Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Australia Day outside Australia = Pub

In Australia, Australia Day means BBQ, elsewhere it means going to a pub and drinking. Unlike places like London where every bar is full of Australians ( like 2 years ago), in Stockholm, it's was a little harder to find. With my Australian colleagues we found one party in an Irish pub (and Aussie/Kiwi watering hole) at O'Connells in Gamla Stan. My first meat pie in 6 months, with a VB (not my favourite beer, but drank it for the country's sake).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Skiing at Kläppen

My first time Skiing- at Kläppen, Sweden!

Christmas has now passed, which means the activity in Sweden is now skiing!
A work ski trip provided the perfect opportunity for me to put on my first pair of skis and attempt to overcome my fear of speeding down a mountain - something which if you haven't done before, feels far from normal. Here kids appear to be on skies as soon as they can stand, and long before they get on a bike, so it was with a little apprehension I decided to go on this trip to Kläppen, 5 hours drive from Stockholm. Thankfully there were many others on international assignment from around the globe who had the same idea.
The weather was not too cold, although a little too much snow fell on Saturday making it difficult to see, but Sunday was a lovely sunny day (pictured above). We had some very patient instructors and once our fears were overcome somewhat, and had a little control over the speed we couldn't get back to the top quick enough. Looking forward to the next trip which I hope to go on soon.

Monday, January 07, 2008

London-Stockholm: Copenhagen/Malmö

London to Stockholm by Train Leg 3: Amsterdam - Hamburg

We spent most of the day traveling, catching the Berlin train from Amsterdam (a route previously traveled on NYE 2005), changing at Osnabrueck onto one of the fast German ICE trains to Hamburg. What's more we traveled first class, only because it ended up being cheaper.
We didn't get to see much of Hamburg, it was more intended as a stopping point to break the journey. We arrived fairly late in the afternoon and left early the next, maybe another day.

London to Stockholm by Train Leg 4: Hamburg - Copenhagen

Last month I said no planes and no ferries for the trip from Liverpool to Stockholm, this almost went to plan until part way through the train journey out of Hamburg the whole train shunted onto a ferry boat with us on it! For safety reasons I assume, we had to get off the train and sit upstairs while we made the 45 minute crossing of the straight from Puttgarten in Germany to Rodby in Denmark before getting back on the train, and continuing the trip to Copenhagen.

We spend a couple of nights in a very very windy Copenhagen. The wind made it very cold.

Pictured here is the city hall
and the main street

London to Stockholm by Train Leg 5: Copenhagen - Malmo

This leg of the journey has only been possible for 7 years when the Oresund Bridge/Tunnel was opened linking Denmark to Sweden by rail and road.
We spend a day and night in Malmö, again very windy with rain, cold enough that the rain froze once it hit our jackets and umbrella. Fortunately it didn't feel as cold as Copenhagen and in the evening we had a fair amount of snow making it very pretty.

This building, the Turning Torso is the tallest in Sweden and rotates 90 degrees from base to the top.

London to Stockholm by Train Leg 6: Malmö - Stockholm

The final leg was by the fast Swedish X2000 train taking us back to Stockholm where our trip began just over 3 weeks ago. It has been a long but worthwhile trip...

Stockholm - Glasgow - Edinburgh - The Lakes - London - Kent - Isle of Man - Liverpool - London - Brussels - Amsterdam - Hamburg - Copenhagen - Malmö - Stockholm

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

London-Stockholm: Amsterdam - Happy New Year!

London to Stockholm by Train Leg 2: Brussels - Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a 3 hour train trip (on the regular train) from Brussels.
In Amsterdam we caught tram number 2 down to the old town of Sloten where one of the large windmills around Amsterdam is located.

Then counted down to the New Year in Dam Square - (video of fireworks to be posted soon).
We also visited the town of Edam, not far out of Amsterdam on a very misty New Year's Day.
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