Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Mostly Sweden

Our pro photographer's shots can be seen at

A good night's sleep is followed by a civilised breakfast. We strolled down to the station in light drizzle.  The only reason for there being a railway in Narvik is that the Swedes have huge quantities of iron ore that they ship out via the nearest all weather port. It features huge ore trains pulled by 2 in 1 articulated electric locos .

Today we take a seven hour train to Boden where we have about twenty minutes before our 14 hour train to Stockholm. A  bit like flying to Australia with a change in Dubai. There is Wifi in the station. We will be taking Swedish trains for both trips and our first one leaves on time. The line climbs dramatically up alongside a fjord with spectaclar scenery yet again. Every now and then we pass throgh avalanche shelters , built to protect the railway from falling rocks and snow. Photo Paul is in his element. The climb is steep and we are soon at the cloudbase which also happens to be the border where we cross back into Sweden. The Interim Committee deem this to be too early for a toast.

Der Fuhrer puts in a long stint at the front of the peleton and makes some excellent sarnies for lunc. Nordic cheeses taste better than they sound. Lunch is followed by a vodka toast on the grounds that we won't be getting much closer to Russia. There scenery in this bit of Sweden is pretty dull, especially  in comparison with Norway. We discover that there is an empty section of our coach so we decamp there in order to toast the southbound AC crossing and listen to Albert's special railway playlist.  This section is right at the back of the train and has a view back along the track through the end door.

At Boden we only have to cross the platform to our connecting sleeper train. The compartments are 6 berth but roomier than the Amsterdam - Copenhagen train had. Jason is duty chef tonight and does a great job of catering for the various bizarre tastes exhibited. Mike wins a prize for his request for bacon pate, prawn cocktail and jalapeno cheese spread on the same piece of bread. This train has a buffet car so a couple of outrageously expensive beers get drunk before we call time and make an early night of it.

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