Here I am!
After 48 days of travelling, I am now settling in Tampa for the next few months. Since June 30, the longest I've slept in one place is five nights (Oslo). Perhaps when that record gets broken tomorrow night I'll feel a little less disconnected from the world. I haven't decided whether or not that's a good thing.
My trips to Maine and Scandinavia were everything I'd hope them to be. I definitely want to go back to Tallinn (pictured below) and Norway.
My focus now is on getting my Polaroid image transfer site live, finding temporary work, getting some writing done and spending time with the family. I did find one temporary job already. I have been hired by the entertainment department of a theme park that I will refer to as the "Amazing Kingdom of Thrills" as part of their month-long Halloween extravaganza. I expect this experience to provide me with some good material for the Hiaasen
-esque novel that I will write some day.
My brother introduced me to the very cool Sacred Grounds Coffee House
last night. As this appears to be one of the very few cool places in Tampa, I expect to be hanging out there quite frequently.
In music news, I'm digging Hail Social
's debut self-titled full length. It's a lot poppier than I expected it to be when I saw the scary album cover. Download "Hands Are Tied" mp3 here
Bergen and Oslo, Norway
Norway is overwhelmingly beautiful and painfully expensive. Ben and I took a sleeper train to Bergen, stayed there a day and did the "Norway in a Nutshell" tour back to Oslo. We saw lots of pretty waterfalls and fjords and lakes. We even saw a porpoise during our boat cruise. I definitely want to go back to the western part of Norway one day to camp and hike. During July, of course.
Oslo is very cool. Much more diverse and technologically advanced than the other Scan capitals. After my sad good-bye to Ben yesterday morning, I went to the National Gallery and did lots of walking around the city. I'm heading to Bygdøy once I'm done here at the library. I'll see some Viking ships and stuff. Then back to the hostel to catch up on some sleep.
Luleå and Göteborg, Sweden
Ben and I expected to be in Norway by now, but ran into some transportation challenges in Luleå, Sweden. As in, there were no trains out of there when we wanted to leave. We made do and changed our plans, but were a little frustrated. Luleå is a little town in the north that completely shuts down on the weekends (and we arrived on a Saturday). Our guidebook described Luleå as a major transportation hub, but when we got there learned that Connex no longer operates a ticket office at the train station. We spent most of one day on the phone trying to arrange travel and cursing Luleå for being closed and having no self-service laundry facilites. On the bright side, we stayed in a hotel that had cable TV and a jacuzzi. We discovered a new (to us) MTV cartoon, Wobbl and Bob
. It's pretty hilarious if you're stuck in northern Sweden with nothing to do.
We got to spend a couple of hours in Göteborg
this afternoon. We'll get on a train for Oslo in about an hour, then head west to Bergen.