Over the Easter holidays
1994 I decided to visit some friends Scandinavia. I went by train and bought a
Scandinavia pass valid on all trains and ferries from the Danish border.
I left Düsseldorf on Friday
afternoon, 25th March, and took the night train to Stockholm. In the compartment
I had quite interesting company: one of them a guy from Denmark who has worked
himself around the world and an American girl named Heidi who was an assistant
teacher in Düsseldorf for one year. I even met her a few times again afterwards.
arrived in Stockholm
the following morning and was met at the station by my Swedish penpal Ingvar. He
had invited me to stay at the flat which he shared with his Chilean girlfriend
Susana and a Bobtail dog. Stockholm is a very nice town. We also visited the
treasury of the Royal Palace, the interesting Vasa Museum which houses a
restored Viking ship. Besides we went to the Hard Rock Café as well as the
Kosmonava where we saw the IMAX film "Antarctica". As there was still some snow
left in Sweden this was quite appropriate!
For Monday night, 28th
March, I booked a passage on the Silja ferry line to
(Åbo in Swedish) in Finland
leaving at 8 p.m. I took the cheapest category which meant I had to share a
cabin with three other females somewhere near the engine-room, so we had to put
up with a lot of noise. I did manage to fall asleep at some point but the sounds
of something crashing against the hull of the ship woke me up again. There were
no windows to the cabin and I was wondering what was going on. Eventually I got
dressed and went outside. It was early in the morning and the view from the
ferry was breathtaking as there was a lot of ice floating on the water (this
must have been what we were hitting) and there were lots of snow-covered little
islands with houses on them.
In Turku I
stayed with my Belgian friend Lizzie and her Finnish husband Christer (he's
actually from the Swedish minority in Finland) who I met during my stay at
Reading University in England in 1991/92 (and that's were they met as well!). We
went to the capital Helsinki
which didn't impress me so much and to Naantali,
a very picturesque village with many colourful wooden houses. It was quite
difficult to get back from Finland to Sweden and Norway during the Easter
holidays. The night ferry to Stockholm and the night train to Trondheim were
fully booked, so I was happy I could stay another night with my friends in
Stockholm on Easter Sunday. The ferry crossing during the
day was very nice as we were passing by the Åland Islands.
I left Stockholm
early on Monday morning, 4th April, at 7.42 a.m. and arrived in Trondheim late
at night after changing trains in Oslo. The landscape on the way with its
many trees, lakes and mountains was very pretty. I liked Trondheim very
much as it has a very nice old part. From the castle hill you have a beautiful
view over the town and its surroundings. I
stayed with my friend Anita Iren, one of the two Norwegian girls I met
in England in 1989. In the evening we went to the cinema (English with
subtitles) with some friends of hers.
following day, 6th April, I went to Verdal,
a small town about 1 ½ hours north of Trondheim to meet my other
friend who's also called Anita and who was in training to become a policewoman
overthere. In the evening we went to the swimming-pool and to the sauna.
The day afterwards we visited Stiklestad,
a historical battle site. Then I took the train back to Trondheim and,
after changing trains once again at Oslo, the night train to Copenhagen where
I arrived on Friday morning, 8th April, at 8.20 a.m. I had a look round
the city thinking I'll have to come back here some day which I did in 1997
as it is very beautiful and I arrived back in Düsseldorf in the evening
of the same day.
I was quite lucky
as far as the weather is concerned, except for one day when we had a snow
storm in Turku and the day in Helsinki when it was raining. The other two
days which were bad I spent on the train anyway.