It’s Stockholm Grona Lund time again. Having been there for the last 2 years, it seems like it might become a regular yearly Alice outing. Was a bit different this time, because Steve couldn’t make it, so I managed to convince hubby John that our next long weekend away should be in Stockholm, and he was like, ‘yeah, why not’.
We decided on a four day tour, Stockholm is such a lovely city, with lots to see, and a great atmosphere. We set off on Tues am, with our minimal luggage, I like to think we are getting better at not packing much, but I still have a way to go. But I will need to get better, as we are planning our gap year, hah, so it’s gotta be minimal. Planning to get tips of daughter Amy, when she gets back from her 9 months of touring 😊
I booked a bus from the airport to the Central Station, and the hotel was a short walk from there. I was a bit worried about the short walk, I have been struggling with short walks lately, well, any bloody walks at all tbh, and having no energy at all, tis a bit of a problem, BUT it wasn’t too bad, really……….. Note to self, need to get some proper walking shoes….
Lovely hotel, plenty of free tea in the lobby, well some kind of raspberry stuff, lol, but they can always find you some English Breakfast if you ask. Usually, I bring t bags. In fact, I ALWAYS bring t bags, but I forgot this time, oops.
Our room on 4th floor is via beautiful old fashioned wrought iron lift. But the room!!! It’s actually a cupboard. Just enough space for a double bed, small table on one side, wall on the other, bit of a gap at the end of the bed, your suitcase has to go under it, and teeny (but adequate) ensuite by the side. No WINDOW. Thought this would be ok when booking but is horrible! You have no idea when morning arrives!! Honestly, I think if I had a room like this at home, I would just sleep all the time………☹
Wed am. Well, at least breakfast is great, ridiculous amounts of food……. Bacon, beans, eggs, sausages (frankfurters anyway), pancakes, about 6 different kinds of bread for toast, butter, cheese spread, marge etc, lots of different teas, cereals, yoghurt, fruit, dried and fresh, cookies, gluten free stuff, lactose free milk/yogs etc, ham, cheeses, salad vegs, so much food!! Lots of stuff to make lunch with!! And you need to, believe me, everything is ridiculously expensive otherwise, especially for us UK types. What I really liked was the bowl of fresh tomatoes. I have a thing about cherry toms, especially the ‘chocolate tomato’ variety, you know, the dark one that’s always in the variety pack, but there’s always only one of them………so I could cherry pick (pun intended) all my faves from the bowl!!
We spent the morning exploring the old town, Gamla Stan, which is a fabulous complex of shops, cafes and small streets ………..great fun, but my feet were killing me after a few hours of that. I carried on anyway – I am such a trouper, (sarcasm) ……and we ended up in a nice looking restaurant opposite the hotel. But after 40 mins wait, we got cheesed off with the lack of interest, so we left and went somewhere else. The London restaurant, I believe it was called, which was very nice and the staff were much more attentive.
Thursday. The BIG Alice day!!! I made myself a nice lunch from the breakfast buffet, and set off for the venue early. I got there at 10.30 - having been before, I know you have to wait at the steps until they open up the second part of the theme park, usually at 11.00.
But there were shedloads of people there!! And I only just made it to the barrier………!
Luckily there was still room for friends Sara and Tamara who came along a bit later, and I made lots of new friends - Paul from NZ and Sofie G. I actually managed to get a bit of a suntan, 😊. Gotta say, I quite enjoyed the 10+ hour wait – it helped that I stole some cushions from the hotel to sit on! At about 4.30, I had to borrow Pauls umbrella for shade, cos it was just sooo flipping hot. I should know better by now, I MUST remember to bring an umbrella next time…………………….
I took one of my scrapbooks along, hoping to get some band sigs in it, so I showed it to a lot of peeps, who all seemed to appreciate it, thank you one and all.
At about 5 pm, the masses arrived, so we had to stand up from then on. John came back at this point and took away all my excess luggage, luckily for me he had already gone along to the Hard Rock Café, and purchased a vinyl album and a CD, complete with 2 raffle tix for M&G , bless him! I was so worried they were gonna sell out, and I wanted to win that Meet and Greet, SO much…..
He retired a bit further back at this point to watch the show, and take some pics. And how good was the show!!!! Abso LOVED it, so good to see Alice again after a year off…….( it was SUCH a crappy year………)
I was sorry not to hear ‘Escape’, because Tommy and I talked about getting it into the set a couple years ago, but we did get to hear the new single Paranoiac Personality, plus Man behind The Mask, (but no backpack Bujie, ☹), The World Needs Guts, Pain, and all the usual stuff, and it was bloody AWESOME, it’s been a long, long year and it was a real pleasure to be back in the zone again! Tommy kept throwing me pics and I kept missing them! But I got one in the end, and also one from Nita, who kept pointing at me, bless her.
I couldn’t believe how quick the time passed, seemed like half an hour, and then it was all over…. Great ,great show. SO MUCH FUN!!!
I love Alice shows, always makes me feel alive!!I only wish I could go on to Finland for the next one. But honestly, this is always such a great one to do, and there is nearly always an aftershow do at the Hard Rock, on account of Ryan living in Stockholm.
