• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Swedes got on wrong bus and ended up in Belgium
Åsa Karlsson Björkmarker and Bo Frank ended up in the wrong country. Photo: Private

Swedes got on wrong bus and ended up in Belgium

The Local · 29 Jan 2016, 12:37

Published: 29 Jan 2016 11:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Jan 2016 12:37 GMT+01:00

Swedish councillors Åsa Karlsson Björkmarker and Bo Frank, from Växjö in southern Sweden, were on their way back to the Ibis hotel where they were staying in Dunkirk after having attended an energy conference in the French town, when they accidentally got on the wrong bus.

"We got on a bus that went to the wrong Ibis hotel and that Ibis hotel was in Belgium," Björkmarker, who represents the centre-left Social Democrats, told The Local on Friday after their unfortunate tale went viral.

Not being familiar with the area, it took a while for the two politicians to realise that they were going in the wrong direction. When they eventually did, they were surprised, but tried to remain calm.

"Mostly it was some form of 'wait a second, where are we going?'," said Björkmarker.

But the obstacles did not end there for her and Frank, of the centre-right Moderate Party.

"We had some trouble with the language too since the driver only spoke French and neither of us was especially good at French, I can tell you," she added.

"We did not succeed in explaining our situation."

It was not until they contacted a representative from the group that had organized the trip to the confererence, who could translate to French, that they managed to resolve the situation. 

Hours later, they were able to return back to their hotel at around midnight. And Björkmarker says she is able to laugh at their unexpected European road trip.

"It happens. But it is always a little bit funnier when you cross the border in some way. It's so clear that it went wrong," she said.

Story continues below…

"It's a fun anecdote, that's how we see it."

Björkmarker and Frank are in good company. Two Swedish tourists hit global headlines back in 2009 when they tried to visit Italian seaside town Capri but ended up in industrial Carpi on the opposite end of Italy after a GPS blunder.

Article by Emma Lidman

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Sweden won't charge foreign minister over 'queue jump'
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström will not be charged over claims she was given special treatment to secure an apartment in Stockholm.

Swedes don’t want to join the euro - now or ever
Euros? Nej tack! Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

We'll keep our krona, thank you very much.

Opinion
'Bigotry is not dead in Sweden – we still need to talk'
Stockholm Pride 2015. Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Sweden still needs to do more to confront intolerance, argues columnist Paul Connolly.

Spotify gains listeners but it's still bleeding cash
Spotify's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

The Swedish streaming giant expanded rapidly last year but hasn't yet turned a profit.

Man facing trial over refugee worker's murder
The man during a preliminary court hearing earlier this year. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

A man accused of killing a worker at a home for young refugees earlier this year has been charged with her murder.

Smombie Swedes hurt in smartphone accidents
Don't text and drive! Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

The injury count of Swedes' tech-addiction revealed.

Interview
'Fika is a coffee break, with emphasis on break'
All pictures from the documentary 'Fika: to have coffee'. Photo: Fabian Schmid

The Local speaks to Zürich-based budding filmmaker Fabian Schmid about why he decided to travel to Sweden to shoot a documentary about the unique Nordic 'fika' concept.

Swedish lay judge quits over Soldiers of Odin link
Soldiers of Odin members photographed in Norway. Photo: NTB scanpix

UPDATED: A Swedish lay judge has stepped down after admitting he patrolled Stockholm with an anti-immigrant vigilante group.

Sweden to launch its first state-funded imam course
Abdulkader Habib, rector of course provider Kista Folk High School. Photo: Caroline Tibell/SVD/TT

A school in Stockholm suburb Kista will provide the course.

Swedes cheer arrival of summer's midnight sun
The Nordic midnight sun. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB/TT

For the next two months, the sun will never set in the stunning far north of Sweden.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
3,292
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se