The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps

Friday, September 30, 2005

Is it just me or is there something wrong here?

Alright well as some of you might know I'm addicted to weird news stories. For some reason I just really enjoy these news stories that show the downfall of society as we know it. Well tonight I came across this one which I'm pasting below. However I came across a few things that just didn't make sense to me in the story and since I have no one to discuss this with at the moment I'm doing it via my blog.

"LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (AP) -- Seth Hammes was filming in the woods when his camcorder recorded the crack of gunshots, the 17-year-old's screams and the voice of the alleged shooter, promising help that never came.

Authorities say they might never have learned what happened to Hammes, who later died in the woods.

"But right next to him was the videotape," Monroe County Sheriff Pete Quirin said Thursday. "That's when we knew we had a homicide on our hands."

After viewing and listening to the tape, police tracked down 24-year-old Russell Schroeder, who now faces charges of reckless homicide and reckless injury. Schroeder was being held on $250,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to 85 years in prison.

Family members said Hammes and two of his friends had gone bow-hunting Saturday morning in the woods near Little Falls, about 35 miles northeast of La Crosse.

Hammes put down his bow and picked up his camcorder that afternoon.

According to the criminal complaint, he was shot in the pelvis and then the heart. His camcorder fell to the ground but caught the sound of the shots and his own screams.

The tape shows a person Quirin identified as Schroeder in a nearby field, telling Hammes he would call for help on his cell phone. He then said he couldn't find a signal but promised to go get help.

Instead, authorities say, Schroeder went to a birthday party, home to play video games and then to his job as a custodian at the Army's Fort McCoy near Sparta.

Schroeder didn't call anyone because he was scared he would get in trouble, the complaint said. He told police he thought he was shooting at a squirrel until he heard Hammes scream.

After family and friends reported Hammes missing, police used bloodhounds to find his body in the woods that night.

Investigators initially believed he had just died in the woods -- there was no blood to indicate foul play, and he had been shot with a .22-caliber rifle, which left only small wounds, Quirin said. Then authorities saw the camcorder tape.

Hammes' family gathered at his grandparents' home in La Crosse after Hammes' funeral on Thursday.

Ed Hammes said his nephew loved to tinker with the family's lawn mowers and research pyrotechnics. He hung out with the La Crosse Skyrockers fireworks club, which produces the city's New Year's Eve fireworks.

"He was shy for the most part, but he'd go out of his way to help you," Ed Hammes said."

So now my problems with this story are:

1) It says he went bow hunting with 2 friends, where were these two friends when he was shot? If they were nowhere in the area why and what was he filming?

2)The alleged shooter thought he was shooting at a squirrel? What a freaking 6 foot 150 lbs. (I'm assuming) squirrel? And if this is true, why is this stupid 24 year old in the woods shooting squirrels in the morning? And why do the shots go from the pelvis to the heart, that's a pretty big jump in distance considering the size of a squirrel. And shouldn't he have heard the screams on the first shot? Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps when shooting squirrels you must do rapid fire shots all over the place because I guess those darn squirrels can really move.

3)The investigators thought he "just died in the woods"? So because the bullet wounds are small he must have simply died and not have been shot? I certainly hope not all investigators are this unobservant, there may not always be a video tape there to do your job for you. And it just really bothers me that the very first quote is the Sheriff saying that upon seeing the videotape is when they knew they had a homicide on their hands. Seriously, the bullet wounds didn't say anything to you at all?

Alright, sorry if this was a little off beat posting here, I just really get into these types of stories yet this one really bothered me.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Grande Finale

So by this time my trip was almost over, however, I still had one more country to get a taste of.

Thursday morning I woke up and Juha and Wai-san took me to the harbor to catch my boat that would take me to Tallinn, Estonia. The line to check in for the boat was horribly long and the woman in front of me was extremely annoying. She kept trying to talk to me in whatever language it was she was speaking and I just kept ignoring her. She then kept talking to random people in the line, all of which seemed to not want to talk to her either, and so she just kept saying things out loud. Then once she was the next person to the window, after waiting forever, she starts saying things to people behind us and letting them in front of her. Then after they opened a window up next to us, that line quickly formed and for some reason she changed over to that line even though she was the next person in our line and she went to the very back of the newly formed line that was now just as long as our line. Didn’t understand her reasoning for that, but I was happy to be rid of her and to finally get up to the window to get my ticket.

