Wednesday afternoon, Jo and I were going mobile. Yes, my dear readers, we were handed the keys to a Mitsubishi Colt rental car. Well, I was handed the keys, since Jo is like most Americans born after 1985 (possibly 1980) and unable to drive a stick. Our destination: Lund. The trip started out a bit rough when the GPS that we borrowed from Sofie couldn’t find GPS signal. I drove us to Sunnebohallen (it was the only place I could think of that is away from trees and tall buildings) trying to search for the signal. I called Daniel (our coach) for help…his suggestion was to turn it off and back on. Why didn’t we think of this?? It worked, of course, and we were on our way!
|Inside of our car -- fully loaded!!!|
The first highway varied from 1 lane each direction to 2, reaching 110KPH (68MPH). The GPS had all measurements and speeds in American miles and MPH, so I pushed the petal to the metal, going a solid 71. I can’t be too risky; I know none of you would bail me out of a Swedish jail. After about an hour, we turned onto another highway, this one reaching up to 120KPH (75MPH), and spreading across 3 lanes at one point. Another 45 minutes later and we were finally exiting into Lund. I’m not sure how many of you have ever experienced driving in a real-European roundabout, but they are NOTHING like those roundabouts we have in the states. These have multiple lanes that are seriously utilized. It’s an extremely intense experience. Not to mention that the GPS-lady is telling me “enter roundabout...take the 4th exit…exit right” as I pass the 3rd exit; “recalculating”. Good thing there’s another roundabout ahead. Despite both Jo and I intently following the map and the lady’s instructions, I somehow managed to pass Norra Ringen yet again. Perhaps third time would be the charm? This time, there was no roundabout to trip me up and we were back on track. A few minutes later we were pulling into the local ICA parking lot (their Maxi) to wait for Jo’s friend to come get us.
|THIS IS SPARTA!! aka, Steve's dorm in Lund|
Steve, Jo’s friend, took us into his dorm named “Sparta”. We dropped off our things, and headed into the city center for some brief sightseeing before it got too dark. Lund is a LOT bigger than Ljungby. Their “small” centrum is possibly 3 times larger than our centrum; they also have a large centrum, which is too depressing to compare. We grabbed some food at Dallas Burger and then headed back to Sparta. A few rounds of cards and a 1.5 liter bottle of Hungarian wine later, we headed over to meet some of Steve’s other American friends, who also attended University of Illinois. Jo was in heaven being around all these people able to talk about Champaign. Not gonna lie, it definitely made me miss my Tampa friends.
|Svenska Church in Lund|
We hung out for a few more hours before we all decided it was time to go out! Jo, Steve, and I needed to go back to his dorm to get our wallets and jackets before heading out and somehow managed to get separated. Jo and I were wandering around Sparta shouting “Steve!!” over and over, having no idea where or how we lost him. During this search, Jo and I were separated from each other. This was progressively getting worse and worse. I found some student who pitied “the poor lost American” and took me to her dorm room to try to call them or check facebook. I remembered that he lived in Corridor-C, so that was our first stop. Unfortunately the door was locked and we were unable to get inside, but we did find Jo with two random guys named Petter and Peter. After calling everyone on his floor, someone decided to let us in, and we were upstairs; our Swedish friends left us, and we were alone, now trapped in the stairwell just outside of his hallway. Once again, we called everyone on his floor, and banged on the door until we were let in. He was nowhere to be found, so we went to the common room to sleep on the couch. Finally, Steve came back, got us, and took us into his room where Jo and I passed out in his full-sized bed.
Our time in Lund quickly came to an end, as we had to return to Ljungby the next day for workouts and practice. It was a great time with some new friends. Hopefully next road trip, we’ll be able to navigate ourselves a little bit easier.