Hola Puerto Rico

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

I have checked out of the amazing Barcelo Bavaro hotel and checked in at a hostel in San Juan. Nothing wrong with that, but I have to admit that I will miss the hotel. I think I will just need a day or two to adjust to this hostel experience. It is a nice hostel, and the manager is really nice. I have a car the first four days of this week and I managed to get a really nice price, $400. The guy at Enterprise must have felt really sorry for me, because the normal price was over $700. I got a GPS too. My phone is working, but I don’t have unlimited data, and I don’t wanna kill my battery with the GPS when I use it for photos.

The flight was delayed because there was some trouble with baggage not reaching the plane. So I was very relieved when I saw my green suitcase on the baggage claim.

When I checked in at the hostel I got a tour, and the first night I am staying in a private room because of something that got mixed up. I am not complaining. The WiFi here is so much better than at the hotel on DR, and there are people here that I can actually talk to if I want to. I went out for dinner the first thing I did. The manager told me to go to Ruben’s café. I asked the waiter if he could recommend anything and I just took what he said, a mofongo. It was kinda like a pie, but the crust was mashed and fried plantain (looks like bananas). And then I had chicken in it. It was really good. And very typical Puerto Rican apparently. Then off to buy some water and fruit to have during the days. Back at the hostel where I booked the three tours I want to do this week. Rainforest hike, tour of Old San Juan and the old forts, and a catamaran trip to an island called Culebra. I am excited!

According to Google, tomorrow will be cloudy, maybe even rainy. If it isn’t, I am going to a beach. Otherwise I will go to Bacardi rum distillery and a NASA thing and maybe to Old San Juan or a shopping center if I get really bored. From what I have seen so far, this is definitely USA. But nothing wrong with that. I am just excited about seeing everything that’s not. Starting tomorrow. Now it’s time to sleep, this heat is making me exhausted!

Bavaro Beach It was a little too bad I had to leave DR today when the weather was perfect. I still had a couple of hours at the beach before I had to check out.Mofongo Relleno PolloMofongo Relleno Pollo.

US Embassy in Stockholm

My Saturday was spent in Stockholm after four hours of sleep. I tried sleeping on the 6am train this morning but just couldn’t. I read a lot instead. The train was almost 30 minutes late which meant I got to the centralstation in Stockholm at 9:10. My interview began at 9:30 and I had no idea from where the bus went. I asked around and finally found the right bus stop. It came almost directly and I actually were at the Embassy 9:35. It’s not extremely important to be on time because a lot of people have the same time and then there’s a line inside. What was frustrating though was that I was the last one to leave the Embassy even if other people had showed up after me. Not fair! I think it might be because I already had a visa for last year or something. I was done by 11am and took the bus back to the train station. My train back home didn’t leave until 4pm so I decided to have lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. I googled the location and walked there to kill time. I could have taken a bus, but I had five hours all alone in the capital. What to do? So I had lunch by myself in the summer sun. I didn’t take a burger, they were expensive, so I ordered a chicken/goatcheese/dried cranberries sandwhich on the lunch menu. It was really good! The staff there spoke English too me, it was weird, but HRC is an international restaurant chain so people from all over work there. My waitress was from Australia and the guy who sold me the pint glass was from California, but he spoke Swedish. It was cool.

After lunch I went to a park nearby and sat down for like two or three hours and read. After a couple of hours I was so tired I could barely sit straight up, I almost fell asleep right there and then. But fortunately an old and grumpy lady woke me up by screaming at me to take down my feet from the bench. It was a wooden bench and it was extremely uncomfortable with short shorts so I moved around a lot and decided that it was comfortable to have my feet up somehow on the bench. She yelled at me really loud but I just pretended I didn’t understand Swedish and she walked away continuing being pissed off. What is it with old ladies?? It’s a wooden bench out in the open, it will get dirty even if I don’t have my clean shoe on it. And it will get off when it rains. It’s another thing on buses to put your feet up on the cushioned seat in front of you, but a bench made out of wood in a park under a bunch of trees that drop tons of seeds? Stupid lady! But, she woke me up so I could stay awake for like thirty more minutes before my butt got a little bit too much wood flavor. So I slowly walked back to the train station where I waited for 40 minutes until the train came and took me home.

On the way back I tried to sleep and did that most of the three hour ride. There was a guy two rows behind me though that just couldn’t keep his mouth. He had some mental disability, but when you only had four hours of sleep and need to sleep it doesn’t matter if he is really happy and only says nice and happy things. It was irritating. I read some though, and I finished Throne of Glass and started on the 6th and last Mortal Instruments book City of Heavenly Fire. Throne of Glass was really good. It is about a young and world famous assassin whogets caught and ends up in a slave camp for a year. One day the Crown Prince comes along and wants here to participate in a competition to become the kings Champion. Really exciting and I really wanted to start the second book right away, but I have so many books that I really want to read so it’s hard to decide…

I got home, started doing laundry right away and I am almost done with it. I watched the latest Game of Throne episode during and the whole episode was just on the Wall! I thought I knew what was gonna happen at the end, but I guess that will be the next episode which also happens to be the season finale!
I also edited the thesis report and sent in it again. The second final version. I hope this gets approved! If it doesn’t very soon I won’t be able to get any CSN next year because of lack of study results. I got a letter from CSN yesterday that told me that I needed to fix my grades from this semester if I want a study grant next year. I can’t help that my thesis has been dragged out for this long! Cross your fingers for us that it will get approved this time!!
As soon as the laundry is done I will go to bed, read a couple of pages and sleep until I wake up tomorrow!