So once I got through all of this I was finally able to board the boat. I was at this point very tired and very hungry. I walked around the boat looking for a place to sit but the only seats were in the bars or the restaurants. Since everyone was smoking in these places I decided to look around for seats somewhere else. However, I never found any seats except for outside, and before I knew it all seats were taken and people were seating on the floor. I tried sitting outside for as long as I could but I kept getting too cold and had to go inside. I then walked around looking for food but could only find greasy lunch type stuff and since it was only around 9:30 in the morning I really just wanted breakfast.

By this time the boat was starting to be tossed around quite a bit and I was starting to feel it. I guess the sea was really rough as the day before all smaller boats to and from Tallinn had been canceled due to rough waters. I didn’t think I was getting sea sick yet but figured I was just too tired and hungry and needed to eat something. I discovered the buffet they had that was 12 euros. I figured if anything it’d be nice to have a place to sit for a while so I quickly made a reservation.

I waited around for my time at the buffet and at 10:30 was finally able to enter. However, the buffet room seemed to make me feel worse and by the time I got my food and got to my table I was barely able to eat it. I managed to eat a little bit but I was only getting sicker and sicker and before I knew it I had to run to the bathroom and throw up. I managed to get back to the buffet and have a cup of tea and then left. So basically I paid 12 euros for a cup of tea thus making it my most expensive cup of tea ever.

I then went back to the bathroom since I felt best there and wasn’t sure how my stomach was going to be. After a while when it seemed we were almost there I went down to where my locker was and camped out on the floor where I actually felt much better. Then thinking we were about to dock I took my suitcase out of the locker and started falling asleep on it. It was then announced that due to traffic we had to wait to enter the harbor for several minutes. This was quite annoying since we left Helsinki 45 minutes late.

I drifted in and out of sleep for the 15 minutes we waited outside the harbor. And then at last, an hour after we were supposed to arrive I was able to get off the horrible boat and go find my hostel.

I managed to find it rather quickly despite a crappy map, no directions, and no address. When I did find it though it didn’t look too appealing from the outside and since I was in a horrible mood after my boat ride and just not feeling that great I seriously considered going to a hotel I had just passed. However, knowing I needed to save money I decided to go ahead and go in since it was only one night. Turns out it was actually a very nice hostel and one of the nicer ones I’ve ever stayed at. Just goes to tell you not to judge a book by its cover.

I got myself situated in the room and was finally feeling better so I then set out to see Tallinn. First stop was lunch of course since I finally felt as though I could hold something down and I was still starving.

Unfortunately though while eating lunch it started raining and well would basically continue for the rest of the day/evening. This made things very unpleasant, especially since it was rather cold as well.

Trying to avoid the rain I headed to the Museum on the history of Tallinn. Not a fantastic museum but it was alright. Afterwards I headed out and just walked around the city looking at its churches, walking along the wall (the old town is a walled city from medieval times) and finding great views out over the city. During my walk I stumbled across a large mall where I ran to seeking shelter as the rain had started again. Inside the mall the first thing I found was a Tex-Mex restaurant called Amarillo. This actually made the second Tex-Mex restaurant I found in Tallinn, very exciting. So after walking the mall a bit I decided to check out the Tex-Mex place. Not really feeling their menu, they put a lot of pineapple in their food, I decided to stay and just have a drink and plan my next step.

By the time I had done this and was ready to set off for the restaurant I had chosen the rain was really coming down pretty hard. I managed to get to my restaurant only to find out they didn’t have room inside for poor wet and cold me. After my back up restaurants failed I finally stumbled upon a trusty Irish pub. I went in and had myself dinner and a few drinks. Towards the end a band came on and they actually reminded me a lot of home as they had a sort of Texas sound to them oddly enough. Kind of made me homesick.

After dinner I went back to the hostel and went to bed. The next day I was set to leave but not till 1 so I had some time in the morning. I ventured back into the old town and found the pharmacy which is apparently the first pharmacy in Europe. I got myself some breakfast and then headed back to the hostel to pay and grab my bags and figure out how to get to the airport.

I eventually found the bus that conveniently took me right to the terminal at the airport and a few hours later I was heading back to Paris thus putting an end to my 2 week Scandinavian adventure.

So in summarizing my trip I’d have to say I had a great time. I was very pleased with my planning and have convinced myself that I’ve become a pro at planning vacations (in Europe at least). I can tell you that Scandinavia is expensive but gorgeous and filled with great people. I enjoyed each country and each had its own special quality to it but all were very green and have locations with the sea and the islands.

