After a very long and cold day for us South Africans we got a warm and well deserved semi-sleep in. As usual we sat around the breakfast table laughing our lungs out because of Paul's jokes. The rest of the morning was rather chaos as we rushed to get ready for our first session of the day. We were each told to bring along four bright objects to use as controls and were then divided back into our groups from yesterday.
Now I can't speak for the others, but I was certainly confused. Luckily it didn't end up being complicated at all, in fact, it was amazing fun. Each member of each group ran the same course but in different directions and had to place there four 'controls' where they thought it had to be. The tricky part is, it had to be accurate as you had to meet your partner in the middle of the course and run the rest of the course where he/she had placed their 'controls' and collect them (its called KEPS-OL). Altogether a very eventful morning!
Our trip back to base was uneventfully and short as the morning run was in the neighbourhood forest. We hurried back with enormous excitement as we were about to head to the Vasa Museum, a journey that had been previously delayed. A quick sandwich or two, a change of clothes and a clean up of base, meant we got moving. After 401 to Slussen, a train to Stockholm Central and a short bus and walk we found ourselves a the much anticipated Vasa Museum.
HOW COOL COULD THIS GET? It felt like I was in a Pirates of the Caribbean film. The Vasa is a 17th century Swedish Royal warship that capsized and sank before it had even left it's home- that is Stockholm. After 3 centuries of fading away on the seabed, the Vasa was finally, after many previous attempts, salvaged to be restored. It now sits in a completely environmentally enclosed museum, in order for it to last as long as possible for us to drool at in amazement. Today the Vasa is the largest object that has ever been restored and preserved, and is 98% original. It is the only preserved ship of the 17th century.
Hundreds of relics from the ship's early life had been restored and encased for us to look at and every possible method had been given to us to understand the ships history, including a short film that was in Chinese but luckily had English subtitles. All of which caused huge distraction for me as I was late for our lunch and Carl had to come looking for me. Sorry Carl. Yummy meatballs, mash and gooseberries for lunch later we headed back to base.
A journey that turned out to be a lot more eventful than I imagined it to be. You see, on the way to the bus stop, I realised that I had lost my travel card and couldn't get on any bus or train without it. After having worked through my internal crises, Carl and I dashed the 30 min walk to the train station while the others caught the bus. We must have hit a wormhole because amazingly we got there before the rest of the squad did. New card and ego restored we headed home.
Quick change of clothes and some mental preparation for the cold lying ahead, we headed to our second training session for the day. One longer than expected train ride to our destination then we ran back into the bush like the hooligans that others think we are.
The tiny bit of rain we got lasted only but 2 sec and we had a lot of fun. Finishing earlier than expected we tried to catch the first bus back, but sadly missed it by the slightest of margins. The one and only Nick managed to persuade us to walk the first couple of stops to make the time go by, which it did. Ended up being a good time to get to know each other a bit better.
Upon arriving at base, later than ever, we were greeted by the lovely smell of Paul's roast chicken. After dinner we played some cards while others chatted to the coaches and then crawled in for the night after this long and exhausting day.
Written by Ryno Grove