Europe

Goodbye Europe

I cannot believe our 126 days is up. I have so many feelings when I think back on these last four months. I feel unbelievably lucky to be able to experience everything we have, I feel honoured to those who have followed along with this blog as well as my photography page. My heart is so full for not only being able to enjoy this with my best friend but to go from seeing each other 5 days a month to being together 24/7. Some might think that sounds terrifying and I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t sure how well it would work or if we would get sick of each other but I can honestly say, four months in and I am still not sick of his face. Shocking, I know! We have our little moments or maybe snapping at each other but we learned pretty quickly that as long as were not “hangry”, we both stay pretty calm in most situations.

me and mark
Mark and I enjoying a drink on a patio in Gothenburg

I havent updated you guys in about a week so I have to go back in my mind and try to remember everything that happened, bear with me.

After Malmo, we took a train north to Gothenburg to visit an old friend of mine that I had met over 6 years ago while living in a hostel in Port Douglas, Australia. This is the first time we have seen each other since living in Oz, so we were both very excited.

Our first day, we arrived mid afternoon and after dropping our stuff off at Emilies house, we went for a walk. We walked through Slottsskogen, a beautiful green and lush leafy park with winding walking paths. A gorgeous area to visit if in Goteborg. In the middle of this park is a very large zoo filled with sheep, ponies, ducks, penguins and even moose. Admission is free all year round so it is a great place to check out if on a backpackers budget like us. We enjoyed checking out city central as well as up to a hillside fortress called Skansen Kronan. We stopped for a drink at a cute little bar with a very modern and trendy patio. Emelie spoiled us with Swedish meatballs and sweet potato for supper.

deer
Deer at the free zoo
fortress
Skansen Kronan

Day 2 we took a tram, a bus and a ferry over to a small island called Marstrand with a population of about 1300. So small  you can walk around the entire island in about an hour. The moment you step off the ferry you arrive in the charming little harbour city centre rich with restaurant patios and water lined with sail boats. We went for a nice hike along the paths to end up at an opening to hop along top rock faces out to a beautiful snowy white light house. It was a perfect day with a rich blue sky and warm from the sun. We took some great photos and found a spot along the rocks to jump in for a swim when it got hot out. The water was cooler than we have gotten used to on this trip but a wonderful way to cool down quickly. We grabbed a quick bite and drink on one of the patios before we caught the ferry back over to the mainland. It is about 10 Swedish crowns to 1 euro plus conversion to Canadian on top of that. This made everything extremely expensive for us. Spending 3 days in Gothenburg hit the bank just as hard as it did when we were in Iceland. Dont let this stop you from visiting Sweden as I really fell in love with everything about it. When we saw prices up this way we were both happy with our decision to head south at the beginning of our trip as heading north first would have killed our bank account and possibly cut Europe a bit short.

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Marstrand

gothenburg (18 of 20)gothenburg (10 of 20)gothenburg (14 of 20)gothenburg (1 of 20)rock

Our last day in Gothenburg was fairly relaxing. We took a quick trip into town to check out the mall just to kill some time while Emelie was at work. We made sure to stuff our faces with food, treats and ice cream knowing that we were down to our last couple days of indulging before we settle down in South Africa and get back on track.

We had planned to take our final train in the afternoon to arrive in Stockholm for 4pm. This would give us plenty of time to meet up with another old friend from Australia, Matilda, before we had to catch our 1045pm flight. Unfortunately that didn’t work out as the train was an hour late to start off and once we were on it, we learned that there was a forest fire close to the tracks so we had to take a 2-3 hour detour around it. It was an extremely stressful train ride hoping that we would make it in time. We ended up grabbing a taxi from a small city just outside of Stockholm instead of trusting the final train and bus we had to take to get to the airport. That decision worked out well as we arrived with an hour and a half before our plane departed.

It took us over 30 hours to get to Cape Town, South Africa. Our first over night plane was about 7 hours long from Stockholm to Doha, Qatar. We flew with Qatar airlines and compared to WestJet or Aircanada it is like flying 1st class. Huge planes, delicious food and each seat equipped with a tablet full of hundreds of movies, tv shows, games, TED talks and free 30-60 minutes of WIFI. Our second flight was 9 hours from Doha to Johannesburg. This was the worst flight for me because I didn’t sleep on the over night flight and still couldn’t sleep on this one so I was definitely over tired and exhausted. Our last a final flight to Cape Town was only 2 hours from Johannesburg got us in around 8pm. It was already pitch black and fairly cold at about 13 degrees. We caught a taxi to our Airbnb, dropped our stuff and grabbed supper at an Irish pub on the corner. We enjoyed some live music while eating a burger and fries.

 

I couldn’t wait to get home and catch up on sleep from the long two days of traveling.

It was quite rainy our first day in Cape Town which is good for them because they are in the middle of a drought with only 13% of their water supply left. Lets all send rainy thoughts this way to SA!! We got to know our area briefly, checked out some shopping areas, signed up at a gym down the road and stocked the fridge and cupboards with food. We are able to settle in as we are in this place for 2 weeks. I am really excited to get to know Cape Town but all of that will have to wait until we have recuperated from 4 months of non stop backpacking. Thanks for following guys. The blogs are going to slow down for the next month as we will be living in one spot and basically relaxing. Our first safari doesn’t start until September 9th so blogs will be sparse until then. Thanks for reading and so much love to you all and Happy BC day to my friends and family back home ❤

1 thought on “Goodbye Europe”

  1. Enjoyed this blog and pics. Looks like quite a contrast from northern Europe to South Africa…send rain to SA and to BC. Enjoy staying put for a while and will catch up with your travels later.

    Liked by 1 person

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