Norway was more of the outdoorsy kind of place with fantastic scenery and the fjords were amazing. Copenhagen was a nice city that had the big city feel going on and had some great architecture. Stockholm was probably my favorite as it somehow has managed the big city feel and yet maintains the nature feel as well. Helsinki was much calmer compared to Copenhagen and Stockholm but was every bit as enjoyable. It had some lovely areas and of course some great views of the sea and its islands. It was a really great city for just relaxing. Tallinn had its medieval old town which I of course loved since it gives off that quaint old feel that you come to expect from Europe. I only wish I could have seen it in better weather. However I was lucky enough to have had fantastic weather for my entire trip up until that last day so I can’t really complain. So all in all I’m walking away loving Scandinavia (and Tallinn) and I highly recommend to everyone that you consider visiting it. I know I said it’s expensive but it’s worth it, and if you go to Helsinki this year you’ll have the added bonus of being able to visit Wai-san!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hello Helsinki

Well after my night on the boat I woke up, got ready and got off. Wai-san was nice enough to come pick me up at the harbor so I didn’t have to worry about navigating Helsinki to find her apartment.

I bought myself a 3 day travel card and we hopped on to the tram and within minutes we were walking up to her apartment. She has a nice apartment that is quite large in my opinion for a European apartment. However, she apparently has crazy neighbors and I was fortunate to encounter one of them at the coffee shop across the street that we went to once I dropped my bags off. But hey it keeps things interesting I guess.

Well once we had our breakfast and had some tea to energize ourselves I let Wai-san be my guide and she took me off to the rock church which wasn’t far from her apartment. It was actually a really cool church that was built into a giant rock and the interior was all rock and natural. We even got to go outside and climb on top of the rock so we were actually standing on top of the church. I personally found it very cool and very unique.

After enjoying our climb on the church we then wandered through the town some, had lunch, and made our way to the parliament square with another church (this is Europe, what do you expect). This church was also quite interesting as it was all white, enormous, and very simple. Quite a change from the very ornate churches I’m used to visiting.

From there my tour guide led me to yet another church (I can’t seem to actually stop visiting them despite what I say). This one too was quite interesting as it was an orthodox church and the largest one in Western Europe apparently. We looked around there some and then made our way to the harbor market. Unfortunately by this time we were a little too late so most of the booths were shut. We then walked down the esplanade which is a gorgeous green sprawl in the city center with shops all around. We took our time and browsed through some of the shops and eventually made our way to Fazer café to sit down with some more tea and some yummy cake. They had a chocolate tea that we tried but neither of us could really taste the chocolate, oh well.

After the tea we headed out for a nearby park which was also on the coast. It offered great views of the sea and also was filled with ice age rock formations which was pretty cool when you got to thinking about how old these rock formations actually are. We hung out there for a while before finally making our way home.

Once we got home Juha, Wai-san’s finance (who’s Finnish), was home and so I finally got to meet him. We then freshened up a bit and all three headed out to dinner. My tour guide and Juha took me to a Finnish restaurant so I could try some Finnish food and I have to say I did enjoy my meal. I had a type of meat ball with potatoes so nothing too exotic. Juha however did order the Elk and let me taste it, which I did, so I can now say that I at least tasted Elk. We had a nice dinner and it was great just getting to hang out with an old friend and getting to meet Juha.

After dinner Wai-san and I went to see the movie Madagascar, which we bought the tickets for before dinner so we could get good seats b/c apparently in Finland as in Norway you have assigned seats in the movie theaters. The movie was hilarious and I absolutely loved it.

The next morning we woke up to a beautiful day. Since we had such lovely weather we decided to take advantage and do everything outside that we wanted to do. We started off by going back to the Harbor market where we browsed through all the booths. I wound up purchasing a winter hat for myself as did Wai-san. Content with our purchases we hopped on a bus and headed out for Seurasaari, a small island just off the coast which houses an open air museum on Finland’s history. We walked around there for a while were we were able to view and enter old buildings from throughout Finnish history. We came across some overfriendly squirrels which really wanted food. I had some peanuts on me and we fed them and enjoyed watching them. However, while we were preparing to leave and checking the map one last time, one of those “friendly” squirrels decided to come up and attack Wai-san and climb up her leg. We both freaked out and started walking away very quickly; however, the crazy little squirrel followed us for quite some time. We were eventually able to get rid of the squirrel and hopped on the bus and headed back to town.

