Sweden has always been at the top of my “Places to Visit Before I Die” list. My family on my dad’s side is very Swedish. My grandmother always fed me Swedish food and taught me Swedish values growing up. Turns out, my grandmother has a cousin living there! At 20 years old, there is still a whole section of family that I’ve never met and didn’t even know existed until my grandmother mentioned it this summer.
After emailing with my grandmother’s cousin, Ulla, we decided that December was the best time for all of us to get together. For a round trip flight from Amsterdam to Stockholm it cost about $173. This is much more expensive than the flights I booked for Switzerland and London, but it was worth it simply for the purpose of the trip. Family is so important to me. I can’t even express the feelings of excitement that came over me when I found out I have even more family to add to my current tree. Especially since that unknown family is from a place I’ve always wanted to visit and feel more culturally connected to.
I’ve always wanted to go to England, and it’s finally happening! I’ll be flying out with my friend Kazzy (who happens to be from England). We will be spending some time in London doing whatever sounds appealing. I’ll be staying there for a week, most likely hopping around from place to place. My friend (and former roommate), Lora is studying abroad in London as well, so it will be very nice to visit and see a familiar face.
This time I used EasyJet instead of RyanAir to book the flights. It cost about $61 to fly to London and about $52 to fly back. For this price I was happy to use EasyJet, as they fly out of the airport in Amsterdam rather than Eindhoven, which is an hour train ride away. With RyanAir, though it is very cheap, does not fly out of Amsterdam. I’ll be flying out of Eindhoven when I go to Switzerland, but I have a feeling it will be a complete hassle.
Photo taken by Ellie at the Cape, summer 2010
As many of you know, I have a cousin (Ellie) who is going to school at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland. Ever since we knew we’d be in Europe at the same time, we have been planning to exchange visits. Since I have 4 day weekends every week, this was very easy to do.
I plan on going to visit Ellie twice while I’m in Europe. Once in October and once in November.
Photo of Switzerland taken by Ellie
Each flight (round trip) cost around €45 or about $63. I’ll have to take a train to and from each airport, but I don’t mind spending money on that since the flights were so darn cheap. I used RyanAir to find these flights, as this is the cheapest way to travel via plane in Europe. I did mess up the first flight (the one for October) and accidentally clicked the earlier flights that day instead of the latter ones, so figuring out trains that early might be a task. Somehow I’ll manage. I tried to change the times for that flight as soon as I realized it, but it wanted to charge me an extra €70 just for switching. I decided I’d just stick with what I have and figure it out from there.
These are photos from the plane ride. In one of them, you can see that there’s a sort of boat festival going on in one of the canals. It’s called the SAIL-IN Parade and goes on until Sunday. I guess it’s a huge thing that happens in Amsterdam. It’s said to be a “breathtaking fleet including 40 tall ships has now set sail from IJmuiden…” http://fb.me/D3qcQsI2
The plane ride itself was quite smooth. No problems at all, other than the 6 hour time change and the fact that I wasn’t able to sleep much at all on a red eye flight. I’m quite exhausted at this point. It’s dinner time right now, but in my head it’s lunch time. But it’s also just about bed time… I don’t think I can make it much longer.