I travelled using my Eurorail rail card for under 25’s from Copenhagen across to Stockholm, Sweden. What a lovely place! As someone who at this point was used to the muddle and grime of London, the clean air, space and open nature of Stockholm particularly struck me. I wandered about, visited the Old Town (Gamla Stan), and the Wasa Ship, a bit too dark for any photographs but massively interesting. My memory thinks it was called the Wasa, I notice online the official website refers to it as Vasa, that’s what getting older does for your memory. On to the town hall, internationally famous for holding the Nobel Banquet. Quite possibly the most impressive hall I’ve ever been in! Sadly the Abba museum wasn’t around in 1991 or I would have been there too! Yes, I have purchased their new album and yes I love it!
Soon I was off again, this time west to Oslo, Norway. I remember stepping off the train, still buzzing from Stockholm, crossing the street and the long road leading up to the Royal Palace opening up in front of me. Onward to my right was the University, to my left the Parliament, onwards to the National theatre, and I remember the statue to Ibsen, not that even now, have I ever read any Ibsen! I also remember a fountain that had hundreds of nozzle’s spraying out so it looked like a huge chrysanthemum! I walked on to the Royal Palace and around to the right and behind is a sculpture garden. I walked out to the Akershus Fortress area and took a few photo’s looking out over towards the city hall. A local started chatting to me and amongst other things started telling me all about the ski jump at Holmenkollen, even pointing it out to me way on the horizon, apparently there was a tram that would take me there! Now that sounded like an adventure, and I’d never seen a ski ramp!!
I stayed at the Bogstad camp site for a couple of nights, and enjoyed the sunset over the lake there. I also made a visit to the Kon Tiki museum and although far too dark for photographs, at the time, with a film camera, I was going to get an image one way or another! Of course with eyes, it doesn’t look anything like as dark, and these days we have digital cameras! In the museum one can also Thor Heyerdahl’s Leica camera that he used on the Kon-Tiki. I’ve since read the Ra and Kon-Tiki books.
All too soon my time for exploring Scandinavia was coming to an end and so I had to make my way south. I made it to Koln, just. I have never experienced before or since my “odd” experience on that train. I got on the train fine, had travelled for a few hours no problem, all of a sudden I felt ill. Cold like. I broke out in a sweat, and it took all my effort to get a tissue out of my pocket, and mop my forehead. Somehow I got off the train at Koln. The first hotel I saw was at the end of the platform, an Ibis hotel. I went in, got a room, laid on the bed, and woke up at 6 next morning! Thankfully much better – quite a weird experience! I mustered enough energy to have a quick wander around Koln.
A memory that I do have of Koln, is a medium size camera shop there. They had an entire wall of Hoya filters. Every one, and I do mean every one, in all sizes! Very impressive! I continued south to Brussels’s. My energy a bit better now I had time to squeeze in one more night – I knew a hotel, and all was good. A quick visit to familiar sights and out to Heysel, if you’ve read many of my previous posts – you can guess why…
Next day, out to Ostende, ferry to UK and train home – with a bag full of super 8 film and a few mixed rolls of colour neg 35mm – What a trip… Would I go again? Of course! (and I did!).
You can read Pt1 here should you like to read my adventures backwards 🙂