We grabbed some food and then hopped on a boat which took us out to Suomelinna, a large sea fortress island just off the coast. We walked around the island for a while throughout the fortress and I finally had my chance to touch the Baltic.

By this time we were pooped so we headed back home. After resting for a while we left Juha at home to work on the kitchen and Wai-san and I went out for dinner. After dinner we then met up with Juha at a nearby Czech bar/lounge. We hung out there for the evening and had a good time.

The next morning we woke up to not such great weather and were happy to have taken advantage of the great day before. We woke up late so we just got ready and went straight to lunch. After lunch we then met up with some of Wai-san’s friends which was fun since I got to meet them all.

After hanging out with them for a while Wai-san and I headed out and first went to a hotel that has a bar on top that offers a great view of the city. Since the bar is way too expensive we simply walked around and enjoyed the view and then went back down. We then headed over to the design center where I was able to get a taste of Finnish design as well as have a nice piece of cake.

Once we were finished there we then headed over to the national museum of Finland and immersed ourselves in 2,000 years of Finnish history. There I got to see the first ever snow ski, did you know you could see the first ski ever in Helsinki? I certainly didn’t, but now I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

Wai-san and I had such a great time learning about Finnish history that we lost track of time and before we knew it the museum was closing and we were forced to do a run through, and I’m serious when I say run, the last floor. Perhaps there was a language misunderstanding, but the woman told us we had 5 minutes to see the last floor and that once it was 8 the doors would close automatically thus locking us in the basement (that was the last floor). Terrified at that thought, Wai-san and I literally ran through the exhibit but still managed to see some interesting things.

By the time we left the museum the weather had turned much worse and it was now raining, not sure where to eat but not wanting to walk around too much we managed to find a restaurant fairly quickly. Once we had finished Juha came and met up with us and thankfully by this time the rain had stopped. The three of us then headed off for the Finlandia Ice bar. This was very cool b/c it was just like the Absolut Ice bar in Stockholm that I wasn’t able to visit because I was sick and alone. So this was great this time that I’d have Wai-san and Juha with me.

We went to the Ice bar, put on the parkas and gloves they provided us with and entered the ice room. All the walls, tables, and the bar were made of solid ice. We stayed in there long enough to have one drink and take lots of pictures. However, we did start getting cold, at least my feet did, so we left. Tempted to stay longer but since I had to get up early for my boat the next day and Juha had to go to work we decided to call it a night and just go home.

This would basically be the end to my stay in Helsinki since the next morning I boarded an early boat to Tallinn, Estonia. More on the end of my trip in a few days.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Absolut Stockholm

First I’d like to apologize for the delay in my blogs and for any worrying that I caused anyone.

When I last left you I had just arrived in Stockholm, Sweden and had yet to see the city. I spent the evening planning my next day and then went to bed fairly early. I woke up and headed straight to the docks to find out information on going out to the Archipelago. As it turned out it seemed it would be better to go the next day (Saturday) so I could take an earlier boat and have more of the day on the islands.

So after deciding that I would just wait and do the Archipelago the next day I had to figure out what I was going to do today. There was a boat tour around the harbor, lake and canals leaving right there in a few minutes but I took too long deciding on whether or not I actually wanted to do it and it left by the time I made my decision. I finally decided I would do it but I had an hour before the next tour left. So since I was so close to the old town I walked over there and walked all over the old town and visited the palace. I then returned for my tour and was right on time for a much later tour since I had spent so much time walking around the old town. I hopped on the boat and took a two hour tour of Stockholm’s canals, lake, and harbor. It was a nice tour but maybe just a little too long.

After the tour I didn’t have much of a plan so I just sort of walked around the city and of course meandered over to the main shopping street and large park. By this time I was really loving this city and really just enjoyed walking around as it is such a pretty city with lots of greenery. In the evening I walked over two of their islands to a bar that was to have a great view of the city and while it was a little difficult to find, it was well worth it as it did have quite a great view of the city. However it was all outside and once the sun was going down I of course got too cold so I had to leave. Not ready to go back to the hostel just yet and still needing to eat dinner I walked around that area some more which seemed to be the more lived in area and not as touristy but just as lively. I eventually found a restaurant, had a late dinner and then proceeded back to the hostel.

