be 'the peoples club'. The game didn't kick off until 2pm however we got there early as its tradition on the first game of the season for the fans to line the streets outside the ground and cheer the players coach when it arrives. I wasn't quite sure what all the fuss was about but then the coach came down the street and this happened...................

Suddenly the flares came out and people were setting off fireworks in the street. It was crazy! At one point there was so much smoke I couldn't 3 feet in front of me! These were passionate fans. They were chanting and dancing about..................and this was 2 hours before kick off. I've never seen anything like it before. You certainly wouldn't see that in and safety would shit their pants for a start!!

The game itself was a disappointment. The game finished 0-0 with only 3 shots on target! Not quite the first swedish game I was hoping to see but it was a good experience none the less. The standard is light years away from the premiership but the support the fans showed was exceptional. I was standing (yes standing!) behind the goal with the hardcore fans and they did not stop singing for the whole game! There were one or two dickheads going over the top but generally the vibe was good. The young lads in front of me were winding me up because they had brought this massive flag with them and were insistent on drunkenly waving it every 5 minutes which blocked my view! I wouldn't have minded too much except my view was already obscured by a bloody pillar!!

After the game I headed home to see Aicha and take a much needed shower! It was a really good weekend and one which I would like to do again with Aicha....................providing the plumbing has been fixed! Next weekend we are flying back o the UK which I am really looking forward to. It's only been a month since I was last there but it will be great to see everyone again. Hopefully I will have some news before then on the job front. I am due to hear back from the recruitment company tomorrow so lets hope its good news! Fingers crossed!!

1 comment:

  1. These are brilliant photos, Bob and the roadtrip sounds great! A screenplay in the making.....