Mom and I attended our first European TBEX (travel blogger convention) in Spain last year and immediately afterwards bought our tickets for this year’s in Stockholm, Sweden. A year passed in a snap and before we knew it, TBEX was two weeks away. Then a week!!! And we hadn’t planned a single thing.
As many of you, if not all of you, can relate, life gets madly out of control and overwhelming sometimes. Well, recently my life has been one giant hurricane. Thus, my hesitation to depart on our 10-Country, 10-Capital City Road Trip. Mind you, it was high season, and obviously people were coming to attend TBEX from all over the world too. We hadn’t booked even one night in a hotel, had nothing prepared and only a very rough itinerary. We hummed and hawed for days, “We’re going” “We can’t” “Let’s just do it!” “We’ll never make it” “We’re not going” .
For our intended 10-country route we needed to apply for a visa to Belarus but we’d run out of time! We’d practically already called off the trip but on Tuesday, the DAY we were meant to be driving to Stockholm, we said, “Screw it! Let’s just do it!” We threw our suitcases in the car that night, booked some cheap hotels on booking.com and held our breath. The next morning when I stepped outside at 6 a.m. I was stunned by the vibrant, full double rainbow painted over our car as if it were made just for us. I am totally into signs and I couldn’t imagine a clearer good luck omen. It felt like we were meant to go on this trip and it was going to be a safe and wonderful journey.
The road trip excitement hit us as soon as we were driving. The early morning lighting was so soft, almost glowing through the gentle rain. We loved the views as we headed north in the flatlands of The Netherlands, through Germany to Denmark. Only in Germany can you smile as you pass a cop at 160km/hr! Those no-speed-limit roads are great.
We stopped in Copenhagen for our second time. This time determined to see the famous little mermaid on the rock. A few years back when we were there with Bree and Donavin on our drive north to Oslo, Norway, she was on “holiday” in China. Literally!
When we saw the large crowd of camera-laden tourists formed around the tiny bronze mermaid posing on a rock, Mom and I both looked at each other embarrassed that we’d been sucked into such an overly-hyped tourist trap. “You going to go down there?” Mom asked. Of course, I’d come this far, as stupid as it made me feel, I needed to go fight the crowd for my shot of the iconic statue.
To get to Stockholm we needed to take two large car ferries which are essentially an extension of the highway. The first was a 45 minute ride for nearly €100 to get to Denmark. The second was just 20 minutes to Sweden. It was nice to get some wind in our hair and enjoy the seagulls flying up and soaring alongside us. Watching the coastline grow as we approached Sweden for the second time was a thrill.
Despite being a 16.5hour drive from Alkmaar, The Netherlands to Stockholm, Sweden, it went by surprisingly fast. We kept saying “Wait, no. What?! It’s already been five hours?!” “Yeah.” “There’s no way.”
“We’re getting good at this!” “No wonder my butt hurts.” And we only stopped a couple times for gas. One of those stops was the most beautiful view at a gas station I have ever seen.
It was crazy to think that exactly a month earlier we were on my Five-Country, One-Day Birthday Blitz Road Trip.
Categories: Savannah Grace