The next morning I woke up quite early and quickly headed off for the docks again so I could hop on a boat to take me to the Archipelago. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do there but everyone told me I just had to visit the Archipelago when in Stockholm. I asked the boat information which islands were they were running to (since it was off season now) and which ones they recommended. The guy recommended two of them to me since I was only going for the day, Vaxholm and Grinda. Since I had read about Vaxholm in my guide book and it was apparently the capital of the Archipelago I hopped on the boat for Vaxholm and off I went.

The boat ride was great as it took us past several of the islands (there are about 24,000 island off the coast of Stockholm which are called the Archipelago) and took us really close to them. After about an hour we arrived at Vaxholm. I got off the boat and walked most of the island which was real cute and had a quaint little town feel to it. I naturally found a hill to climb which gave me a great view over the islands. I then had lunch and since it was still early and I had decided to devote the day to the islands, I decided to check out the island of Grinda which had also been recommended to me.

I took a similar boat to Grinda which took about 45 minutes and was even more beautiful. I got off the boat and found myself in complete wilderness. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing here and why the guy sent me to this island. However, several other people got off with me and there was a trail. So I followed the trail which eventually led me to a café and a hotel. The café was right on the water and had a great view. I decided to sit down for a drink and debated which boat I was going to take. I could either stay on the island for 45 mins or 3 hours. However, since it took me about 20 mins to get to the café that would mean I’d basically need to turn right around. I finished my drink and realized I could try to catch the boat on the north side of the island if I hurried. Although I didn’t actually know where the north dock was (I was dropped off at the south dock) I figured the island was small and probably wasn’t too far from where I was. I set out to find it, however, I took the long was since I decided to walk along the waters edge. I wasn’t too concerned as I figured I would just take the later boat anyway at this point and was just going to explore the island a bit more. Along my walk I came across an American couple who asked me to take their photo. We got to talking and then we all three walked to the north dock. We then walked back through the center of the island to the café where they boat a bottle of wine and shared with me. They were a very nice older couple from D.C. and I was happy to have met them. I was having a great time chatting with them however I had to get back and catch my last boat so I could get back to Stockholm before dark.

I caught the boat and had a 2 hour trip back to Stockholm and this ride was even more beautiful than the previous two. The sun was setting and the sky was gorgeous thus making it a lovely ride.

I got back to Stockholm had a late dinner. The American couple had recommended that I check out the Absolut Ice Bar in Stockholm (a bar made completely of ice) and I had planned on doing it, however, I had gotten sick in Stockholm and wasn’t feeling that great so I decided to skip it and went to bed. The next day I just woke up and walked around the city some more before heading off to my ferry/cruise that would take me to Helsinki, Finland.

This boat was much better than the previous one, although it didn’t have the internet room like the previous one had had. It did however have a spa and as hard as I tried I just couldn’t resist and I treated myself to a facial. The bedroom on this ship was larger which was nice, however, I actually had 3 roommates this time which wasn’t so exciting. Especially since two of the women were Russian and didn’t really speak English, had a ton of luggage, and were in bed at 7:30 p.m. However, the other girl in the room was Australian and was about my age. I ran into her and her boyfriend she was traveling with later on the boat and hung out with them all night. We had a great time and eventually two Finnish guys wound up hanging out with us as well. We all had a fun night which made this boat much more fun as well as I was happy to have had some company for a while.

I went to bed very excited since I would be waking up in Helsinki, Finland the next day and would get to spend my time there with Wai-San. More to come on Helsinki soon.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Till we meet again Denmark

So today I hopped on the train which took me from Copenhagen, Denmark up to Stockholm, Sweden. I spent a wonderful two full days in Copenhagen and loved every minute of it.

In my last post I wrote from the ferry/cruise which was taking me across the baltic from Oslo, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark. I had a great time on the cruise and was fortunate enough to have the teeny tiny 4 bed room to myself. I woke up that next morning and by the time I got ready was able to deboard the boat and go out into Copenhagen.

I quickly found my hostel, which turned out to be a lot like a hotel, but wasn't able to check in for another several hours. So I dumped my luggage in the luggage room and set out to explore Copenhagen.

Knowing that I still had a lot of travelling to do on my trip I decided to take it easy on this leg so as not to wear my feet out too much. I opted to do one of the hop on hop off guided bus tours which would take me all over the city. I visited many of the sites of the city, but my 4 or 5 most things were closing down. Not sure what to do with my time I walked back over to the little mermaid statue (I had visited it earlier in the day on my bus tour) to get a better picture since before the sun had cast a horrible statue on her. I then strolled around through the town for a while before having dinner and going back to the hostel.