Oh, right, might be worth to mention that my visa got approved and I will get it back along with my passport within a week. Yay! 🙂

Liseberg at nightThis is a photo I took of the backside of Liseberg one evening when I walked home. Hard Rock Cafe StockholmMy 12th Hard Rock Cafe visit. Next will be Gothenburg!

Changing the Guard

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Today was pretty much just about waiting for the flight back home to Gothenburg. A lot of walking though and my legs gave up today. All parts hurt now, not just my feet. It felt really good to sit 30 minutes on the train to the airport, and then an hour or two at the airport and two on the plain. I can stand up now without making painful noises.

Not much happened today, the biggest thing was that we accidently came upon Buckingham Palace when we were just walking around, trying to figure out what to do. And it was perfectly time with the daily change of the guards. It is a show they put on every day at 11:30. The new guards marsh in and then they play some music, walk around inside and then the old ones marsh out. It took about 45 minutes for the whole process to end. Kind of a waste of money in my opinion. But England loves its traditions. Mom took the coolest pictures, and I haven’t gotten them yet, so my crappy ones have to do for now.

After that we walked to St. James’ Park where we sat down for a while. I read a bit. Our next stop was lunch in Chinatown. I had dumplings. I’ve never had it before, but it is really good.

Then we went to M&M World where Helana bought gifts to her nephew and niece and I bought a small bag of crisp M&Ms. I’ve never had them before. It was my energy source when we walked all the way back to Victoria Station where we had left our bags earlier in the morning.

The flight back went very fast. I didn’t sleep, but tried. Can’t really say that it worked when I had ten year olds sitting behind me and a baby crying a few rows back. So I kept reading. I finished Fifty Shades Darker. I am dissappointed. Sure, it’s fun to read about sex, but it is so unrealistic and silly it’s not fun any more. The first book was okay, but this was just too much. But I can’t stop a series right in the middle (unless it is the worst ever, which this is not), so I will read the third and last book eventually. Right now I am reading Throne of Glass. I guess it is a fantasy book? I’m actually not sure, but so far it’s good. At first I wanted to start reading the Guild Wars books, but I had a bad version and some of the text disappeared in my eReader, so I have to get new ones…

Tomorrow reality starts again. It will be so nice to be able to walk across streets without being afraid of being overrunby cars coming from all different and weird directions.

The Albert barA better picture of the cute house on Victoria Street. Change the Guard at Buckingham PalaceTons of people at Buckingham Palace today for the Changing of the Guard. It was such a beautiful day, probably 27C, perfect in my opinion :).Change the GuardThey were also riding on horses, but mom has those photos. A curved Buckingham PalaceEven in daylight Buckingham Palace is curved by my panoramic feature in my phone. WEIRD! Buckingham Palace

Notting Hill & Science Museum

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Our last whole day in London is over and today was nothing special really. We took a quick walk in Notting Hill, then bought froyo and sat down in Kensington Gardens. It was a nice park and the froyo was well needed in the warm afternoon. It was about 23C today, perfect. Shorts and tank top, no problem! We then went on to Hyde Park.

Gudrun went home to Sweden after Hyde Park and I and mom (Helena was home today because of migraine) went to Science Museum. It wasn’t what I expected. Much more boring than what I had in mind. I guess I expected it to be more hands on, and about things that exist or is going to exist. But it was science history which isn’t that fun in my opinion. It was quite interesting about the human medicine history though. And the shop was fun too.

After that we went back to the British Museum where mom bought a birthday present to Helena’s birthday tomorrow. A viking necklace.

We had mushroom toasts for dinner and some candy for dessert. It’s not even 10pm, but everyone is in bed. We are all so exhausted (20,000 steps today), and I look forward to have the next week with just sitting still studying. I don’t really look forward to the exam though. I have a bad feeling about that one…

I wonder if I should read or watch the season finale of Revenge… Last night I saw the season finale of Once Upon a Time. I was dissapointed. It could have been the perfect ending, “happily ever after” for everyone. But no, of course not. The evil queen who just had turned good because she was in love, lost the guy when the guy’s dead wife came back. And then the last scene was of Elsa from Frozen. That could  be fun though. I have to remember when the season starts so I can stream it when I am in SLO next year.

