It was the loveliest time with my childhood best friend. A nod off to our childhood before we both got married and entered the reality of adulthood.
It all started from our conversations at her kitchen table in Gallivare, Sweden. We gathered our pennies and flew the cheapest airline we could find: ryanair. We took buses and taxis, and eventually found ourselves in our own little motel room, with a frigid pool outside to lazily hang out around.
In April, the local Spaniards were still wearing jeans and fleece zip-ups, but coming from Northern Sweden we were feeling like it was summer in the 70-80 degree weather!
Each morning we would lace up our tennies and run alongside the crashing waves.
We shopped the local grocery mart for fresh fruit and breakfast makings. I will never forget the chaos of the grocer. Of course it had more to do with me not understanding the language and being used to American supermarkets; and less to do with the scrambling locals all speaking their local language, hola! Hola! Scurrying around buying items with strange names on grocery line belts 1/5 the size of Walmart’s, that rattled the groceries through the line, and rushing the busy people out through the front doors.
We would browse the shops and local markets picking up little treasures to bring home with us, and admire city: the narrow cobblestone streets, the ancient stone stairs leading and spiraling up the hillsides, the ages-old buildings, still standing with there immaculate design and architecture.
We must have stuck out like sore thumbs, two blonde girls, skin pale as the snow of northern Sweden. I’ve never felt abnormally tall at 5’ 8” until I went to Spain.
As we made our way down the street one afternoon a local was riding his moped and noticed the out-of-place twosome and kept looking. We tried to stare straight ahead but after he passed it was a little hard not to notice him behind us as he had crashed into the curb and was scurrying to get back atop his moped.
As soon as he was out of sight we laughed and laughed so hard our stomachs hurt!
The beauty, the history, the salty ocean air. The sun pouring onto our snow-white skin, making us first golden brown, and soon completely charred.
We shared moments neither of us will ever forget, dining in the local eateries and eating frozen yogurt in the setting evening sun. Cooking meals from gathered ingredients from the small local grocer, and eating as the evening sun set over the expanding ocean. Being surrounded by wonderful people all speaking in a different tongue, yet feeling like we were all alone, far from home.
Hola! The greeting we became accustomed to, hola!
And as quickly as we came, it was time to leave.
On with our roundabout: taxi, bus, Ryanair, bus, Downtown Stockholm 7-11 store for a few hours (the only place open in the middle of the night waiting for the train station to open!) train, SAS airlines and finally. Back to the crisp frigid air of Gallivare, Sweden.
The longest, most complex, money-saving route two teenagers could possibly come up with.
Completely wore out.
And packed with memories of a wonderful week with one of the loveliest most amazing persons in the entire world.