Tamara had ordered a taxi and she let me share it (thanks SO much, Tamara xx) so we actually managed to get to the Hard Rock Cafe in time for the prize draw – a M&G with Alice. - pah . no 49 was the winner. And I had 19 and 20…..not a lot of use,………..but hey ho, such is life.
There is a VIP area in the back of the restaurant which you can’t get into without a pass, but you can loiter near it, so that’s what I did. Conveniently, the wall here was decorated with ‘Paranormal’ posters, so I unobtrusively prised one off the wall……..
Lucky for me, Tommy saw me and came out to chat. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him, so we had a quick catch up and a couple of hugs - it was so great to see him it’s been ages! He was very happy to hear that I am now in remission 😊 , yeah me too! He said that Alice was definitely coming along that evening, in fact he was probably already here. Panic! Need to get to the stage!! But I could see the tiny floor space in front of it was already heaving, so I decided to make my way across to the other side of the bar, in hopes of seeing better. But before I could move, I bumped into Chuck and he asked how I was doing too, bless him for remembering. I began to wend my way thru the crowd, spotting Ryan’s wife Bianca on my way - and a minute later Ryan came through, spotted me, and asked how I was too! And then, if I’d seen his wife 😊, so I pointed him in the right direction and carried on with my mission to find a place to see the stage from.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t anywhere. Except mebbe the top of the bar, but I’m afraid my ‘leaping up and fending off the objectors ‘ days are over (which is sad…but it’s only because I can’t move very well any more, I would SO have done it 20 years ago, the attitude is still there!), so I abandoned all hope, and convinced myself that I was just happy to be in the same building.
So Alice came on to do a Q and A, but, not only couldn’t I see what was going on, I couldn’t hear a bloody thing either lol, …….ah well………………………….by the time he’d finished and all the lightweights had gone, I at least I got to have a chat with Kyler, and also Glen and Nita , who were both able to sign my scrapbook.
I kinda folded at this point, being completely knackered and also starving hungry, so I went outside and got some fast food at a local 7 Eleven, a lovely hot dog, (yuck, but hey, needs must etc) - But where have all the UK 7-11’s gone? We used to them all over the UK, but I haven’t seen one for ages…… I guess it’s probably because all the food they sell is crap…..and we still have Macdonalds for that. Guess they couldn’t compete….Gah, they’re all rubbish, hah!
My sense of direction is totally pants, so I had no idea whereabouts I was in relation to my hotel, so I collapsed into a taxi……..which then drove me round the corner and charged me about £10 to do it, ffs
I was so happy to get back to our little cupboard, John was there already, so we collapsed in a heap as soon possible and didn’t surface for a very long time. …………..It may have been daylight, but who knows?? So weird not knowing if it’s light or not when you wake up….
We decided to go to the Vasa Museum the following day – good idea really as it was chucking it down with rain.
And WOWEE, it’s amazing, a reconstructed 15th century war ship – badly built, as it sank about half a mile into its maiden voyage……..luckily, It was covered completely by the mud, and so was preserved for centuries, until some mad Swedish bloke on a mission discovered where it was, and managed to get it hauled up. Even though it was still intact, it had to be taken apart and reconstructed, which took , well, bloody ages, and shedloads of money, but it does look awesomely spectacklier.
We went on to the Viking museum, hoping for refs to our fave Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok, and he was mentioned a couple of times, along with his brother, Rollo, who became the first duke of Normandy. There was a mannequin made up to look like a ‘typical Viking’, but it wasn’t really anything like the Ragnor TV image ……..not surprising really, as Travis Fimmell was a Calvin Klein model before he descended into balding tattooed grimyness.
We ended up in a nice restaurant by the water, eating a ridiculously price -inflated pizza, and feeding the ducks all the crispy burnt bits. I hope they appreciated it.
Saturday morning. John wasn’t feeling to good , so we went on a river trip that involved sitting down most of the day. It went round most of the 14 islands of Stockholm, lovely houses, scenery, etc, and we had a nice rest and got a bit of a tan, and then we had to get ourselves to the airport for the flight home. What a ridiculous place. I bought a sandwich and a glass of wine, and it was £35 quid! And then, we weren’t sure where to go, so we went downstairs looking for the bus, and couldn’t get back up to the departure gate! Locked doors, the lift kept going past the right floor, ffs, at one point we could see the lounge through the glass, and in the end we had to bang on it, to get somebody to let us in again. Even then they made us traipse a mile around the airport so they could let us in the ‘right place’. FFS
But all the while, John was feeling worse and worse, and then in the end, it turned out he had tonsillitis, something he used to get all the time, but hasn’t had for years,. But by the time we got to Gatwick, he was feeling really shite.
AND, about 10 mins after we’d got off the plane, I realised that I’d left my Paranormal poster on the floor by my seat. But they wouldn’t let us back to get it, as we had passed thru customs…☹ Pooo….I never got it back, in spite of numerous emails to the airline…..
Poor John, he managed to drive home, and we collapsed in our lovely bed at some ungodly hour. He spent the next week in it, swallowing bucketfuls of antibiotics, while I bombarded Norwegian Airlines lost property for my poster……..to no avail. It never turned up, I guess some rotten plane cleaner thought it was rubbish and threw it away……….. Will have to go to London, and swipe one from a random tube station…………