Hyde ParkHyde Park. Kensington PalaceKensington Palace in Hyde Park. Albert MemorialAlbert Memorial statue in Hyde Park. Diana Memorial FountainDiana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park. Science MuseumScience Museum. Science MuseumApollo 11 inside Science Museum. Crowded underground stationA very crowded underground station. It was barely room on the train. When you see this on TV it’s completely different from the real thing. I can’t really explain it, but it seems exotic with a subway system, but when you are on a crowded train and standing like pickled herring with the other people, it feels just like the trams back home in Gothenburg. Victoria StreetA cute house in the middle of new and modern skyscrapers.


This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

My body is pretty much dead right now. My feet hurt and so does my back and thighs. This much walking can’t be good for you. Around 16 000 steps. It is needed though, the food we are eating isn’t the best one and I am swollen like a dead pig… I miss Sweden!

We slept a little longer today and didn’t leave the apartment until 11am. We took the Tube up to Oxford Circus and started to walk along Oxford Street which is one of the biggest shopping streets in London. I actually wasn’t in a shopping mode, at least not for clothes, so I didn’t buy much. In the first store, a bag store of the brand Carpisa, I bought a new wallet. I didn’t really need one, but it was onlt £8 and so cute. Always good to have two of everything in case the first thing breaks. Or something. It was worth buying anyway!

I don’t remeber all the stores we went in to, and I guess it doesn’t matter. We walked to a tea shop called Postcard Teas, but that was nothing for me. Too expensive and not my cup of tea. We then walked to Selfridges & CO, a huuuuge shopping mall. I usually never have troubles with too much perfumes in  one place, but the ground floor of this mall was too much. It was awful! The reason we went there was to eat lunch. The food court was big. A lot of things to choose from. I had a mushroom soup because my throat is hurting today. It helped a bit. I am afraid I’m getting sick. I hope that’s not true, I have a test coming up in a little more than a week…

After that we split up, Gudrun went t-shirt hunting and the rest of us went to Victoria’s Secret. Wow, that store was amazing! So luxurious and fancy! Several levels, black walls, crystal candelabras and banisters. It was nice. I bought three pair of panties.

Then we walked along Bond Street which also is a big shopping street but more suitable for rich people. Lots of jewelery stores and expensive brands. It was fun to see. The next store we walked into was Abercrombie & Fitch. And that was also wow! First of all, we were greeted by a half naked guy with a very nice six-pack. The store was also very fancy with lots of small rooms, and a second floor from which you could see the first floor. Glass cases with clothes in them and of course, the moose head. Super expensive though, so I didn’t buy anything. But I enjoyed the smell and got a little piece of home :).

Next store was a secret store. In case that person reads. And then we went to Europe’s biggest bookstore. I was planning on on buying Inheritance, but this country only have big pocket books, and I want small. So I didn’t buy anything else than a cup of hot white chocolate in the cafe in there. The store had 8 floors, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so tired.

We split up even more after that so it was just me and mom for the rest of the evening. First we walked up to Oxford Street again and on the way say the Hollister store. I just had to go in. It was also very fancy and cool or how to describe it. It was more small rooms inside the store, with half-stairs going down to them. It was like a very cool apartment turned into a store. Three levels which were connected by a stair. On one of the four walls was a big ass flat screen and on it were waves from California with surfers. The three others were mirrors, so it looked like the surfers where all around you and it felt like I was back in California again. It felt like home. I didn’t buy anything there either.

We went back to the Carpisa store because I found a carry-on bag for only £35! It had a cute turtle on it and I really couldn’t resits. I don’t have a carry-on so it wasn’t an unnecessary thing to buy.

Down in the Underground tube again and this time we went to Hyde Park Corner where Hard Rock Cafe was located. The waiting was 45-60 minutes, but then I showed the guy a Priority Seating ticket I’ve earned. We got the nxt available table. They said 25 minutes, but it didn’t take more than five or maybe ten. I had a hard time deciding what to eat, the local didn’t sound very appetizing and they didn’t have the California Burger with guacamole on it. Eventually I decided to have a Magical Mojito (elderflower and lime in it) and a Mushroom/Swiss Burger. It was good, but not as good as the other ones I’ve tried (like the Local Legendary on Maui with Pulled Pork and grilled pineapple!). The food only took like 15 minutes and we were done with the dinner after an hour since we got there. Perfect.

We were really full and decided to walk it off. We took a walk all the way back to the apartment, which wasn’t that far, but took forever since Buckingham Palace was on the way. We took some photos and I have come to the conclusion that the Palace isn’t straight horisontally. It’s an optical illusion. Because how many times I tried to take a panoramic photo of it, it didnt’t turn out straight!! Extremely frustrating.

Anyway, I think the Queen was home, the flag was up. The Beefeaters were outside guarding and many people outside the gates taking picture, even at 10pm.

Back home I sat down, had a cup of tea and some candy and just relaxed. My whole body is so sore and I don’t know how I will manage almost three more of these days!

