Day 8, Copenhagen to Arnhem. Degenerates on the pavement, dodgy driving again, back to the start.
Head back to the van about half seven, because the free parking runs out at eight. Call Niels and ask him to get the keys to the van soon as he can, because my battery’s running out. Get back there and find out the free parking started at eight, and we got a ticket just after midnight. Good news is that I see Pag and Tom walking down the road (limping in Tom’s case), and figure Niels has got them to come down with the keys.
Not quite the case as it turned out from their story – they haven’t actually been back to anyone’s house to sleep. They’d been hanging out with two girls after the gig who talked them into walking across town to a club. The club turned out to be a gay club, and the girls turned out to be 16 and going home as soon as they got to the club. Drunken logic dictates that Tom and Pag get a bicycle taxi back to the van, and then try to do a runner. Unfortunately, the guy was on a bike, and chased them. Tom ran full pelt into a low wall (hence the limping), and Pag lay down on the floor having been terrified by the sound of the bike, the shouting, and a scooter that joined in the chase. The guy takes the money from his wallet, and they then wander around for a bit, seeing an Irishman’s belongings being chucked out of a hotel and other bits. They couldn’t break into the van, so Tom slept on the roof, and Pag slept on an office doorstep. According to him, about every half hour someone woke him up to ask if he was okay.
Reply along the lines of – “I’m sleeping on an office step wearing shorts, a body warmer and a cap. Do I fucking look like I’m alright?”
So there’s the three of us there, and we at least know that the rest are on their way. Might be sitting on the pavement in the middle of town, while people walk past on their way to work or street cleaning lorries nearly blow stuff into us, but we know the rest are on their way. So we wait. Not much else we can do, battery’s dead on the phone. And we wait.
And we wait.
The rest finally make it there about one or two in the afternoon. Turns out they made it back to the place they stayed about seven am, and Niels has no memory of the phone call at all. Get moving, and it’s a long drive from Copenhagen to Arnhem. Somewhere around the German/Dutch border, we start getting sheet lightning. No rain to start, no real thunder, just these mental flashes lighting the sky. Start thinking it might have been a good idea to sort out the broken headlight when it starts raining. Start thinking it definitely would have been a good idea to fix it when the wiper blade in front of me starts coming loose. Driving through the rain, following the lights in front, and trying to use the sat nav to judge the curve of the road. Not a good situation. Make it to a service station, get some electrical tape and bind the wiper back on so that the windscreen’s at least clear.
We finally made it back to Jonne’s other half’s in Arnhem, and crashed out. Absolute states.
Trekked it back to the UK the next day.
Sweden’s amazing apart from thieves in Gothenburg, don’t take an LDV van to the continent unless you like confused mechanics, not having a working stereo can be fun.