July 7, 2012. It was a foggy, Saturday morning.
We had not even eaten our breakfast. We just hurriedly packed our clothes in just one backpack. We looked like runaways as we rushed in the drizzle towards the bus station, with little baby Julia still sleeping peacefully in her stroller, unaware of what was happening around her. We only had thirty minutes to catch the train to Goteborg, Sweden. We forgot to bring our passports and we didn’t have time to get it back as we will miss the train. We just decided to go on without our passports and just hoped we could pass the border without them. All I had with me were two cameras (Joel’s and mine). We were just in time to catch the train. It was four hours train travel from Oslo to Goteborg, Sweden. My little grandson felt so restless inside the train. We took turns to entertain him during the whole journey.
The lovely sceneries along the countryside were so fascinating. However, after three hours of looking outside the window my head started spinning in circles and my empty stomach was complaining.(These are side effects of unpreparedness.) If there are impulse buyers, there are also impulse travelers. My son in law and my daughter are one of them. When she woke up this morning she bought us on line train tickets to Sweden.
We were so lucky, we passed the border without any hassle. It was already 1:00 pm and we were so hungry. The first thing we did when we were off the train was to look for a restaurant where we could eat our lunch. Then after satisfying our hunger we looked for a hotel where we could spend the night. My daughter chose Scandic Hotel because of its proximity to the train station and to the mall.
After a short rest at the hotel we started touring the city. We visited the Universeum, an interactive science museum. This museum reminds me of Manila Ocean Park in its best and far greater version. There were also other exotic animals, aside from different species of fish in giant aquarium. There was also a display of different types of life-size dinosaurs which roared like real dino. However, my grandson was scared to pose beside them.
It was already 6:00 o’clock in the evening when we finished the tour. It was time to eat dinner. My daughter suggested that we eat at the first restaurant that we could find because she was already too tired too walk. However, my son in law insisted that we’ll have dinner at Bejing, a Chinese restaurant because he was so hungry and its only rice that could satisfy his hunger. Unfortunately it took us very long to locate Bejing, and my daughter was grumbling all along. We heaved a sigh of relief as we seated ourselves in one of their tables. At last we could eat boiled rice! But to our great disappointment, we were approached by one of the Bejing staff and told us that they could not serve us anymore because it was already their closing time. Perhaps one of us has a birthmark on the butt, someone who is always followed by badluck…joooke. Well, after that long tedious walk looking for rice, we ended up at the starting point of our search. We had delicious pizza for our dinner. The positive thing was the proximity of Pizza Hut to Scandic Hotel, where we stayed for the night.
I found it hard to sleep, though my body and mind were aching to rest. I had no problem with the bed.It was swathed with fresh, clean and fine linens and very much comfortable to sleep with. My only problem was the extreme coldness that I felt, that I have to look for something to cover my head. (I had to wear my underwear on my head, just to ease the coldness.) It was already past midnight when I felt warm and had fallen asleep.
My phone rang at about 7:00 o’clock in the morning. It was my daughter calling me to prepare because we were going to Liseberg that day. I took a shower and there another problem arise. I could not shut off the faucet. I called my daughter to help me. However, it took her very long because they were at the 6th floor while I was at the 7th and besides she was taking a bath at that moment when I called. So sorry… the water kept pouring like rain from the shower head. The best thing is, the hotel drainage system is superb.
Another thumbs up for Scandic Hotel is the free sumptuous breakfast that they offer to their guests. It’s buffet style, so you could choose the food that would please your palate from lots of choices displayed at the counter top.
We checked out from the hotel at 10:00 o’clock AM and headed to the bus station going to Liseberg, a popular theme park in Sweden. The park was still closed when we arrived, so we took a leisurely walk along Molndalsan River, as we waited for the park to open. We were consumed by the scenes along the way, such that when we were back at the park there was already a long queue at the park entrance. We patiently waited for our turn to get our entrance tickets to the park. It was already past 12:00 AM when we made our way to the park. Food was no problem. There are Cafes and Restaurants at the park.
My little grandson was too excited to try the different rides. We decided to try the Trummeliten. That was my first ride with Joaquin. He was so ecstatic as he was holding the steering wheel, thinking all the time that it was he who was maneuvering our rotating motion. We also let him try alone the “bump cars”. We let him hold his own ticket and fall in line along with the other children as they waited for their turn. We had congratulated him for having survived the challenge. The next was the “Grandfather’s Car”, where he was the driver and my daughter and I were his passengers. My daughter and I were so amused as we watched Joaquin struggled so much at every turning point, lest his car will go off the track. The next was the boat ride. My son in law and I accompanied him during that ride. During that ride, Joaquin felt excited every time we passed Bunny Rabbits’ houses. He giggled every time he saw Bunny’s moving ears. What fascinated me during that ride were the beautiful flowers along the way…marvelous!
For the last few minutes of our stay my son in law guided us to the Atmos Fear Zone. I was adamant to go with them, but then Joaquin was holding my hand, so… We entered the semi dark entrance and we came face to face with a very long steep escalator, as if you will be climbing a very high mountain. Ooops! I could feel flying butterflies in my stomach. I felt like backing away, but little Joaquin was already one step up the escalator. I was forced to take the challenge with him. There was no turning back, no looking down, just looking up because I’m scared of heights. So glad we had reached the first landing but there was still another one of the same height that I had to conquer. I had to console myself. If I had hurdled the first climb, there’s no reason I can’t do it the second time. So pleased with myself when I reached the summit together with Joaquin and my son in law. Alas, I had to face the ultimate challenge, to ride on the giant ferris wheel. I was praying our tickets would not be enough for three so I had reason to back out.But my prayer was not heard. I had to sit beside my grandson to balance the cubicle since my son in law was much heavier than us. During the first round I was scared, but it banished during succeeding rounds as I enjoyed looking at the whole view of the city. After the ride my grandson shouted proudly, ”Yes, we did it!”
To my daughter and my son in law: Thank you very much for the ride.
To my best friend, Joaquin: I’m looking forward for our next ride together with my other best friend, Arkin (my other grandson).