Stockholm

So, as you may or may not know, Stockholm did not get off to the best start.

When I left Paris Monday morning, I was having trouble with my Visa card. This had happened at the beginning of the trip, so I didn’t think much of it. I ran to an ATM and paid the hotel in cash. But, when I arrived at my hostel in Stockholm at around 9pm, my card still wasn’t working. Frustrated, I dragged my luggage down the dark streets in search of an ATM, as I had to pay up front. After receiving error messages on 2 ATMs I began to panic. No working Visa or debit card is not good! I got back to the hostel and called Visa. He started telling me about a $2500 charge to an online gambling site, and $1200 to Virgin Atlantic, charges that morning at Macys, and the day before in San Juan. “Yeah, those aren’t mine…” So, my card was cancelled. I asked why my debit wasn’t working and he said I’d reached my daily limit. Okay, fine. I explained the situation to the hostel, gave them all the cash I had, and they agreed to let me pay the remainder the following day.

Well, the following day I went back to the ATM and received a message saying ‘Invalid Card’. So, I went to another bank. Another similar message. The same at a third. And finally the fourth, where it simply read “Call Your Bank”. Faaaantastic. I’d given most of my money to the hostel, couldn’t pay them the remainder, and had no clue how to access money. I ran back to the hostel and called TD. They said they couldn’t help me because there was no issue with my account. It must have been my card or the machines here. She apologized and hung up. So, I frantically called my mom at would would gave been around 4 or 5am her time, freaking out that I had no access to money.

Thank goodness for Western Union. My mom wired me some money and I was able to eat at pay for somewhere to stay. I still don’t have any working money, but I think I have enough cash to make it through the rest of my trip. Sadly, I’ll need to cut back on the steak and wine ;).

But, by day 3 things were calm and I was actually able to get out an see Stockholm! I took a boat tour and wandered around Old Town. It was so pretty:

Today I spent the morning walking around the city, and this afternoon I’m killing time before going to catch my ship to Finland. My last stop! I can’t believe I’ll be home in 5 days. Very excited!