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Arlanda - Reykjavik - Seattle


View US West Coast on bejjan's travel map.

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The first day of our long journey. This day was designated only to survive the long-haul flight we had ahead of us to get to US West Coast. It took 3 hours and 10 minutes to get from Stockholm to Reykjavik. On Iceland we had a short stop-over and then boarded the flight to Seattle. Now that was the big test, a long and time-consuming flight of total 7 hours and 45 minutes. I thought that part went relatively easy though, thanks to DVD, mp3 and a clear view over Greenland, Canada and snow-covered mountains underneath us.

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When the plane had touched down on Tacoma Int’l Airport just outside Seattle, we were so tired both physically and psychologically and finding our way out of the airport was tricky. After a rigorous interrogation by TSA (U.S. Transportation Security Administration) about my plans for the trip in the US, I passed and was let into the country. We had now been up and traveling for 21 hours so were super tired and just wanted to go to sleep. But we had to collect our rental car in order to get to our hotel for the night. It was not so easy finding the way to the rental car office and we wandered around in the airport for a while before finding the right office.

When we had received the receipt, GPS and paid the final amount of money for the rental car we had to find our way to the garage. After wandering around on several floors in the garage we finally saw the sign with the right name on it. YES! Finally! We had booked a Compact Car but we couldn’t find one in the parking lot. Yaaay! Not really what we needed after our long-haul flight. After dealing with the rental car company we managed to get a free up-grade to a Full Size Car that they were supposed to drive back to Montana anyway – just where we were heading! So, the sum-total of all this was a bigger car (for free) and that we didn’t had to pay that extra one-way-fee ($250)! Great deal or what!?

So finally, we had gotten our car and started to drive off the airport. But don’t think all the problems were solved because of that. It took forever for the GPS to connect to the satellites. I bet it took 20 minutes. But eventually after a 90 minute-drive we reached Silverdale and our hotel for the night, all hungry and exhausted. We went to bed after a hamburger each.
So for us Monday April 23rd became totally 34 hours.

Posted by bejjan 16:00 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip traveling Comments (0)

Arriving in San Francisco


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In order to make it to Billings Logans Int’l Airport in time for the return of our rental car at 7 am, we had to get up early. And I still can’t understand why we chose a time that early, when our flight departed at 10.29 am? Anyway, after a few hours spent in the airport we finally boarded the plane and I must say it was the smallest airplane I’ve ever flown in, so far. So small! You almost got claustrophobic. After 1 hour and 30 minutes we arrived at Denver Int’l Airport and stretched our legs. We were fortune enough that the flight to San Francisco departed from a gate just nearby the one we arrived at. Though we had about 2 hours to change flight, but Denver Int’l Airport is BIG and you never know how far you need to go!

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The flight between Denver and San Francisco took 2 hours and 45 minutes and during that time we had changed time zone again. At San Francisco Int’l Airport SFO we had to find the rental car company to pick up our rental car. Even though the airport was big the signs were well-posted and so much better organized than at Tacoma Int’l Airport in Seattle.

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We received the car keys and the GPS and walked to the parking lot and got our car. This time we got the car we had booked. But once again the GPS didn’t work right away and it took it forever to find the satellites and help us find the way to our hostel in downtown San Francisco.

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We didn’t have much time to explore San Francisco today since we had to get early tomorrow morning and needed to sleep.

Posted by bejjan 16:00 Archived in USA Tagged cities road_trip traveling Comments (0)

Tucson - Denver - Reykjavik - Arlanda


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When the alarm rang and it was time to get out of bed I almost flew up. I was so homesick and longed for my own bed. Our transfer from White Stallion Ranch to Tucson Int’l Airport left at 6 am just after sunrise.

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The flight from Tucson to Denver took 2 hours. At Denver Int’l Airport we had to kill some time before the flight via Reykjavik to Stockholm - Arlanda. When the flight finally taxed out of the gate at Denver Int’l Airport it was delayed by 30 minutes. But suddenly the airplane drove back to the gate. Great! Now what? Is something wrong with the airplane? After a while the flight attendants announced in the speaker that they had shut down the entire airport. OMG! Is it a bomb threat? I thought for myself. But no, it was just bad weather just outside Denver. Thank God! So, when we finally got permission to taxi to the runway, we were 2 hours delayed. Perfect! … or NOT. We had a connecting flight in Reykjavik and now we would miss it! But when we asked the flight attendant about what we could do we got a positive answer. All the other connection flights (from the same flight company) on Iceland would wait for our flight! Now that’s service! Thumbs up! Now I could relax knowing that I would get home to Sweden according to plans, although delayed. So, after 7 hours and 20 minutes we landed on Iceland and we literally had to run to the next flight towards Stockholm Arlanda. Now we only had 3 hours left! But it was a challenge itself since the entire body was itching and you almost couldn’t sit still. So, after totally 12 hours and 10 minutes of flight time we were finally back home in Sweden. I must say though I had no problems adapting to the Swedish time zone again. We managed to book flights so the time change went smoothly. My fellow traveler though had a hard time adjusting back to Swedish time again.

But one thing you never can take away from the American people is their friendliness. That's why I like traveling to America. They are kind, helpful and chatty unlike us Swedish people. Here in Sweden we are almost afraid of starting a conversation with completely strange people or being forced to sit down on a seat next to an unknown person on the bus. So, we could really learn from them.

Posted by bejjan 16:00 Archived in USA Tagged traveling Comments (0)

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