Oxford StreetOxford Street. Selfridge & COA display window of the Selfridge & CO mall. Selfridge & COAnother one. Victoria's Secret LondonInside the Victoria’s Secret in London. Three floors. Abercrombie & Fitch LondonAbercrombie & Fitch in London. Only two floors, but by far the most exclusive A&F store I’ve ever been in!! Waterstones bookstore Picadilly CircusWaterstones. Europe’s biggest bookstore, with 8 floors. Hollister LondonHollister in London. Also by far the fanciest Hollister store I’ve ever been in. Hard Rock Cafe London, #11My 11th Hard Rock Cafe visit! 🙂 Before this I have 4 drink glasses and 6 shot glasses. Today I bought a pint glass.Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace from afar. Buckingham PalaceThe panoramic picture of Buckingham Palace. What happened?? I did exactly like I did with all the other photos, and they are fine… London shoppingTwo days of shopping. Might be more in the end :).

London Pass

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Another long day is over and my legs and feet are so sore right now. A lot of walking today again, and lots and lots of Brittish history. It’s been a really interesting day with audio tours at famous landmarks. The London pass includes a lot of attractions and discounts and so on. We only bought one-day pass which was a good idea. I don’t think I could have handled two of these days in a row.
Our day started a bit earlier than the other days, with a tour inside the Westminster Abbey church, which is a really really old church, I am remembering so many dates and all of them are mixed up. But I think I remember that this one was built in the 11th century. 200 years later it got its gothic style and was completely done in 1600 I think. Every coronation in London since 1066 has been there and the last one was in 1953 with Queen Elisabeth II.

We each got a phone-like thing with buttons. We walked around in the cathedral and whenever there was a sign with a number on it, we put that in our phones and listened. It looked kinda funny when everyone was walking around with phones.

We weren’t allowed to take any photos inside. And I will never be able to describe what it was like. First of all, it is 31m from floor to ceiling and then there are decorations, statues, coffins and such, EVERYWHERE. Not much space in there was just flat stone. It was incredible! So much history in one place. Isaac Newton and Darwin were buried there, and so were a lot of famous authors too, like Jane Austen.

Our next thing with the London pass was a cruise on the Thames. On the way there we took a lot of pictures of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The Thames tour was nice. It felt really good with a breeze in the warm sun. That one took about 30 minutes.

The boat stopped right in front of the Tower Bridge and Tower of London (not the same thing, like I thought…). We had lunch first and I had my very first fish n chips. It wasn’t bad, but not good either. Flavorless. And boring. I think this was the first and last time I had it.

Inside the Tower of London we had another audio tour with phones. This one wasn’t as easy to follow as the other one. And we didn’t listen to everything since it took so long! We listened to the first one though, about the history about the place. The big fortress in the middle is called the White Tower and was built in the 11th century too. At that time it was humungus and completely white. Very hard to miss. It was built by William the Conqueror asa fortification. I don’t remember when, but the White Tower has been open to visitors for many centuries now (3-4?) with weapon and armor exhibitions. Carved wooden horses were inside with armors riding them. A lot of donations from far away were also kept there. And speaking of foregn things. The Tower of London has been a menagerie for exotic animals. The first lion was put there in 1210 and has been since been accompanied by polar bears, elaphants, tigers and so on. In the beginning of 1800 the animals were sent to the London Zoo in Regent’s Park.

Our next stop inside the Tower of London was the exhibition where they keep the Royal Crown Jewels! No photoraphy inside there either. And I have the same descriptive ability as with Westminster Abbey. It was ridiculous and so amazing! All the crowns, maces, silverware (goldware) they use at the weddings, huuuuge diamonds and so much gold I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wonder how much all of that was worth!! They had a golden spoon from 1300 which is used at every coronation. It looked so well-preserved and I can’t believe it is 800 years old! I got the same feeling with the inside of Westminster Abbey. They must maintain it pretty damn well.

When it closed at 6pm we went outside and took some pictures of the Tower Bridge, one of the world’s  most famous bridges. The plan was to go up in it, but it had closed by the time we were done at Tower of London. But just pictures were fine with me.

We took the tube to Chinatown where we had dinner again. Today I had sweet and sour shrimp. Really good. Everyone of us were really tired and I can’t believe I stayed out with mom until, yeah, whenever it was. Helena and Gudrun went home earlier.

All of us went to the M&M World store together though, and it was as crazy as the one in Las Vegas. I bought a big green cup since I don’t really have a big teacup at home and I didn’t have room to buy one last year. Then we went to a souvenir shop where we had £5 off each. I had no idea what to buy until I saw that they had Rainbow Loom rubberbands. I took two bags to my cousin Ella. She will love it!

Out on Picadilly Circus I tried taking another 360 degree photo, but it was hard with the bright light of the big commercial screen. But I got it worked out after a few tries. While I was there I got an unknown phonecall, but I answered, and it was Chad calling all the way from Sweden just to talk a bit because he missed me. That really made me so happy! Very sweet of him :). And it was nice to hear some American English. I’m not sure I like the Brittish accent, it sounds snobby…

We took the Tube home and for some reason three hours just went by. I am so extremely tired now, and tomorrow will just be a calm day with some strolling, shopping and so on. That will be nice. I actually did a little bit of shopping today as well. I bought three pair of belts (£1 each!) and sunscreen at the third of the Swedish price at Primark. Tomorrow I am planning on buying a book, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I have the three first ones at home and thought it could be fun to buy the last one abroad.

