The Sweden Life

Following Jessica's adventures in Sweden, the home of pop!

Monday, August 15, 2005

I'm back in England and it's very depressing. There is no BWO on the radio, beautiful people are rare and sports brands are far too common. No more eating at posh restaurants, having breakfast with Swedish hotties or daily pop concerts. In fact, it's going to be a terrible week - 2 dentist appointments and my AS results all by Friday! I'm going to look into Swedish lessons (or at least buy a book), so I can move there if I fail my exams.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

It's the last night! Awww! I am sad to leave this amazing country but I can't wait to sleep in my on bed. Today was spent at Liseberg, the largest theme park in Scandinavia. We were there from 11.30am til 8.30pm - 9 hours and a whole lot of rides! There was equally as many types of weather. We rode my favourite ride, the Balder, in torrential rain, afternoon sun and in the dark! I think I also had the least healthy eating day ever - a hotdog, chips, pizza, chocolte and fizzy sweets. Luckily I managed to refrain (refrain etc.) from the doughnuts and ice creams. One of the most highlarious moments of the day was when we saw an opera mid-rehearsal, only to be interrupted by a parade of pirates and clowns! It was a rather surreal moment.

Now I'm all packed and ready to go. We're waking up at 4.30am (3.30 UK time) so I'd better get some sleep!

Views from the top of Liseberg's revolving tower lift thingy:

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Today was quite fun and interesting. We went on another boat trip, this time to the archipelago (group of islands) near Goteborg. We got off at one to have a look around. It was strange because they aren't allowed cars so they travel on mopeds or electric bicycles which push small wooden trailers. The islands were quite rocky, so the flat spaces were full of houses. The houses were lovely too, in colours like red, yellow, orange, white or blue with spotless white doors, windows and picket fences.

We then took the ferry back to the mainland and the tram to the city where we ate at a nice restaurant, then went to see what was going on for the Kalaset. At the Packhuskajet (no idea what that is in English) we found Zlips, the dansband of the year 2003-4, according to their bus.

Then it was time for the Abbashow! It was quite ace to see an Abba tribute who were actually Swedish - it could almost be the real Abba reformed (and young again)! They were very good, too.

A pretty church on the island:

A view of the island from a high bridge:

Look, it's ABBA!

We're finally going to do some sightseeing today. I've got a bit of a headache, though, since I couldn't sleep because my dad was snoring so loudly!
We only just got home! We spent the day shopping, eating and walking A LOT, as seems to be the custom on this holiday. We came back to the hotel until 9pm when we went out to see some of the Blues Brothers show, then we headed towards Frihamspiren where all the cool young Swedes go during the Kalaset. we had to cross over on a ferry which was literally full of kids, because there was an all-night disco in a big warehouse on the other side. I didn't go in but we looked in and I have to say it was rather lacking in excitement. It resembled a school disco with barely anyone dancing, although the music was rubbish rap rather than Cotton Eye Joe (and even that would be preferable). There was also beach volleyball, bungey jumping and a big stage where the rap group Looptroop (or Fruitloop as my dad kept calling them) were playing. I was not very impressed by the youth of Sweden's very tame form of partying, but there were far too many beautiful people for me to complain.

This is a ship I saw lit up nicely at the harbour:

Friday, August 12, 2005

Today we're going to the indoor shopping centre because it is raining heavily. Alcazar on the radio! Oh-ah oh-ah!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The NRJ concert was ace! Arash was great fun, Marion Raven turns out to be an amazing singer and there was a surprise adiition to the line-up - September! I should have got there earlier, though, as I missed Pauline (who sang with Rigo) and Lilyjets.



Marion Raven:


This morning we travelled around Goteborg getting to know the city. I even got some shopping done, including a Moomin towel and Snorkmaiden keyring to add to my Moomin collection (now I have 4 Moomin items), and 2 more CDs - Christian Walz and Darin for £7 each! Now I'm back home listening to Bosson and preparing for tonight's Swedish popfest, NRJ in the park! I will see Arash, Lilyjets and Marion Raven, among others.

Views of Goteborg:

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Home at last! Or hotel, anyway. And what an ace day it has been! I *heart* Sweden 4eva!

After we unpacked and discussed plans for the week, we went off into Gothenburg to look around. We even found the Rocks record store where I bought A*Teens and Bosson for the equivalent of £5 each!

At about 6pm we went to the Kungstorget (which we think translates as King's Square) where the Goteborgskalaset (Gothenburg party/festival) is being held. We stood in the crowd for a while listening to Rix FM (my dad was not keenon Blue Lagoon and tutted at Amy Diamond's young age) and waiting for the show to begin. At last, the first act arrived and it was Marmaladorkestern (Marmalade Orchestra?), who were what is known as the 'party band', which means warming up the crowd with covers of popular songs. They began well with Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Jump (For My Love) and Det Gor Ont, but soon deteriorated into Robbie Williams and a terrible traditional Swedish song.

When, after at least an hour, they finished, it was time for some real pop stars! First up were the girls - Pandora (she's had hits in Australia, you know!), followed by Elin Lanto (rubbish) and Anna S (ace). I then realsied there was only boy-rocker wannabes (who actually sing ballads) Anders Johansson and Niclas Wahlgren, and actual rockers (except they were in Melodifestivalen...) Nordman to go before BWO (the finale) so we went off to get drinks. I popped back to the main stage area periodically so I could see a bit of each act and take photos. Anders and Niclas were quite boring but Nordman were surprisingly fun! They are really popular too.

