So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs Wagners pie and walked off to look for America.

When we arrive at the border crossing between Serbia and Bulgaria it is just before eight o'clock in the morning but it feels as it has hardly passed two am. It has been a long and strange train ride. It is the second night train on this trip and we thought it couldn't get any worse after the first one, but oh, how wrong were we.

I arrived in Slovenia a Sunday night after a crazy and awesome weekend in Gothenburg at Way out West with a sister and a best friend. (I know I haven't told you, but well, I have hardly told you anything lately soooo.. For now let's just tell you the whole weekend was awesome in all kinds of ways, music, weather, people, food, drink. Awesome. Awesome awesome awesome.) The flight with AirSerbia was almost an hour late but even though it was closing in on midnight there was a minibus for the city centre. Soon I found myself in the arms of Isolde, and she in mine. The day after Sean arrived and my interrailing with them would finally begin!

After two days in Ljubljana, Slovenia where we went to a water park, to a castle and strolled around the very small city centre, we jumped on a night train to Belgrade, Serbia. It was a six person compartment we were three and it looked as if we would get the entire one for ourselves. Until we came to Zagreb. Three friendly British girls joined in and it was full, basically just feet and heads everywhere. Even though it was hard to find a comfortable position, this wasn't the worst. But just when you found yourself a good spot, maybe had just drifted away or were about to, someone came, knocked on your shoulder and you were asked to show your ticket. Or passport. Or ticket. Or passport. Or ticket again. When we arrived in Belgrade we were tired, hungry and grumpy.

Well, all we needed was a few more hours of sleep in the hostel, were they even gave us the beds a bit earlier, and a breakfast/lunch. Then we felt human again and took a walk around the city. For once it wasn't railning and we saw the city centre and the Belgrade fortress in just a few hours.

The day after we weren't quite as lucky with the weather. After a very relaxing morning and breakfast we got out and were about to start a 40min walk to another part of Belgrade that were supposed to be completely different because way back in time it belonged to another country, Austria-Hungary. After five minute walk the sky opened up, heavy rain started pouring down, flooding the streets along with thunder and lightning. We found shelter in a kind mans photocopy-store where we played some games waiting for the weather to ease up.

It kind of did so we went out, got extremely wet and bitter, but some chocolate and Disney songs lightened up the mood, soon also the sky. And Zemun was worth the stroll. The former city was completely different from Belgrade with low houses and small alleys that we actually appreciated even when the energy faded away. A picnic lunch outside a small church watching pigeons everyday lives on the square prepared us for the walk back where we took a short stop at a beer festival. There we could hear a Serbian cover band singing "We will, we will, SHIT YOU!" Before we moved along and finally went on our night train for Sofia.

Now, we are well aware that we have been cheap, trying to save some money and not booked a sleeping cabin on any of the night trains. And we know that there would be some hard nights, a night train is never easy. But, when we entered the train 462 to Sofia we didn't know if to laugh or cry when we saw our seats. They weren't even real seats. It was three next to each other, along one side of the train with seats that bounced back if it was no weight on them. Good seats or not, we at least got front view of the Serbians or Bulgarians that went into the space between the wagons for a smoke, or a bit of fresh air. In the middle of the ride, while the train was still in motion, they could just open up one or two of the doors out. We thought some of them were about to jumped off the train, but no. The action ended with the door, opening and closing again and again.

Finally we got a few hours of sleep, the train was fairly empty and we could split up, having two real seats each. I was pretty delirious from sleep when I gave and took my passport from the border police. Trying to be friendly I even said a thank you, but in Swedish, which led to some confusion with the police who stopped in the middle of his movement and looked at me. A girl with hair standing in all directions, so tired that she didn't understand that she was speaking in her own mother tounge, a language not many border polices in Eastern Europe master.

It was a long night, but, in the end we eventually arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria. Only to realise they have their own currency and NOT euros like Belgium, which I apparently have completely mixed Bulgaria with.. So time for the town and an ATM to get some cash.

