October 1st, 2014

yarn, kitty

Vacation, days 5 through 8


getting a bit harder to remember everything that happened now that it's several days behind, but here goes.

Leaving the Radisson Blu Royal Viking hotel in Stockholm behind was not a hard thing to do. The hotel is currently undergoing renovations (we were warned about this when we booked it) so it was noisy at times - quiet hours enforced from 18:00 to.. 09:00 I think it was. Maybe another half an hour. But I was tired and kind of wanted to nap outside of those hours too. The breakfast buffet was good - I liked the one at Radisson Blu SkyCity better, though. Oh, and our room at the Royal Viking had a CRT TV in it!! So no hooking up our laptops with HDMI cable to play games on a big screen. Insufficient power outlets and some of them were unbeknownst to me controlled by Demon Light Switches so my laptop ran out of battery overnight and quietly went into hibernation. Basically, everything wrong with the hotel is likely to be fixed once renovations are done. Like the SkyCity hotel, this one also had an impressive water pressure in the shower - I am not used to having to run the shower at less than full pressure. You could get bruised under that thing at full blast. We really should have stayed an extra day in Stockholm.. I wanted to walk around in town some, but we only managed to go for a shopping round. I picked up an inexpensive teapot and some tea, we ate at a chinese restaurant with mediocre food, got back to the hotel and was too tired to walk over to Gamla Staden, and by the time we had recovered, it had started getting dark. Did not have the time or energy to do it the next morning either.

We took the train out from Stockholm to Skövde - ticketing system was stupid and didn't seat us next to each other, but across the aisle. Once at Skövde we changed to a bus - missed the first one as the train was "approximately ten minutes" delayed and we had a mere eleven minute layover. But buses were fairly frequent and we had less than half an hour to wait for the next one. Jen (croaky) met us when we got off the bus and walked with us to our hotel - the Best Western Edward hotel. Our room was wonderfully spacious, and the bed was the best I had ever slept on. [not the best sleep I've ever had, but the most comfortable bed by far] (I later asked hotel staff and was told the bed/mattress is of the brand DUX)
Only negative experience was that the part of the floor by the desk, away from the bed, trembled whenever a heavy vehicle passed by outside, or someone walked across the room. Weird. The flatscreen TV was a bit small for the room, but adequate. These were trivial things that did not truly bother us. If I'm ever in Lidköping again and have the budget to get myself a real hotel room, Best Western Edward Hotel is where I'll be sleeping.

The breakfast buffet at Edward Hotel is our favorite so far - not as wide a selection as the Radisson Blu hotels, but all the essentials, and they had this delicious dark bread with aniseed and lemon peel, likely from a local bakery. It was like a bread/cake hybrid. I was so tempted to ask for the recipe, but I assumed it was a trade secret. And I hardly ever bake anyway. But the thought of going through the rest of my life without tasting it again.. is not a nice thought.

Unfortunately we only got to spend two nights at Edward Hotel because they were fully booked Friday night.. as was every other hotel in Lidköping. Apparently there was some sporting event going on. We reserved a room in the nearby town Skara, which is connected by bus, and resigned ourselves to commuting to Lidköping.. but thankfully the Hotel Läckö had a cancellation and we got a suite there for Friday night instead. It was really fancy. Lace everywhere. Big bathtub separate from the shower cabinet. Huge flatscreen TV viewable from the bed, smaller flatscreen TV in the sitting room. Some of the furniture may have been antique, but well maintained. An elegant blend of the old and the new. The breakfast buffet did not impress, though. There was nothing in particular wrong with it, it just didn't entice the way the others did, and out of the things I sampled, nothing was spectacular.

Hanging out with Jenny was awesome. We've known each other online for years and it was good to finally get to meet. We walked around town, ate at restaurants a few times, played video games, watched TV, just relaxed.. we cooked Chicken Parmesan at her place Thursday night and Friday we went up to visit Castle Läckö, which was interesting enough, but the history focused almost solely on men, which was a bit boring. The architecture was fascinating, though.

Tired of hotel-switching in the same town, we decided to continue onwards to Göteborg on Saturday, ahead of plan. There was a direct train from Lidköping, which was convenient.

Today we realized we never left our hotel rooms without Jen's company. We are terrible tourists. Didn't take a lot of photos either. This vacation feels a bit rushed - I'd have liked to have the opportunity to settle in and actually unpack my stuff before having to pack and move on again.