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Going Besök

We have arrived safely in Sweden

SWITZERLAND | Thursday, 10 April 2008 | Views [692] | Comments [6]

Well here we finally are.  After about 19 hours of relatively comfortable flying spread over 2 days I'm sitting in the upstairs bedroom of a gingerbread house in a village in a dell in fairytale country.  It's snowing outside and all the countryside around is covered in icing sugar (to continue the corny but incredibly apt metaphor).

Highlight of the flights was seeing most of Siberia from above through cloudless skies.  It's still covered in snow and I was treated to a glorious monochrome negative of white with black rivers and roads and cracks in the Arctic icesheet (due to spring thaw, not global warming).  The country seems pretty flat with rivers that wind so tightly they're surrounded by oxbow lakes from so many course changes.  The effect is like viewing the river over the past few million years of course changes in a Matrix-like strobe overlay.  I was surprised at how much infrastructure there is in deepest Siberia.  Lots of roads and thin straight lines running to the horizon that I can only assume were fences or power pole lines or something (lord knows what they are fencing in or out, but I guess if we can do it in our own empty continent then so can they).  Plus I got to see 5 free movies and consume a few free beers.  The flight to Tokyo was so empty we had empty rows in front, behind and beside, allowing people to spread out over the 4 seats in the centre aisle, perfect for watching The Golden Compass - pity the movie itself was pretty stoopid.

Gotta go, Emma's got to call some businesses in Australia that don't know how to do their jobs properly and insist on screwing her around.  I'm not sure how libel laws work in this site, so let's just call them Boptus Mobile, Buncorp Bank and BMF Health Insurance.  Emma's mobile might be out of action for a bit so call me on 0404 445 850 if you need her.  We're off to walk through the snow covered scenery after that.

Vi hors senare.

UPDATE:  After some Skype phonecalls to Australia, most of the troubles have been resolved.  Emma's mobile is working again and Boptus and BMF have redeemed themselves, leaving Buncorp with the most useless corporation award for not once but twice sending Emma a credit card valid from March 2008 to April 2008 when what she had spent 20 minutes on the phone each time asking for was a new card that didn't expire while we're on the other side of the world.  Buncorp sucks, but Skype rules - free calls to computers and about A$0.03/min to normal phones on the other side of the planet.

The walk through the forest this morning was absolutely lovely with snow covered pine trees (with a real living natural ecosystem under them, not the monoculture pine plantations we see them in in Australia). It was great to get some exercise after a couple of days sitting around drinking beer and watching movies (and streaking through the sky at 800kph).

Oh, and a quick THANK YOU to Anders and Agnete, Emma's uncle and aunt that are hosting us in Sweden.  We got in late last night (well it was 7pm, but it was 3am in our brain stems), after Anders drove 2hrs each way to pick us up from the airport, to be welcomed with hot pea soup and Finnish pancakes, as well as a lovely and extremely practical pair of gloves each.  Tack så mycket för att ni har oppnat ert hus till oss.




Hej guys! Sounds great, looks great we're just jealous. Just to let you know we've got webcam now and I've got Skype set up, so you should be getting a contact request from me (my username is matias.jakku) Look forward to seeing more photos and to hear from you sometime! Mum'll be away until the 22nd at her workshop so maybe we'll talk tommorrow or after then.

Lots of love Matias & Mum

  Matias & Mum Apr 12, 2008 4:50 PM


Hey guys!
Sounds like you're having a marvellous time (with the exception of the stupid aussie companies screwing you around - I know that feeling!)

I tried to leave a comment on one of your photos but it doesn't seem to want to let me. I have a gmail account & was signed in at the time etc but it didn't want to work for me :(

Anyway, some lovely shots, and some lovely reflections so far. Looking forward to plenty more! Dan & I got back from our trip this morning...will post some photos/videos on Facebook soon - but I don't think you're on there, so might email you a few if you like. We had a fantastic time. Rendezvous was amazing :D

Anyway, take care and continue having fun!

Lotsa love,


  Claire Apr 12, 2008 9:47 PM


So good to hear things are sorting themselves out. Sounds just beautiful. Very inspiring to save $$ and get our own arses over.
Take care.
Lots of Love
Karina & Will

  Karina Cullen Apr 14, 2008 7:47 AM


Emma and Michael, This is a great way to catch up with your adventures (looks amazing). The adventure is real now after all your preparations (!!). Emma, it is a bit weird here with your office all cleaned up and in darkness. Chrissie is filling in quite adequately as a coffee buddy. Have a wonderful time. Look forward to the next update on your adventure.

  Di (CSIRO) Apr 14, 2008 12:19 PM


Hi Emma and Mike
I'm enjoying hearing about your travels. We hope you continue to have a great trip. We're just back from 3 weeks in NZ - introducing Sean and Rowan to my friends and family. It was a lovely time away...I'll send you photos in due course.
love Fay xx

  Fay Loveland Apr 15, 2008 2:58 PM


Hey matey

Well what a difference a week can make! Such a different place to sunny Queensland. You gotta love international travel. Enjoy the cold and the snow. Your lovely pics give us a great insight into what you are seeing.

Mt Isa is hot and dusty with lots of land around me at last. Settling in slowly. Gordon will be here in a couple of weeks.

Finally got internet on at home (Telstra...agggh!), so should be able to stay in contact with you both.


  Elaine Apr 16, 2008 8:01 PM

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