Wave out to the crowd, take your final bow, least you stole the show.

Almost a half year ago I found myself in the kitchen of the Buonsanti brothers in Oslo. After a few wrong turns and some ice-slipping I found their apartment which I had only visited once before on another dinner. It's really fancy to have so many friends who likes to cook and don't mind to cook for you, when you self hate it. They make some dinner and I bring some drink. Usually this drink is glögg, but this time I went for wine.
Carmine had made us some homemade pasta with tomato sauce and we had finished the bottle of wine and started on some martini when his older brother Giuseppe came home. After the normal gossiping about the company where we worked together and about the people we knew, we started talking about us. I thought I would have something to bring to the table, with me moving, starting studies and all. But that didn't seem to matter when Giuseppe came with his. He got married. "We only had small ceremony now and then we have big wedding and party in Italy in summer, you should come! Will be in august!" What swede, or any nationality for that matters, would say no to this?
Later, after the rainy and cold spring, the summer came even though it was still rainy and cold. And somewhere in June an invitation to a wedding in the southern parts of Italy fell in through my mailbox.
I never thought that southern Italy would be a problem to reach, nor to leave, but as it turns out you need quite some time. For me it would take about 26hours to reach my final destination, and then I had travelled by train, airplane, train, bus and car. But before 8 in the morning I would arrive in Carmines car in Montescaglioso, exactly where I had been four years earlier when me and a group of friends went to visit them. It looked exactly same and what just as hot.
The wedding would take place on Saturday the 8th. This is a day I will always remember. Not only for the wedding, but for the amount of food and cakes I consumed in only one day. It started already at the breakfast in the B&B where I stayed the night from Friday to Saturday. I came down after a good nights sleep, looked forward for breakfast and had completely forgotten that breakfast in Italy isn't whole wheat bread, yoghurt with musli or porridge. It is sugar. In all its forms. I got a croissant, which isn't too bad, but then she had made a whole, huge chocolate cake, only for me. I had to take two pieces and refuse her on the third, when she came out with a new cake, with which she wouldn't take no for an answer. When later I came to the Buonsanti house it was time to take pictures, drink and eat some cake, I passed on the cake.
Now, I am no expert in Italian weddings, but there is one thing that I know that you must have. Patience. There is no such thing as time. The ceremony in the old church in the centre of the city would start at 10:30 it said on the invitation. By that time we hadn't even left the house. But with or without keeping the schedule there was things to be done and organised up until the very last minute. When there was nothing I could help with I focused on the air conditioning and keeping my sweat-rate at a minimum.
Even though the ceremony was about an hour late, crazy hot inside the church and a little confusing about when we were supposed to stand up or sit down it was beautiful. And when the lady by the or gel sang Ave Maria, I got chills.
We threw some rice, got into cars with wrapping on and went on a parade through Montescaglioso, horning, shouting all the way. Then we left, we out into the country side and to the resort where the party was to be held. There it was a big room with 13-15 round tables spread out in it, next to a band, dance floor and "welcome cocktail" areas. My seat was at the Stoccolma table (Stockholm table). It was me, a fellow swede, three Norwegians and a Russian. Neither me nor the other swede were from Stockholm.
Then, like I already told you, there was food. And food. And food. And, oh my god, food. We sat down from 15 to 23 and ate. Welcome cocktail, first starter, second starter, antipasti, second antipasti, main course, second main course ... And so on. I have never in my adult life had a dinner where I have used as many forks as I did there. It just never stopped coming. There were even two deserts! And you know the worst part of it all? It was all delicious.
When you thought the party would end it turned out to have only just begun. Before midnight the open bar opened, as well as the pool and the cigar/rum lounge. I could probably speak forever about this wedding, and I almost already have, so I will only tell you one thing more. There was even a clown for the children.
BIG congratulations to Guiseppe and Elena and huge thanks that I got to share this day with you!