World Trip HomePost Ten

Post Ten - Sweden's West Coast

Sleeping in the Slammer, VarbergSleeping in the Slammer, Varberg

Yep, we spent a night in the clinker. This former prison in Varberg was built in the 1850s on the grounds of a moated fortress that dated back to the 13th century. The prison housed lifers, and the last inmate left in the 1930s.

Now it's a traveler's hostel. I don't think any of us thought they were serious when they handed us each our own big, iron key and gave us our cell number. Well, we soon discovered the truth. We were sleeping in solitary.

Dad Contemplating His FateDad Contemplating His Fate

Mom and Dad liked the novelty of staying in the jail, but when it came to bedding down, they balked at their solitary confinement. Scott and I woke up the next morning to find out that they had shared the single bed in my Mom's cell (oops, I mean room) because they felt too claustrophobic in their individual cells (oops, I mean rooms). Scott was surprised I hadn't tried the same thing. But I endured the cold comfortably, sleeping in two layers of clothes and wrapping a shirt around my head to lock in the heat.

Solitary ConfinementSolitary Confinement

Can you imagine spending the rest of your life in a room like this?

Evening SkyEvening Sky

Outside the prison walls, the late afternoon light kicked up the blue of the sky a few notches, and small puffs of clouds slipped by over our heads like smoke.

Scott at SunsetScott at Sunset

That night before bed, we watched the sailboats head back into the harbor as the sun dipped lower in the sky. We sat there as long as we could, and when it got too chilly, we retired to our cells for the night.

Camping Cabin in StromstadCamping Cabin in Stromstad

We camped in cabins like these across the Nordic countries. Lots of campgrounds had little huts like these that make for low-cost, comfortable accommodation. This little cabin had two sets of pine bunkbeds, a small table, and a refrigerator-all we needed for a tasty dinner of salad, meat, cheese, bread, fruit, and wine purchased at the grocery store in town. It was cozy and fun.

Even the walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night was a treat: I stepped outside into the moonlight, admired the stars, and made my way down the path to the building under the cool glow of the night sky.

Mom and DadMom and Dad

Mom and Dad liked the camping cabin, too.

Boats in Oslo's HarborBoats in Oslo's Harbor

These colorful boats were tied just outside the Kon-tiki museum, where we saw the reed boat that Thor Heyerdahl sailed across the Pacific to Easter Island.

Next Up: Norwegian Fjords

Copyright 2001
Scott & Karen Semyan