26 June 2016

Weirdest places ever slept....the end?

Writing up the odd places I've slept one of the themes I didn't realize was there was being cheap (okay, maybe I knew that one was there) and the other is not enough planning. So we like to play it by ear or the planner of the pair didn't have time or whatever? No big deal, sometimes. This story, however, was planned but still surprised us.

We were on our way to a cruise for a significant anniversary...but that's another story. The thing is it left out out of Stockholm, Sweden where we had never been. We decided to go in a couple nights early so there would be no worries about missing the boat, literally, and we could take in the sites of a city we'd never visited. 

Turns out when you go north in Europe the prices increase as you go. At least from our southern European living perspective. The hotels were crazy expensive. So we turned to a b and b site. My impression from the brief description was that it was in the center of the city (bonus) and was a spa (bonus). And the price came down from never mind money to 'well, I guess it's only a couple nights' kind of money.

We booked it. Flew in. Did I mention the 10 day cruise? So imagine the suitcase size when you are dragging that many changes of clothes with you. I know travel light etc. But the cruise...

So we have carry on backpacks plus hip high roller bags. We manage the train to our stop with limited anger and sweat. We arrive at night in the party central area of Stockholm. We walk and walk and walk. We CANNOT find this place. Of course tensions are rising so what is not fun already is turning ugly quickly. 

Finally we agree one will stay with the luggage and one will go find the destination. We've called the proprietor several times who seems to be in a bar with his blokes and yells various things and says just let him know when we are at the door and he will pop over and let us in.

Somewhere around 11pm we find it. It's the upstairs of another business in a nondescript building. The spa of the internet is the "Human Being Center" on arrival. This tickles us because it's not bad English but the connotation has some sci-fi aspect to it.

So our buddy comes over and lets us in. Turns out the spa is based on the fact that he and his partner have a front room converted for yoga classes and the room we are sleeping in also has a massage table. The spa bath is down the hall and we all share it. 

It is an amazing huge bathroom nicely re-done. Beautiful. A tub for two and separate shower, washing machine, two sinks. It's enormous. Did I mention it is down the hall and shared? Not uncommon but for over $100 I was thinking I'd have a bathroom so I wasn't really prepared.

Before our new proprietor leaves he explains about the honor system on the raw food shelf. If we want breakfast we buy it and eat it out of the healthy packages that the raw food comes in. So my entire definition of  b and b has altered substantially suddenly -- that second b may not necessarily be breakfast. 

We got ready for bed and were just coming back to our room when he came home with his girl and asked if they could have dibs on the double tub or were we going to use it? Uh, no. No one was dirty or anything. But it's just the idea that it'd almost be like 4 in the tub if we got in later. Just couldn't do it.

The apartment was Scandinavian white, the bed squished up against the wall was comfortable and the massage table made a handy place to sort your clothes out. It was just not your regular stay somewhere. We were in the center of the city and had a nice time exploring and a delightful place down the block had a delish breakfast of all kinds of non-vegan stuff (it was a beautiful cafe like a magazine). We had a great time. We paid  what for us is a LOT for the Human Being experience but it was cheaper than the "real" hotels.

We can never go back to Stockholm because of a problem with the train system where they catch tourists without proper tickets and give them enormous unmerciful fines. We appealed and got no response nor did we pay the 300€ per person fine so we can never go back, well at least to be on the safe side. Fugitives again, but I digress.

One of my philosophies on trips where you go to see things is that the hotel is only for sleeping so it doesn't have to be high end as long as it's clean. I will not blog about the two hotels I've stayed in that caused me to go to the car and get a scarf to cover the pillow. As I'm getting older, I'm beginning to appreciate the idea of a trip to relax rather than see the entire region. In this case, I'm going to become a connoisseur of the nice hotel for the relaxing side of that equation. Some day. Or maybe when my budget catches up to me.


  1. That would be quite an experience. I wonder if that is typical of other Scandinavian bed and breakfasts, or if this was just a one-off.

    It's pretty funny about being a fugitive. I have this suspicion that if I traveled internationally that I would trigger those problems with train systems and such all of the time.

  2. We've stayed in some cheap places that turned out to be spare rooms so I suppose it's not unusual -- just more likely in the lower price range! We were also once investigated as fugitives by a bank too!