High Rent Tent District

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With 107 miles on our legs yesterday, not only did we need some down time, but Ben had a ton of work to get done. We hunkered down at the campsite where he worked from morning until well past midnight, trying to get caught up. We weren’t exactly thrilled about this particularly expensive and cramped campsite, but it has one of the first fast wireless connections we’ve seen in Scandinavia, so it would have to do (Ben’s note: The campsite was exactly 3x the cost of our spacious, clean and friendly site in Gudvangen, Norway.  Even our site in Oslo was less expensive.  They say that Oslo is the most expensive city in the world, but for our particular    expenses Stockholm takes the cake).

His workday was interrupted only twice, first, when we discovered that our main credit card had been shut down. We’re already down one card, and this one is our only card that doesn’t carry heavy international fees. When we called Capital One to start sorting out the issue, I was amused to note that the suspicious charges weren’t from the long slew of international purchases we’ve made lately but a handful of regular ones at Walmart.

I was using my Google Voice number over the campground’s wireless internet connection, and my calls kept getting dropped. Also, Capital One kept sending me offshore where I was being read to from a ridiculous script. Every time I got the right person on the phone, the call died, and I had to start over, reading off my credit card number and verifying my social security number. I was infuriated within minutes.

Finally, after an hour, it seemed as though I’d reached a dead end. Even if I managed to stay connected long enough to have someone send me a new card, I wasn’t sure where to have them send it. We’re heading to Tallinn, Estonia in the next day or two, but we don’t know if we can reserve ferry tickets with our last remaining credit card yet (it has yet to be tested internationally).

We tried to book our ferry online, but Tallink’s site seems to have a glitch that we couldn’t bypass. I couldn’t pick a hotel in Tallinn until I was sure we could get to Tallinn, so ultimately I just gave up on the whole mess. We’d have to sort it out tomorrow in town.

Running into another logistical problem totally stressed me out. I had been feeling kind of travel worn and was not in the mood to solve any more problems. Sensing that I wasn’t feeling great, Ben decided we should go to the nearby IKEA for dinner.

An easy four kilometer ride took us to the land of big box stores. We pulled up next to the building with the GPS reading .6 kilometers to go and we laughed that the store is so big, that we had to ride more than half kilometer just to get to the entrance. America knows how to shop big, but it seems that Sweden does it better.

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The store was truly gigantic, putting our Draper IKEA to shame. We arrived with a half hour until closing time, so eating a proper dinner was out of the question. Instead, we wandered around the bottom level of the store, watching frantic shoppers try to wrap up their purchases before closing and checking out an epic selection of Iranian rugs. Before we left, we settled on some snack bar fare, some ice cream and some strange looking pizza slices before calling it a night and heading back to camp (Ben’s note: The ice cream machine was completely awesome.  Upon purchasing a cone, they give you an empty cone and a coin.  You place the cone in a machine, put the coin in the slot, and watch as the cone is raised to the nozzle and then automatically filled). With our adventure concluded, Ben got right back to work until long after I’d fallen asleep.

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2 Responses

  1. Heather says:

    You should look into the Chase Sapphire card. I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t give you international fees . . . I think that could be a good thing for you two.

    • Breeanne says:

      Ha, our Capital One card has no international fees but unfortunately that was the one that got the number stolen. Thankfully, they overnighted us a new card!

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