Thursday, 19 May 2016

Thurs 19 May 2016. Trangsviken (Sweden) to Linkoping (Denmark) (!!)

Thurs 19 May 2016. Trangsviken (Sweden) to Linkoping (Denmark) (!!)
Snowing lightly for our final morning. Up before 6am to be ready to leave for Ostersund airport. Had moose stew on toast to celebrate our farewell from Trangsviken and Sweden. Said goodbye to Magnus, Nina, and boys as they left all rugged up for kindergarten, Sigge said "bye boy, bye girl". (They then sent us following photos from depth of winter...)

Fresh snow on rise on way to airport, pretty on branches of pines. Moose startled in their grazing, loped off, reminding us of ungainly giraffe. Sad farewell at airport (we will miss our good buddies!), light fog, but departure board showed no delay for plane.

Uneventful flight with SAS, weather warmer in Stockholm. GirlRob stayed with the luggage in Terminal 2 (where needed to check-in for Munich flights), whilst BoyRob caught train to Terminal 5 to pick up 2 suitcases from locker storage (mostly car spares and supplies to replenish camper truck). Then “disaster” struck at Stockholm airport. We'd booked in our 2-wheeled duffle bags and suitcases, got safely through customs, then sat and sat and sat at the departure gate. We were supposed to leave at 2.40pm, Air Berlin continued to announce 'technical problems with air traffic control', finally at 5pm announced not only our plane, but all planes out of airport had been cancelled – and also there were no planes tonight and none tomorrow from any airline, and oh yes, no accommodation anywhere in Stockholm!!  There was an immediate outcry, then a rush of now stranded passengers to Air Berlin counter (which now had two security guards standing rigidly behind staff). They said they’d tried to rebook all passengers, but added with shrugs: 'not our problem, that's all Air Berlin has told us'. Felt most sorry for distressed woman in front of us with three children asking where should she go now? 

Collected our 4 bags from the carousel, hoisted our backpacks, and went downstairs to be met by the din from the long snaking lines at all the ticket counters. Joined the queue at a general information counter where the woman tried several hotels she thought would not be booked out, but were. BoyRob asked her to try hire car companies to drive to our connection at Munich, the first two had no vehicles left. Obviously they were running out quickly, so we exited the terminal and caught a bus directly to the rental car area. Avis was the only company who could help – no choice but to take an expensive manual car which we were not allowed to drive further than Copenhagen (and we had to be there within 24 hours!). We signed up for it and a GPS, BoyRob having to remember his driving skills for other side of road/other side of car, earlier than anticipated. It was after 6.00 pm by time we drove out of the airport. We breathed easier once through Stockholm, and on highway south, but effort of staying inside lane lines, navigating freeways and exits, and finding the right levers and buttons once rain started occupied the first hour of the drive. We decided to drive no later than 9pm so stopped for highway food, toilet, and to use their wifi on the iPad to search for motels on the Pocket Earth app. 

Yukky - not licorice after all...
And raining all way to boot...

There were very few choices, and GirlRob navigated off highway to Tuna Motel, but one look told us this had been converted to refugee accommodation. The next couple of hotels were 45mins down road in Lincoping. The closest, Best Western turned out to be on edge of town square, squeezed in narrow street, then in even narrower car park. It was bliss to crawl into bed after our first stressful day of our trip. There’s certainly an insurance claim coming up after all these unexpected expenses...

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