So, after a very eventful trip it was time for our final destination; Mariestad. It’s a really picturesque little town with a ton of charm and beautiful surroundings. Also, the fact that my cousin Bia lives there, made us decide on it being the final to our little Sweden trip. As it happened, one of my sisters from USA was doing a Europe trip on her own and she came to Gothenburg to join us on the train to Mariestad. We met her, had lunch the American style (McDonald’s with extra all) and then we fought our way on to a jam packed train. We were a bit late when we ordered tickets, so we couldn’t get numbered tickets.
Not a problem, I thought, we’ll just be super early and we’ll find seats together. Haven’t been on a Swedish train for years and then I always went first class so this was all new to me. Apparently that’s not how it works in Sweden. You can’t see which seats are booked or not so you sit down – until somebody comes in and claims their seat. It ended up with the three of us plus Igge, two huge suitcases, three hand luggage, one pram and the regularly overloaded diaper bag, having to run for dear life from car to car looking for seats. Mind you it was 30 degrees Celsius as well. By the time we found three seats Mama was a puddle.
Our train ride began and my sister, Nina, and I sat together so we could catch up. Shaun Vegaun and The Child sat in the other side of the car and of course Igge wanted to keep the group together (to be sure not to miss anything, what if we make crucial decisions when he’s not there?). I just have one thing to say; thank God for video chats. That way we could keep catching up in peace, my husband could sit still on his spot and Igge could fake laugh and talk to us, thinking he was part of the important conversation.
What’s the meaning of life? Igge must have figured it out because he was done sitting still thinking after about a second.
All was fine and dandy until – yes, there’s always an “until” when I’m travelling with Nina – the train stopped. In the speakers there was a voice saying that “There’s a train in front of us, standing still. We’ll just be a few minutes.
“The train in front of us has lost power, they’re waiting for a diesel engine to come push them out of the way. It’ll take at least half an hour.”
“The train in front of us has no power because the power wire had fallen down and has now started a small fire. We might be rolling in an hour.”
“The train in front of us needs to be moved, still waiting for that diesel engine, then the fire has to be put out and after that we have to wait for somebody to fix the fallen wire. We have no idea when we can leave.”
“Ok, the small bush fire has now turned into a proper forest fire and this train won’t be going anywhere. Sorry.”
In 30 something degrees heat, we left the train with all our packing, not seeing that Igge, who walked walked somewhere in between us, was picking up stuff from people’s bags and purses on the way. Once we got out I discovered that he had a plastic turtle from a Kinder egg, a set of keys, a half drunken bottle of coke and a rice cake in his arms. None of it was his. Hot, sweaty and deeply embarrassed, I did my best to return the stolen items to their rightful owners. I managed with all except the turtle.
Since there was no other transportation from where we were, and the train company did nothing to replace our transport, we had to call Bia to come pick us up. An angel as she is, she jumped in the car and drove the 1,5 hours to collect us. Our travel this day was supposed to take 2,5 hours but landed on 7. Once we got to Bia’s house in Mariestad we had pizza, put The Child to bed and then went out on the terrace for a drink.
Let me tell you – it was the best bloody drink I’ve had in months!
I had a cold, nice drink with a great view and terrific company. Life’s gooood.