1012 km later I am finally at the end of a long road trip. The road trip was, well an experience, I guess one might call it.
Part one driving to Vienna was fine. And I did find the loading dock for where to load the car, after circling the train station three times. That may not sound so bad, but pretty much everything in down town Vienna is one way. So the three trips around the station took me about 1 hour. Fabulous KFC dinner with lovely Mia brought many laughs and many I so know what you are talking about moments when comparing culture clashes. She is also Swedish living in Austria with an Austrian hubby.
Part two: getting the car onto the train went relatively fine. Apparently I got lucky, as the car cart was not full, and I had booked a regular car space and our car was apparently not regular car sized. It was too high, and could not be put in the place I had reserved, hence it had to go higher up on the wagon. Like I said, luckily there was space and I did not get charged any extra.
Well on the train my plan with the sitting place vs.a bed worked out just fine and I was alone in my compartment till 2 am. I slept just fine.
Part Three: taking the car OFF the train was a bit more difficult. I arrived in Hamburg at 8am, and had to wait for about 10 minutes before I could drive the car off the train. You had to climb up a little ladder on the side of the cart to get to the car. The little train man kept yelling ONLY DRIVERS ON THE CART. I ignored him, till I realized he did not think I could possibly be a driver in my high heels and tight jeans… On his third yelling effort I told him I AM a driver and pointed at my car. He looked at me in disbelief till i climbed in it. I drove off the train and then you had to cross the station where people were walking and they had temporarily closed off so the cars from the train could get to the street.
Half way to the street I stopped to put the antenna back on the car and yelled at the train man ‘What Autobahn (Highway) is it to Puttgarden’? The train man now seemed to confirm in his own had that I really was loco, before he told me to drive towards Luebeck.
Part four: I did find Puttgarden and got on the ferry there. On the 40 min ferry ride I sent a sms to Heidi to ask for directions to her place. See, I did leave Graz without a map, GPS, smart phone or any print out of my travel route. A few text messages later I was on my way to Korsör, and about 2 hours later I had lunch with awesome Heidi! Many memories and many laughs and a few hours later I drove on to Helsingör where I got the ferry to Helsingborg Sweden.
Part five: Helsingborg to Halmstad, all done by myself:) Just a few directions in the city of Halmstad to get to finest Alexandra. A dinner later and a few hours of catch up before I took the chance to spend the night there instead of driving the last hours.
Part Six: 7.30 am I got in the car to drive the last 2.5 hours up to Trollhättan and Vänersborg. The spring weather family and friends have been talking about was nowhere to be seen. Snow and sleet mixed with grey and fog… Well well…
The paper work for getting the car registered in Sweden were not finished in time, so that part will be delegated to my dad.
Tomorrow I am heading back to Austria, but this time I am flying. Then April 2 the kids and I are flying to Sweden, and Mr B will drive our second car…