STOCKHOLM — Honeymoons aren't always easy for newlyweds, but six natural disasters?
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When Stefan and Erika Svanstrom of Stockholm set out on their 4-month-long honeymoon with their baby girl on Dec. 6 they got more than they bargained for: Immediately they were stranded in Munich, Germany, due to one of Europe's worst snowstorms.
But that was just the beginning.
After that, he said, they experienced the devastation of a cyclone in Cairns, Australia, and the flooding in Brisbane, and narrowly escaped the bush fires in Perth.
"We escaped by the skin of our teeth," Svanstrom said, recalling how they were evacuated in Cairns and were forced to spend 24 hours on a cement floor in a shopping center with 2,500 others. "Trees were being knocked over and big branches were scattered across the streets."
Just before they arrived in New Zealand, the 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch and in Tokyo, they felt Japan's largest temblor since records began, he said.
"The trembling was horrible and we saw roof tiles fly off the buildings. It was like the buildings were swaying back and forth," said Svanstrom, who also survived the devastating tsunami that hit southeast Asia in 2004.
On March 29, the family returned to Stockholm after a much calmer visit to their last destination, China.
"I know marriages have to endure some trials, but I think we have been through most of them," Svanstrom said.
For newlyweds "we've certainly experienced more than our fair share of catastrophes in a marriage, but the most important thing is that we're still going strong," he said.
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