The last week of this field trip was spent in and around Gothenburg and Jönköping, with lots of things happening, and lots of things going wrong.
1. On Monday we said goodbye to Ottenby for this time, and made our way by train to Gothenburg with our large bags. We struggled to get even to the tram from the train station, and only made it as far as Hanne’s place in Gamlestaden, as Skyman was away until late. This sort of ruined Heidi’s shoulder for the next few days, and she resolved to put wheels on her large bag.
2. Tuesday we went to the raptor rehabilitation center at Hög on Hisingen, where at first we didn’t find anyone, but just as we had resolved to leave if we didn’t find anyone within the next few minutes, one of the staff appeared, and we could look through a large number of dead birds from their freezers, but only a few live ones, as they didn’t have many birds in, and several of the ones they did have were too poorly. We did get lice from Hooded Crow Corvus cornix, Jackdaw Corvus monedula, and Domestic Pigeon Columba livia, at least.
3. Wednesday we were invited by Mikael Hake to go to Nidingen, a bird observatory outside Kungälv, where we will probably go and collect next year. It took an hour in a small boat to get there, and it’s a lovely little island, at least when you’re there for a short visit while the weather is fine. I guess it is horrible out there if there’s a storm. We didn’t bring any collection material, but we did see a lot of Gannets Morus bassanus and Rock Pipits Anthus petrous.
4. Thursday was the day we were going to rent a car and go to Nordens Ark, an animal park almost two hours North of Gothenburg. The cheapest car we could rent was in Tynnered, which is in the opposite end of town from where Skyman lives, and it takes about an hour with tram to get there. Once we were there, at seven in the morning, it turned out that I couldn’t rent the car as I have no driver’s license, and Heidi couldn’t rent it as she didn’t have a Swedish social security number. We also couldn’t combine my SSN with her driver’s license, and we had to wait for a while until the boss of the place came there and told us that if we could only get Heidi’s passport, we could rent the car.
So back to Skyman’s place, find the passport, back to Tynnered, and then, already three hours late, we could finally get the car.
Or so we thought, because the clerk had considerable problems filling out the form with Heidi’s details, delaying us another half an hour, and once everything was in order, we couldn’t find the car. Eventually, with some help from the clerk, we found it inside the car wash, and could leave Gothenburg almost four hours after schedule.
We had time to look at two birds, a White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos and a White Stork Ciconia ciconia, and then we ran out of time as the park was closing. The animal care people there were super-nice, though, as we’ll try to get back next year in a more organised fashion and see what we can get. We got mites from the woodpecker and at least two species of lice (Neophilopterus and Ardeiphilus?) from the stork.
We took a small detour to a windy and mainly closed Smögen, and then went back to Gothenburg to go to a kaiten sushi place.
5. Friday we still had the car, and the plan was to look around a bit in Gothenburg in the morning, then drive to Jönköping with the bags, then return the car in the evening. We managed to squeeze in the Natural History Museum, an outlet store for a local biscuit and cookie factory, the university to get some boxes of parasites, and have lunch at Saluhallen, before we realized that we’d have to hurry now. We sped to Skyman’s place to pack everything, hurried to Jönköping, and then started going back. Never made it to Gothenburg, though, as we filled the car with the wrong sort of fuel in Ulricehamn, and had to call the towing agency to have them take care of the car while my father drove out to pick us up. Saved us a trip to Gothenburg, but will probably cost us a lot…
6. On Saturday we slept long, and I went to my sister’s birthday party in the afternoon, while Heidi stayed at my parents’ place to sleep, as she was still very exhausted. We did make a small trip with my nephew and parents in the morning, though, as a fancy restaurant North of Jönköping had a sale of all their old cutlery and stuff, and we bought a large pumpkin for eating. We also went to Gränna to buy some candy and look at the view.
7. Sunday was dominated by making Dinner in a Pumpkin and a Princess Cake for everyone, as well as sorting out and packing all our stuff, before leaving for the airport at just before nine in the evening. We had to change buses in Gothenburg and spend the night at the airport, and didn’t arrive until about midnight.
8. Monday started with new problems, in that we couldn’t get Heidi’s return tickets. The machines simply didn’t recognize her booking, and we spent some time worrying, as nothing was open at the airport, and we couldn’t ask anyone. Fortunately, we managed to get hold of Scott back in Salt Lake, and he called the airline and asked around, and finally we could get the tickets and have some rest. We slept a bit, tried to watch Roger Rabbit, had breakfast at the airport, and then went through security about an hour before departure. Heidi flew out about five minutes after me, though I was delayed further by the dense fog over London which caused Heathrow to have only one landing strip open.
Heidi seems to have had no further problems, but I spent an exhausted day yesterday walking around Camden, waiting for thee pm when I could check into my hotel in Clapham. I’m now in a small, noisy room next to the common area, but over all it’s a nice place, and since I’m so close to the common area, the wifi works well, even though we’re not supposed to get wifi in the rooms. I’ll start heading out for the museum in less than an hour or so.