Time to go to bed now. Goodnight!

Westminster AbbeyWestminster Abbey west entrance. Westminster AbbeyWestminster Abbey north entrance. Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament. Big BenBig Ben. Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament.South Banks LondonThere are so much cool architecture on the banks of the river Thames. Tower of LondonTower of London. Audio tour inside the TowerAudio tour inside Tower of London. Tower of LondonBeefeaters or whatever Torture in the TowerA room of torture. White TowerWhite Tower. White TowerArmor on display in White Tower. I have no idea why this guy as a thing on his armor but it looks so stupid.White TowerWooden carved horses with armors. White Tower White Tower The Crown JewelsThe Royal Crown Jewels are inside these walls. South Banks LondonCool architecture.Raven at Tower of LondonLots of ravens at Tower of London. They say that when the ravens leave, the kingdom will fall.  Tower BridgeTower Bridge. M&M World LondonPanoramic photo of M&M World London, taken with Gudrun’s iPhone. I have to say that her phone captured the moving colors in the dispay of the store much better than mine. This is probably the only time I will say that an iPhone might be better than an Android… M&M World London M&M World London M&M World London360 Picadilly Circus at night

South Banks London

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Another eventful day is over. 20,000 steps in nice spring weather. Not completely blue sky, and not very warm, but it wasn’t cold either. It was a nice spring day. Today was all about walking along the South Bank by the river Thames. We saw a lot of landmarks and I discovered an amazing feature on my phone, the ability to take panorama photos. I’ve had so much fun with my new Nexus 5 today!

So, we live pretty much next to the Channel Four house. And we walked across the river and walked on the south bank all the way down to Shakespeare’s Globe. On the way we saw the Parliament, London Eye, Gabriel’s Wharf, the Millenium Bridge (the one who gets destroyed in the beginning of one of the later Harry Potter movies, Tate Modern Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe.

The Parliament is a very cool and old and big building. Big Ben is part of it. The London Eye is the big ferris wheel for the ones who didn’t know that. Too expensive to go up in it, but it was still cool to see ut from the ground. We had to take a break at Gabriel’s Wharf where we sat down for a while. It is exhausting walking around. It was a cute little square with food shops and handicraft shops. We didn’t go in to the Tate Modern Museum, art museums are really boring. But we were there and took pictures of the building from the outside. Our last stop on the South Bank was the Shakespeare Globe. We went on a tour and it was actually interesting and fun. The tour guide was funny.

We walked across the Millenium Bridge and saw Paul’s Cathedral, which is a very famous cathedral, but I have no idea why. At the info center we bought London passes for tomorrow so we have free entrance to a lot of stuff. And then took the subway to Chinatown to eat dinner. We took the first chinese restaurant we saw, and it was a nice one with good food. I made the mistake of ordering Pad Thai, when I could have taken sweet and sour chicken, which tasted way better. It was still good though.

We then took a tiny two minute walk to Soho and I have to say that I was surprised. I don’t know much about London, but I thought Soho was supposed to be a nice area, but no. Not where we went anyway. Strip clubs, sex stores and gay bars. It was weird. So we went straight to Picadilly Circus instead. That was a cool place. And that’s where I tried to take a 360 degree picture of the square. It actually turned out awesome!! In my phone I can use a tool to watch it in 3d or how to call it. But in my computer it is just a very wide photo which you can’t really see should be connected in the ends. It is still a very cool feature though and I took a lot of photos with just a tiny bit of panorama.

At Picadilly Circus we went into a sport store and then walked through St. James’ Park back home. The park was beautiful with lots of ducks and squirrels. One of them actually came up and touched my hand because he thought I had food for him.


Back home my plan was to study some, but something came in the way. I saw on Facebook that Carlsbad, where I lived just four months ago, is burning really bad! I have been watching live streamings from it and it is scary to see what is happening to my second hometown. Fortunately it’s not quite where my host family lives, but it is very very close, about ~1 mile / 1.7km away. I don’t know if they are evacuated, but the news says that no ones been hurt so I think they are okay. But it is still scary and I hope the fires burns out when the sun goes down like the fire department over there says. A few houses have been completely destroyed and about 30 damaged so far (when I am writing this the fire has been going on for about five hours in Carlsbad). Yesterday one of my close friends south of me in San Diego was evacuated. Stupid California where it doesn’t rain! This is apparently very unusual though. I don’t remember what they said about the Santa Ana wind and the time of the year, but this doesn’t happen very often.

I am glad this didn’t happen while I was there, that would have been terrifying, and I would have been really scared… I hope my hostkids are fine!

It seems like the wind is blowing to the west, so they should be fine.


Like I said, an eventful day. And the next few days will be too (hopefully no fires!!). Tomorrow we are going to Westminster Abbey, a boat tour on the river Thames, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and then some shopping at M&M World among other things. On Friday we are going to Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and Hard Rock Cafe. And after that I am not sure. It will be fun though and I look forward to seeing more parts of London!

River Thames panoramic The panorama feature works perfect!London Eye
London Eye The Brittish ParliamentMe, Helena and Gudrun in front of the Parliament. Millenium Bridge + St. Paul's CathedralMillenium Bridge with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background. Shakespeare's GlobeShakespeare’s Globe. Chinatown LondonChinatown in London. 360 Picadilly Circus360 degree photo of Picadilly Circus.  Squirrel in St. James' ParkA squirrel in St. James’ Park eating from my hand. Squirrel in St. James' ParkAnd here is another one of the hundreds in the park, posing on a fence. River Thames in St. James' ParkSt. James’ Park. WalkingImportant peopleThese policemen were escorting some important people. I wonder who.Pub in LondonEven if the buildings in London are pretty modern, they pubs still look the same. Almost all of them actually look like this. Street in LondonThis is what I see when I think of England. A cute street.

Brittish Museum & We Will Rock You

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

The weather today has been so extremly London-ish. First kinda sunny, then rainy, then thunder, then sunny and rainy at the same time, the rainy, pouring, and lastly sunny. What we’ve understood is that today was supposed to be the worst day and from now on it will be better and better. I hope that is true. It would be so much better with blue sky and warmth.

Today’s plan, because of the bad weather, was the Brittish Museum and then a musical in the evening. I think it took us about two hours to find the museum. We went back and forth on one of the big streets for a long while in the drizzle. We finally found the museum and when we came we realized how big it was and didn’t do anything for probably 30 minutes. Just trying to figure out what we wanted to see. We finally decided to go to the Egyptian part where we saw the Rosetta Stone. In a triology I recently read it was kinda of like Pandora’s box, and released all the ancient Egyptian gods into the world (The Kane Chronicles). It was fun to see the part of the museum where some of the books actually took place.

Our next stop in the museum was the Chinese and Japanese exhibit. I don’t know anything about that history, but I think it is beautiful and interesting. Maybe I should take a class about it someday?

After that it was the second Egypt exhibit, the one about the mummies. It was cool! They even had mummified animals, especially cats and kittens.

After three or four hours in there our feet and backs were sore from walking around (and we didn’t even see the ancient Greece and Rome and Anglo-Saxon thing and everything else. That museum is huuuuge! We wanted to see the Viking exhibit, but I think we would have had to pay for that. The rest of the museum was free. Amazing!


Once again we went out in the street and got lost. This city is hard to find in, and the Tube… Oh, don’t get me started on that! First we had a tiny break at a Starbucks (oh, I’ve missed my non-fat chai latte’s) and after that it didn’t take us long to find the Dominion Theatre where we picked up our tickets for tonights show. The next one and a half hour were spent in another bar where we had dinner. I wasn’t that hungry, so a tomato soup with garlic bread was enough.


After dinner we went across the street to the theatre to watch the Queen musical “We Will Rock You”.  I have to say that I was surprised at how awesome it was! I never thought I would enjoy a musical, but this was seriously WOW! The story was set in the future where everyone lives online and a few people can hear words and tunes in their heads, and they are supposed to bring the rock back. A lot of fun song title references (I didn’t understand all of them) and the music is really good. I am not a huge Queen fan, but I recognized most of the songs and could really enjoy it.

The only problem was that I couldn’t understand what some of the actors/singers were saying. Brittish English is so hard to understand!! That was a bummer…

We took the Tube (it’s what these people call their subway) home and I am really impressed by how well it works. I am jealous. Trains coming in every five minutes (in total today we only had to wait for one train, the rest were just to jump right on), even at a very late hour on a weekday. Amazing! And it goes fast. It is a bit scary though that it all happens underground.


As yesterday night, I don’t know what is planned for tomorrow. It feels good to just follow around after a lot of trips planned by me last year. This is really like a vacation for me! (Except that I will do some studying tomorrow…)

Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey.Big Ben Big Ben.Underground stationWestminster underground station. I guess Londoners are used to being so much underground and use this crazy system with trains going in all directions on different levels and use the creepy walking tunnels between platforms…London TubeSurprisingly neat down there! The Brittish MuseumThe world famous Brittish Museum! Inside the Brittish MuseumInside the Brittish Museum. Not to count the many many rooms, the main hall of the museum was huuuuuge! The Rosetta StoneThe Rosetta Stone which was used to translate Egyptian to Greek and something else or something something. SarcophagusA cool sarcophagus in the Egyptian exhibit. Chinese exhibitPart of the Chinese exhibit. Japanese exhibitA samurai armor in the Japanese exhibit. Egyptian mummy exhibitSarcophagi in the Egyptian mummy exhibit. Egyptian mummy exhibitI think they had a total of 8 mummies in that exhibit. Kinda creppy when you think about it. Real people are inside these cocoons! Egyptian mummy exhibit crowdedI understand why there were millions of people at the museum (maybe not early in the afternoon on a Tuesday though), it was a great museum, and it was free!! Thus Egyptian mummy exhibitThis is another of the mummies in the exhibit. They have scanned the mummies and made huge discoveries. This mummy for example has a solidified liquid in hos head. I have no idea why. If someone knows, I would love to hear the story. Egyptian mummy exhibit Egyptian (cat)mummy exhibitHere are the poor cat mummies. I think I read on that sign that they were brutually killed and had broken necks to be able to be mummified like this. Poor cats. And poor kitten in the tiny mummy! Dominion Theatre, We Will Rock YouDominion Theatre with the show We Will Rock You. It’s been showing since 2006!! I wonder why it must end at the end of the month…

Hello London!

Another interesting day has passed. And a very long one. Up with the roaster to go to a structural engineering class and then three hours of work with the thesis. My mom was so kind and helped me with the technical language and it helped a lot. I am not sure it is enough for our picky examinator, but that’s a problem coming up on Friday.

Back home I had lunch, I packed the rest of my things and then played some Guild Wars 2. I found a place there today where you could read old history scrolls and the story behind this game is actually very interesting. So I moved up the Guild Wars book triology on my to-read list and will start with them after I finish Fifty Shades Darker. Which by the way is a boring book. The “porn” is the same in every scene. The scenario is different, but the same words are used, and it gets very boring in the long run. It is also extremely unrealistic. But I can’t stop reading in the middle of it, so I feel that I have to finish it…

At four my mom and brother picked me up and then we went to the airport. We checked in and everything and then each of us had a pulled pork wrap. Really good! The Victoria’s Secret store at Landvetter airport sucks by the way. No clothes, just things. Boring. Since I’ve lost weight I almost feel that I have to buy more underwear now… I and Gudrun are thinking about taking a shopping tour one day. I also want to buy a new pair of jeans.

At 6pm the flight took off and two hours later we were here. I had to drag my suitcase and carry-on for a while until we found the apartment and that is not a mistake that I will be doing when we are going home. The only reason I took a carry-on was because that was the only place I could fit all my structural engineering books. The exam is in two weeks, so I really have to start study now. Tourist during the day, student in the evening.

There is free wifi in the apartment which is awesome. The best part about it was that as soon as I logged in I got an email from Cal Poly giving me my last Permission Course Number. I enrolled as soon as I started up my computer and now I am enrolled in all my courses for the fall semester! Such a relief!

Right when we got to the apartment we went out again to find a place to eat. A pub close to us, The Barley Mow, was pretty nice. Everyone in our company laughed at me for ordering a Kobbarberg Cider (a Swedish cider).

We did a little grocery shopping and now we are back in the apartment and ready to go to bed. I’m not sure what we are gonna do tomorrow, but I am sure it will be fun!

34 hours of travelling

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

I’m in Sweden and have been for a while now. I’ve already had time to do a little grocery shopping, a Swedish lunch with mom, a nice talk with my brother and a lot of hugging my cats. I’m starting to feel a bit crappy, I have been awake for about 48 hours with a few one-hour naps on the planes.

The trip went surprisingly fast and I can’t really complain about it. Some parts of it were pleasant and I had lots of luck. But not to confuse my readers I will write about everything in chronological order, starting what happened right after my latest blog post (in the bar at the hotel on Big Island).

I didn’t want to go to bed even if I had a long couple of days coming. So I shut down my computer and sat down on the stone wall by the rocks and the ocean. The bar had a big light out on the splashing waves. It looked really cool when it was lit up. So I sat there for a long while trying to take good pictures. I also saw fireflies! I was so excited and when one of the bartenders came up to me to talk to me I asked about it. It was just regular flies in the light of the lamp. I’ve never seen fireflies. But it was still beautiful.

Waves in the night Last night on Hawaii

I got an offer to go look at manta rays (he knew a very good spot to see them apparently) when he got off his shift 30 minutes later. I was very tempted, but I had to be boring and go to bed. It would have been cool though!

My alarm went off at 7am on Sunday morning and my trip home started at 11am. My first flight was to Honolulu and on the way there I saw whales from the plane when we were closing in on Oahu. It was cool to see from above, I could just see the splash of water, but still.

Kona AirportThe world’s smallest airport…

My second flight was to San Diego and it was nicer than the one I had to Hawaii three weeks ago. I saw the sunset from above and it was really beautiful. It was also very beautiful seeing the starry sky. We have either too many clouds or lights here in Gothenburg to be able to see the stars…

Sunset over the PacificSunrise above the Pacific Ocean.San DiegoSan Diego! I love this airport, you’re going down right next to the skyscrapers.