Upon my return to my room I met a guy who was also travelling alone and staying in my room and we decided to go sightseeing the next day together since we were both alone. So the next morning we woke up and first set out to see the palace (not the actual palace anymore, but where the royal guard is stationed with the crown jewels). After getting my view of the crown jewels we headed over to the resistance musuem which I had discovered the day before was free on wednesdays. So it was nice being able to save a little money there because Scandinavia is EXPENSIVE. We then walked around some more, had lunch and took a canal cruise. Then again things were closing down so we just went back to the hostel where I took a nap before we went out for dinner. We had a nice dinner which was recommened by a woman at the hostel before we headed back to the hostel. I was happy to have had someone to hang out with that day as I was worried I'd start getting too lonely.

The next morning, this morning, I had some time to spare before my train left and so I was able to squeeze one more museum in before my depart. I then boarded the train and 5 hours later I was in Stockholm.

On first impression I think Stockholm has a lot to offer and I can't wait to get out and start exploring it tomorrow. I'll be back in a few days with an update on Stockholm, Sweden.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Good bye Norway

Well late this afternoon I boarded my cruise ship, the Crown of Scandinavia, which is currently taking me to Copenhagen, Denmark. This marked my sad good bye to Norway but thankfully not the end of my trip.

I first arrived in Bergen, Norway on the west coast late friday night. The next morning I woke up and set out on a tour of the fjords. I immediately fell in love with Norway. It actually reminded me a lot of Switzerland; very outdoorsy, green, mountainous, extremely friendly people, and quite chilly. It is also quite expensive and really raises the bar on what I have in the past considered an expensive country. All of my meals in restaurants have been at the very least 15 euros, and that's me ordering the cheapest thing on the menu. However, my lodging has cost the same amount as my meals so either I'm getting a great deal on my lodging here or the prices aren't high in every area. I'm thinking I'm just getting a good deal on the lodging.

Anyway, on Saturday I took my tour of the fjords which were just beautiful. After the tour I walked around the town some which again really reminded me of Switzerland. I then took a funicular up to the top of one of the 7 mountains which surounds the town and had a fantastic arial view of the town. The mountain also had several hiking trails that took off from the funicular area so naturally I set out on one of the hikes. I chose the shortest one that took me to a lake, however, it was much shorter than expected and I wasn't quite ready to go back just yet so I looped around and picked up one of the other trails and did that hike and yet again found myself at the end of a trail and not ready to go back so I picked up another trail and continued on. A few hours later I managed to arrive back to the funicular before the sun set which I had started worrying that I might not do. However, being in Scandinavia I should have known I'd have plenty of sunlight which as it turned out I still had several hours left upon my return.

After my hiking adventure I went back down to the town and walked around some more, had a late dinner and returned back to the hostel. The hostel was one of the nicer one's I've stayed at and was quite a deal on price given I was in Norway, not to mention there were only 3 other people in my room.

The next morning I woke up and caught an early morning train that took me from Bergen to Oslo. At times I had to force myself to stay awake as I was so tired, but it was well worth it because it was the most beautiful train ride I have ever taken. About midway through we had gone up the mountains and most of them still had snow on them eventhough it was September. At one stop, which was the highest we would go, the snow was just right outside the train! Just gorgeous.

That afternoon I arrived in Oslo and was quickly disappointed in what I saw. Compared to where I had just come from, Oslo looked like a ghetto to me, not to mention it was Sunday and I felt like I was the only one in the city. I wasn't sure what to do in Oslo and both tourist offices were closed so I just meandered through the city not really getting a good vibe from it and not really caring to see much of it. I stumbled upon the royal palace which had a fantastic park and my expectations started to be restored.

The next day I got up and set out to do some sightseeing deteremined to prove that Oslo had more to offer than what I had seen the day before. I first went out to the vigeland sculpture park which I thourougly enjoyed, then headed to the viking museum which was also quite pleasant. I then felt done with seeing Oslo but still had quite a bit of time left before my ship left so I went over and visited the castle and fortress. Once I was done with all of this I grabed my bags and hopped over to my ferry.

I'm now on the ferry and am loving it. It's like an actual cruise and we had several hours of daylight with just gorgeous scenary. Tomorrow morning I'll wake up in Copenhagen, Denmark and start exploring a whole new city.

Well that's all for now, I'll be in Copenhagen for 2 full days then it's off to Stockholm, Sweden, I'll try to write again once I get to Stockholm.