Made it to Spenser's!

Trip Start Dec 16, 2007
Trip End Jan 11, 2008

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Flag of Sweden  ,
Wednesday, January 2, 2008

While we are lost in Lulea and stranded in Sweden, it has been an enjoyable departure from our program. The hotel has been quiet except for about one hour's worth of fireworks at 12 midnight New Year's right behind our room overlooking the lake which you really can't see because of darkness.

We had one of the fabulous Swedish breakfasts that came with the room cost. Smoked salmon, herring, turkey, eggs, fabulous Swedish breads,of all sorts, jams, yoghurts and on and on. If you're into raw fish, this is heavenly. Bev likes the other things, though.

At 10:37am sharp an airport bus is to come about a block away is to take us to the airport. At 10:37 sharp and beyond it never came. The Swedes are such reliable and orderly people, but New Year's makes them really drop the ball. So far we've struck out a number of times and I go look for a cab. It's 18 degrees F as I leave Bev in the outdoor bus "shelter." I find a cab and come pick Bev up. He tells me it's one mile to the airport. That's a SWEDISH MILE which is either 10 kilometers or about 6 miles. He tells me that the price will be $32. Hey, I'm used to taxi's at those rates, I have a new travel tip:

Travel Tip # 94 Fancy taxis in Scandinavia will drain you financially. Think ahead. Find alternative transportation if you can possibly can. Otherwise, prepare to pay $5-10 a mile (US mile) for transportation.

We especially made an effort to find this bus so that THIS wouldn't happen. But, the cab driver was a nice fellow reminding us so much of Toomas Schvak in Estonia. The cab has a few monitors playing ads while you ride. Our driver tells us how this new system has been so profitable for him. I should think that just the cab fares would make you wealthy, though! He said that some passengers find the repetitious ads about orange juice, hotels, travel to Spain etc. annoying at night when they are so bright. I told him that it's dark most of the time here. He smilingly agreed.

Lulea is in Swedish Lapland that goes on to the very north. It's strikingly beautiful up here. The reindeer, lakes and forests give this area a special aura.

Flying is certainly faster than gong by train. In one hour and 20 minutes we were in Stockholm. Then we took a fast express train from Arlanda airport to the Stockholm Central train station. From there a train to Mjolby where Paul and Kira live. We were in Mjolby by 6:15 PM.

It was great to see Paul, Kira, sons Isak and Aaron and daughter Viktoria! We had dinner and talked till midnight. This is my third visit to the Spenser's, the first in the winter.

Solveig Hammar called from Stockholm and both Bev and I talked to her. She will be leaving for San Antonio, Texas in a few weeks where she normally winters. We'll be able to see her there when we at the Council of Elders conference in there at the end of February.

Tomorrow is a big day. We will go to Lindkoping not far away and look at it as a potential site for the Feast of Tabernacles in 2009. Tomorrow evening we will have the blessing of their daughter Vikoria. The Spensers have saved this to be a family event as 15 of Kira's family will be there. We will sing songs and I'll give a short message about children.
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