A Travellerspoint blog

May 2016

UH converge on Devon

Woolacombe

semi-overcast 21 °C
View Woolacombe on kmmk17's travel map.


After many many foreign holidays I was finally taking a trip without going abroad. Having been planned for some time, 18 friends from university all descended on Devon for a Bank Holiday getaway to catch up and relive some of the fun from our university experience five years ago.

The team

The team

Booking the Friday off work I travelled down to the coast with Sian from Bedford and Saman from Letchworth, eventually arriving in Woolacombe by mid-afternoon - the only place en route where the sun was not shining.

Evening fun

Evening fun

The weekend proceeded along mostly in the same way, with lot of drunken banter and catch ups. With Friday being a busier day I took an earlier night, whereas Saturday was definitely the party night with us staying up until the early hours.

Relaxing on the beach in the sun

Relaxing on the beach in the sun

Meanwhile the days consisted of walks down the long hill to the beach to enjoy the sunshine and seaside resort. Lots of sunburn on Saturday and a long but fun game of mini golf on Sunday before the end of the weekend and return home on Monday.

Mini Golf

Mini Golf

This was a different kind of holiday to normal, but nevertheless it was thoroughly enjoyable sitting around more relaxed and enjoying the company of friends who we don't all get to see that often!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged sea beach friends drunk uni Comments (0)

The Eurovision Experience...2.0

Stockholm

semi-overcast 16 °C
View Eurovision 2016 on kmmk17's travel map.


Six weeks after I last visited Sweden, and five weeks after I went to the Eurovision in Concert, I was in Stockholm for the Eurovision itself.

This was going to be one busy holiday, and it started early on the Thursday morning with me driving to Stansted for an 8:30am flight to the capital of Sweden, which despite being my fourth time in the country, was my first outside of Malmö city centre. With the flight landing in the city of Nyköping, it took me the whole morning to actually get to the city centre where after grabbing a bite to eat I met up with my good friend Johan, with whom I had spent two weeks last summer travelling around the Balkans with.

City Hall

City Hall


Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan

Johan provided me with a brief tour of the city, crossing the numerous bridges that make up the archipelago of Stockholm city, through Gamla Stan and towards the Katarina Elevator where there is a wonderful view over the whole city. We then made our way back into the city and met up with our friend Jesper with whom we would all be staying for the weekend.

East side of Stockholm from the Katarina Elevator

East side of Stockholm from the Katarina Elevator

After getting some supplies for the week it was already reaching the evening and so I quickly downed my drinks and then left the guys back at the apartment and made my way towards the Globen Arena for tonight's semi final which I had also bought tickets for and would be attending alone.

Also in the city this evening was my good friend Camilla, with whom I had lived with in Germany four years previously; however due to my rushed schedule, we had arranged to meet outside the arena an hour or so before I planned to go inside.

Drunk reunion

Drunk reunion

Turning up rather tipsily, we had a lovely catch up with two of her friends I had also met in London three years previously (although it took me ten minutes to recognise one of them), before we proceeded to take 400 pictures so that at least one would look half decent.

One of the many pictures

One of the many pictures

After saying goodbye, I proceeded into the arena to witness my second ever contest after attending the show in Düsseldorf five years previously.

Måns opening the second semi

Måns opening the second semi

Being inside the arena, like in 2011, naturally provides a different experience to watching on TV. There is no commentary, you get to see the behind the scenes, including the super fast changing of the stage instead of the postcards, as well as the audience reaction and tension to the results.

Jamala at Semi 2

Jamala at Semi 2

Having spent all morning being surrounded on the plane and airport bus hearing comments such as "I wonder if Belgium will qualify tonight" I had sobered up enough by the results to remember that vividly. However when later asked how I enjoyed the opening I am unable to comment....

The Green Room during Semi 2

The Green Room during Semi 2


Carriage at the Royal Armoury

Carriage at the Royal Armoury

After a very long day of travelling, sightseeing, catch ups and watching the show I was glad to enjoy a more restful second day, and after enjoying a well earned lie in, as well as almost locking ourselves out of the apartment with the handle fell off, Johan and I headed into the city again to visit the Royal Palace Armoury, as well as explore the Eurovillage, where Eurovision had taken over the Kungsträdgården park.

Inside the Eurovillage

Inside the Eurovillage


With the award

With the award

Posing for photos with a mock of the Eurovision Winner's Award we went for lunch before exploring the cave-style metro stations and eventually meeting back up with Jesper who was working today.

Johan and I in the Metro

Johan and I in the Metro

We then went to visit the Mall of Scandinavia in Solna before heading back to the apartment for an evening of drinks and chat, at which we were joined by some of Jepser's friends who joined at the embarassing moment Johan and I were singing along to decade old Eurovision recaps and songs on Youtube.

Singing out them #choons

Singing out them #choons

After another late night of drunken bants the day of the final had finally arrived. Jesper went into the city to meet up with his friend Marcus, who would be joining us for the contest, whilst Johan attended a political conference. Meanwhile I had bought myself tickets for the ABBA Museum, and made my way towards Djurgårgden.

Eurovision Pop Up at the ABBA Museum

Eurovision Pop Up at the ABBA Museum

The ABBA Museum contains many exhibits donated by the members of ABBA themselves, including clothes, awards and instruments; and as this was also the Eurovision week, a special popup exhibition was also in place with memorabilia from the contest as well, making this an even more exciting place to visit.

ABBA Museum

ABBA Museum


Models of ABBA

Models of ABBA

After a few hours at the museum I made my way back to Jesper's apartment, met Marcus, and we got ready for tonight's show.

5 hours to go!

5 hours to go!


Outside the Globen ready to go in!

Outside the Globen ready to go in!

Having a few drinks, the four of us made our way towards the arena and with the excitement finally building we were inside the arena finding our seats at the very back and top of the arena - which still had great views of the stage.

Azerbaijan at the Final

Azerbaijan at the Final

Unfortunately Marcus had lost us, but nevertheless the three of us sat watching the show enjoying the live atmosphere (including the beautiful communal Green Room reaction to Justin Timberlake, showing that national stars can be just like normal people too) as well as struggling to see what was happening with the scores before the nail-biting finish.

Cyprus during the final

Cyprus during the final

After the show, still with no sign of Marcus (having heard he was at Central Station?!), another of Jesper's friends, Adam joined us and brought with him more booze to drink before attending the after party at the Tele2 Arena next door to the Globen.

Inside Tele2

Inside Tele2

Having said hello to Emil from Malta, Johan and I also found Roel from the Netherlands and had a mini-reunion with the both of them whilst enjoying the after party. This ended at 4am where it had already begun to get light, and after waiting for a while to get our metro train, we missed our stop and had to walk back to the apartment. Eventually making it back gone 5am, it was now the same time I had got up just two days previously....

The following morning we awoke at the arrival of Marcus, who had told us that he had knocked into someone at the arena, been made concussed and sent to the hospital, from where he had only just been discharged. Unfortunately missing the entire show, and sadly flying back to Helsinki that evening!

We therefore sat and watched the whole contest on the television before it was time to go home, and I then headed in the early evening back to the central station to catch my bus back to the airport and eventually home. Eventually arriving back in my own bed at gone 12:30am UK time....a very long and busy holiday before a five day week at work!

Nevertheless it was a truly great holiday, filled with fun and jokes, catch ups, a city in beautiful weather, as well as the excellent Eurovision experience.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Sweden Tagged city friends party show drunk arena erasmus eurovision Comments (0)