Utgang!

Utgang means “exit” in Swedish.

Which is precisely what I plan to do in a matter of hours. I am leaving Stockholm and flying to Stuttgart, Germany on another budget airline. I am a little more prepared for the seating queue this time, I brought elbow pads and a pointy stick.

Sweden has been wonderful, warm and mostly sunny, and easy to navigate. I hate to tell it goodbye, but of course, I have been saying that about every country so far. Last night, there was a special on television about 2 guys hitchiking around Ireland. It wasnt in English, but just seeing the same sights and sounds from Ireland brought tears to my eyes. I feel compelled to go back there one day soon. Maybe next month? 🙂

For the last few days, I have just been wandering around Stockholm. Elin had a friend of a friend of a friend that knew where a secretive freemason office was, so we wandered around a very old hotel until we found the door across the street. There was a small plaque telling about how long they had been there (a very long time) and lots of symbols on the door including the famous compass and a Thor’s hammer, which could be controversial. We knocked on the door, and stood to one side (in case they shoot through the door), but no one answered. I am sure we did not know the proper secret knock. I was a little relieved, if someone had answered I had no idea what we were going to say. Im sure since the DaVinci code, maybe they are used to people poking around their clubhouse.

I have learned the secrets to the Stockholm subway system. In the smaller stations, if an attendant is not present, then you can go through the turnstyles for free. When I came into the station this morning (my weekly card is expired), the guy was just arriving as well. We made eye contact and he hastily reached for the counter, where Im sure the magic button was. I hurried my steps and practically dove through the turnstyle as the green light above it turned off. I gave him a grin as I went down the escalator – sure, I had only saved 3 dollars, but every bit counts on this trip!

Speaking of money…being around these countries where coins are important has made me twitchy. Every time I hear a metallic object hit the floor, I find myself resisting the urge to dive on the floor with it and sniff around in case it was a coin. In America, if you loose a coin from your pocket, the most you can be out is .25 cents. Here, it could be up to a 3 dollar loss from a single coin!

I felt a tingle in my spine as I hoisted on my rucksack and headed out the door this morning. No longer aided by the wisdom of locals, I feel a little twist in my stomach every time I set out with my pack on my back and unsure of where I am going. It is an addictive feeling, one that you never get used to, and I never want it to go away. I am not sure what to expect in Germany and am not even sure where I will be staying from one night to the next, but I love it.

The sunshine on my face, the smell of morning, a plane ticket in hand, and the expectations for a new adventure are the best way I can think of to start any day.

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