At the airport 9pm Lovisa picked me up and drove me home. Very nice of her! She even gave me food for the road, Rolo and Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars.  The kids came running down the stairs when I came inside. I got big hugs from everyone and since it was so late, 10pm, I had to start saying goodbye to the kids so they could go to sleep. They both were so sweet and it didn’t feel like a goodbye, just a normal goodnight. No tears shed and the girl told me that they are going to Sweden again this year in June. Maybe that’s why we didn’t cry, because we are gonna see each other so soon. And that’s not enough, I will go to San Diego in Aug/Sep to visit them also! More on that later!

I talked to my hostparents downstairs for a while about my trip, the year and how glad I was to have spent it with them. At 11pm I started to pack. It was hard, but after some reorganizing they were both close to 50lbs. I think they actually showed 50lbs on the scale but I took a risk and went to the airport like that. I spent the remaining 3 hours with Chad. I couldn’t sleep even if I tried. At 3am we left for the airport. I put on a lot of clothes, leggings, sweatpants, a tank top, t-shirt, hoodie and a big jacket. I forgot my white Converse at my hostfamily’s house so I had to travel in my workout shoes which aren’t very comfortable. But my other ones were on vacuum bags so I didn’t have much choice.

My first big worry turned into my first luck. My suitcases were 49.8 and 49.6 lbs. Haha! It took me like 15 minutes to say goodbye to Chad and I have to be honest and say that it wasn’t so hard. Like with my hostfamily I just couldn’t understand that it was happening for real. My sadness came later…

My second big worry was my carry-on and personal item. They say that the personal item should be like a laptop or purse. I had a big tote bag full of papers, computer and my purse. I was afraid that they weren’t gonna allow that, but they did! I went through security without any trouble. But then I realized that the people at the gate decides that. Crap, I had to go through that nervousness two more times?

Both my personal item and carry-on were really heavy and I was dreading to carry it around airports. But there was that thing called luck again! The flight to Chicago was so full that all of ours carry-ons wouldn’t fit. So we could check them free of charge to the final destination. Perfect!! So I only had my super heavy tote. My right arm is sore from carrying it, but it’s still better than two heavy bags.

To be honest I don’t remember anything from the San Diego-Chicago flight more than that Chicago was really beautiful with the snow, the ice covered Lake Michigan and the blue sky.

Chicago Beautiful Chicago. I missed the skyline by the lake unfortunately.Three seats

After the 2 hour layover I had the best flight ever. I had a window seat again, in the back of the plane with no one sitting next to me. So I had three seats all to myself with a screen in the chair in front of me, with a lot of new movies. I had time to see three, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Thor: The Dark World, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. I tried to sleep some, but didn’t work very well…

The last flight was the worst. I was a little less than two hours away from home, the airplane was small and uncomfortable (but the sunrise outside above the clouds was amazing). And I was sad after realizing that I was on my way home. But when we arrived I felt a little better, it was cloudy, but light, a little snow and I got my bags right away. My mom wasn’t expecting me to come out just ten minutes after we landed so she didn’t see me when I walked up to her. It felt really good seeing her again and we hugged for a long time. Dad was stuck in traffic but came like ten minutes later. We talked for an hour and then me and mom went home.

Sunrise above Gothenburg Sunrise above Gothenburg.GothenburgGothenburg under the clouds.

On the way we stopped at Ica Maxi, I needed to buy a toothbrush and a deo. And then I bought a bag of bulk candy. Hehe!

Back home I had two gifts on my bed. A Bräutigams marzipan pig and a pair of turtle earrings. My mom definitely knows me! I had a Swedish shrimp salad sandwich and mom went to work. I talked some with my brother, apparently he wants to go to Chalmers University and asked me about the different programs. We talked about my trip, his trips and my job interview on Monday.

I tried taking a nap but couldn’t fall asleep even if I’m so tired I feel drunk. I can’t believe I’m still functioning. I’ve been away for two days with like 3 hours of sleep. Maybe I’m just excited about being at home again. I’ve been away for a long while and even if I always write how much I didn’t want to go home, of course a big part of me wanted to do it. And it feels better now that I’m here.

For dinner we had Swedish pizza and it was as delicious as I remembered. Yummy!

Okay, so here comes some big news! Six hours after I landed I got an email from my university telling me that I, with two other girls, will be sent to CalPoly this fall to study! CalPoly wanted to send three students to us, so we could send three too. I can’t believe that I found out, six hours after I landed, that I’m gonna go back to California in just six months! I don’t think my mom liked those news. She was so happy to see me, and then finds out that I’m leaving again. I mean, she was aware that it maybe would happen. But this was so sudden. I am excited and I am gonna go! It will be some work with it though. Get a new visa, get a place to stay, get money from CSN and so on. But it will fun and I will have a long winter break so I can celebrate Christmas at home. And it’s not even gonna be a whole year, just Sep-Jun.

Okay, I think I need to go to bed now. I’m getting drunker every minute… It’s a new experience being this tired. I’ve stayed up for one day before, but two. It’s not very nice… I wonder how long I could stay awake if I tried?