Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Greetings from the far north!

To my amazement, all our complicated arrangements have gone fine so far. We left home on Saturday, stayed overnight in a hotel at Manchester airport then flew out on Sunday to Stockholm (via Amsterdam).

After a night in Stockholm and a day wandering around the city (seems very pleasant from what we saw of it), we caught the night train to Narvik.

Now obviously I knew Sweden was a very long country, but I now know, having travelled its full length by train, exactly how long! I also knew that it consisted mostly of forests and lakes but sitting in a train for hours watching forests and lakes pass by really brings it home how much forest and how many lakes go to make up the Swedish countryside. It did become more hilly as we got up into the far north -- which meant it started to look rather like Wales would look if you removed all the sheep and allowed the trees to grow.

And then we crossed the border into Norway...

I'm afraid that Norway did get all the best scenery. :)

Narvik, however, is not a pretty town. It's the rail terminus for the iron ore trains from Kiruna and the port where the ore is shipped out to other parts of the world. It has an industrial feel and is not at all touristy, though there are a few other tourists about.

We now have a couple of days here to explore the surroundings before returning on the train on Friday. Weather is not cold (though there are patches of snow on the mountains) but it is raining steadily. Weather much like home really. :)

That's all for now. Hotel has wifi and I brought the Eee, so I may do another quick update before we head for Latvia.

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