The train ride from Lidköping to Göteborg went well enough. It was on arrival in Göteborg things started going pear-shaped. We foolishly decided to walk to the hotel, dragging our heavy luggage, and this was not one of those really close to the central station hotels. It would have been a nice walk if we were unencumbered, and oh, if those several blocks of Göteborg hadn't been giant construction sites. By the time we got to the hotel I was exhausted. Plus there was some error somewhere where we were charged 900 SEK more for the room than what it was supposed to cost, but aetherspoon's awesome travel agent Crystal contacted the hotel on our behalf and it was cleared up and the excess was refunded to us.
The room at Göteborg's Hotel Riverton was... interesting. The bathroom area was separated from the rest of the room with GLASS WALLS.
Also our room was on the 11th floor, which I found out is a bad thing for me as I had a depressive episode while there, and I do hear the Call of the Void sometimes, and being unable to stop thinking about jumping was not at all helpful. We decided to make sure we didn't get any rooms higher up than the third or maybe fourth floor in future hotels. The kind of height where there wouldn't be any feeling of being buffeted by the air, just a short painful fall that I'd probably survive, but would just give me a serious injury that would stay with me for the rest of my life and who'd want something like that?
But the really stupid thing about the glass-walled bathroom is that the door to enter it is also glass. We both walked into it once each. And unlike the main voyeur window, there is no curtain to block it off. WTF, hotel? At least make it tinted glass so we can see it's there.
The bed was okay, but they only gave us one huge duvet to share, and I am a blanket thief in my sleep. All the other hotels so far have had two separate duvets. There were electrical outlets on both sides of the bed - a common complaint we've had about some of the hotels we've been to so far. So at least they got that right. There was a lot of sheepskin in the room, though.. genuine lamb hides. Sure to offend vegan visitors. I really wish hotel bookings would let you pick and choose which features you want - we'd have been happier without all the fancy coffee makers, and at some hotels we had to request electric kettles so I could brew tea.
But the most memorable thing about Hotel Riverton was the haunted TV. It was a nice, fairly big flatscreen TV, so we tried hooking my laptop up to it with the HDMI-cable we bought in Stockholm, and that worked, only I was a bit puzzled about why the OSD message of "volume 30" never went away and it was annoying me. Then we found out that the TV's volume would randomly go up all by itself and 30 was the max. We'd decrease the volume only to see it climb back up again (and not even at a consistent pace), hit mute, and it soon unmutes as the TV receives the signal to increase volume.
The issue was resolved, but it took some time. Probably would have had an extra hour of gaming if not for this quirk, but it was kind of funny, so we're not upset about it or anything. When we got back from dinner and it was fixed, we noticed we had a different remote control than before, so that was probably the culprit.
We did not sleep well that night. Room got too warm, had to crack the windows open, as we've had to do just about everywhere. Most hotels here don't seem to even have air conditioning, or it's turned off entirely because it's not summer. There was a table fan provided with the room, and getting some air circulation helped a bit. Still woke up really tired. Packing was a chore, and the only reason I managed to do it and move on was because the thought of staying appealed even less. Stupid high-rise glass-bathroomed hotel room. Not going back there again. Hotel staff were nice; it's not that.. I just had the feeling that I did not belong there. It was too fancy and catered to a clientele that I'm not included in.
also the breakfast buffet was crowded and loud and I had a breakdown there. I decided to just push through because not a single person there other than aetherspoon knew who I was. I was going to have my complementary hotel breakfast, dammit.
We wisely took a taxi from the hotel to the central train station, and it ended up being a lot cheaper than we had feared. If only we'd done that on the way to the hotel, our downward slope might have been a great deal less steep...
The train from Göteborg to Kalmar was a huge disappointment. So different from our first experience with SJ, we had expected our "First Class" tickets to entitle us to a little more comfort. We had electrical outlets and slightly wider seats, possibly more legroom too. That was it. There was no wi-fi on board, there was no food service, no kiosk, no free tea like on the previous SJ train we were on (Stockholm to Skövde). If only I had realized this earlier, I would have rationed my tea.
We had a hilarious episode before the train even took off. The ticketing system had once again placed us across the aisle from each other, me at a single seat and aetherspoon on the aisle seat of a double. We figured we'd ask to swap seats, and when a woman motioned to go to the window seat next to spoon's seat, I asked her if she wanted to swap with me so we could sit together. So we did. Then later another passenger came and said I was in her seat. (cue panic) I had enough spoons to calmly explain that I had thought it was that other woman's seat and I had swapped with her. Then two other passengers spoke up and said they weren't in their assigned seats either. Apparently this is a thing on Swedish trains. We all had a laugh and I kept my new seat.
So we finally arrived in Kalmar, tired and in dire need of tea. Thankfully there was a Pressbyrån just outside the station, where I could buy a cup of tea, a pastry and two cookies. My sister was running a bit late in picking us up, but not very. I barely had time to finish my tea before we were meeting up with my sister and her husband, and embarking on a 40+ minutes car ride out to their place.
Next entry: OMG Kittens!!!