Finally it was time for BWO! And guess what happened as soon as they appeared? It began to rain and everyone put up their umbrellas so I couldn't see. There was only one thing for it - I gave up my be nice to Swedes policy and burrowed my way to the front. Soon I had a great view of the stage and noticed that it was only Martin and Alexander, no sign of Marina, but the fact that they were wearing their ace 16 Tonnes of Hardware outifts more than made up for it, although Martin has taken his jacket off in my photos. As for the music and performance, it was utterly fantastisk! If they weren't already my fave pop band, they would be now!


Elin Lanto:

A very dark Niclas Wahlgren:

Nordman on night vision:

Bodies Without Organs:

Martin BWO:

Alexander Bard:

I only counted 15 buff hotties in total. Very disappointing. BUT! I am now in Sweden in my hotel listening to Swedish radio and have already heard The Ark and Arash. Only 5 hours until the Rix FM festival! BWO, here I come!
12 and counting (inc. 3 before I even got out of the car!)
We've arrived at Heathrow. Airport hotties, here I come!
My dad just made his first rubbish joke of the morning, that I was going to write in my diary, "I woke up very early and went to the plane station". How is that even funny? I haven't called it that in years...

I began my trip to Svedenland, as is tradition, with a viewing of the V 'Hip To Hip' DVD. And here is this year's favourite excerpt:
Question: What was it like filming your video in Brazil?
Leon: *Something about sun, sand and surf*
Aaron: "Were there any other s words?"
*Others look worried*
Aaron: "Socks! Hehehe!"
It is very amusing! Equally amusing is teasing my mum (who is driving us to the airport) about her newfound status as the family lorry-spotter. She was going on for ages about this one we saw, how shiny and new and "good-looking" it was. Worrying!

My dad just scared us all by saying he doesn't have the tickets. They are actually e-tickets which means you just show the e-mail you got when you booked and your passports. Now my mum is marvelling at the convenience and cheapness of e-mail. Parents! Who'd have them? (er, me!)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Now it really is Tuesday and I am happy cos I have my PJ mag (which is extremely good!), Darren's video is doing better, Natasha B IS no.1, I spotted Mark from V on the Smash Hits! cover (well, it's a start...) and I can sleep late without interruption from snoring or trains. However, the bad news is Usher and Jessica Simpson have new videos out, the Cheeky Girls are getting lots of play and Train have gone proper rock. Why can't our charts have 2 songs in Moldovan in the top 3? Now I want to know where Maroon 5 are in the midweeks, what important pop gossip I've missed and what happened in One Tree Hill (it didn't record, grrr!). It's exciting to be back but I'll still be listening to Swedish radio this evening and downloading all my top holiday tunes.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Today is again Mandag and therefore my last day in Sweden. We spent today in the country's 4th biggest town, Uppsala, where I finally purchased some Moomin memorabilia. I am a big fan of the Moomins so I was excited to find they're as big as Winnie The Pooh here. There's even a Moomin Valley museum in Stockholm.

Now I am back in England and it is nearly Tuesday, but sadly not Tisdag. I am sad to leave Sweden and it's supreme aceness, but but very excited to return to all the equally ace things at home. I realised I haven't listened to Annie or Love Machine or anything by V all week!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

It's now Sondag (Sunday) and most of today was spent driving around the coast and visiting beaches and such, which were very nice to see but extremely coldand windy. I did get to listen to lots of Swedish radio including the Hitlistan (top 10), on which I can report Haiducci (yesterday's finale) are no.1 with their version of Dragostea Din Tei. O-zone are no.3 with their version of the same song and other ace songs in the chart include Jimmy Jansson - Som Sommaren, Raymond & Maria - Ingen Vill Veta Var Du Köpt Din Tröja and E-type - Olympia.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

It is now Lorsdag (Saturday) and I can say that NRJ In The Park was well worth all my excitement! It was held in the main square (Kunstradgarden, or something like that) in Stockholm and it was a lovely hot and sunny day. The show began with mainly small Swedish acts such as Superboy and Moe, but Da Buzz and Dhani (A-teen gone solo) were both good. Then I moved around to the other side and spotted the entrance to the backstage area, where stars were arriving and meeting fans. I saw Tess and Magnus from Alcazar, Gunther and the Sunshine Girls, the lovely Linda from Lambretta and Rachel Stevens and I waited for Darren but he got straight into his car. Darren, Alcazar, Lambretta, Ana and Natasha Bedingfield were the best performances. Hopefully Natasha is no.1 at home by now! She was the only English act who made any attempt to speak Swedish. Estelle asked people to put their hands up if they were born in the 1980s which most of the crowd clearly were, but the Swedes all looked around confused. She also sang her next single which sounds like even a video starring Lemar, Natasha B and Ms Dynamite won't save it. Here's a weird story: While getting hotdogs during Snook's performance of Mister Cool on Thursday I spotted an older Asian man in the queue to meet the stars singing along to all the words, then later I was amused to see him on stage winning a pink heart-shaped guitar. Then today I was watching Dhani on a big screen by the stage and guess who I saw in the front row? The very same man! I also bumped into him several more times this afternoon. It seems I have an elderly, pop-obsessed Swedish stalker to add to my collection. Funnily enough, this is not the first time I have been stalked by an A-teens fan in a foreign country. Very scary! I wouldn't like to think what might happen if I actually bought their CD.



Natasha Bedingfield:


Rachel Stevens:

Darren Hayes:

Friday, August 20, 2004

Today is Fredag (Friday) and I have been to an open-air museum/zoo called Skansen. There were lots of houses, farms, shops etc. to look around that were set out as they would have been a century or so ago and the zoo part had bears, meese (plural of moose) and many other animals found in Scandinavia. It was really big so I'm exhausted, but still have the energy to say how excited I am about seeing Darren, Alcazar etc. at NRJ tomorrow.

Scandinavian animals:

Some old buildings: