Inlandsbanan 2: Mora to Asarna

The next installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my recent holiday in Sweden. This post continues the northern journey along Inlandsbanan that started here.

INLANDSBANAN PROPER BEGINS

As those who read my previous post will be aware, although Kristinehamn to Mora is part of the official Inlandsbanan route it is not run by Inlandsbanan stock – for that you have to wait until Mora. Here is an Inlandsbanan train:

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This makes it obvious why seat reservations made on the Inlandsbanan website give you a seat number but nor carriage number – there is only one carriage.

Inlandsbanan trains also feature a ‘train host’, who checks tickets, sells refreshments to those who buy them, takes food orders for the official food stops and provides information about noteworthy points along the route. For this journey, from Mora to Ostersund, of which I am currently covering the first part our train host was a young woman named Emma, and she did a magnificent job – she got a round of applause as we approached Ostersund.

Here are some pictures from the early part of the journey…

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Just after I had taken the picture above we arrived at our first major landmark, a river that was considered impressive enough for the train to stop so that photographs could be taken more easily…

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It was not long after this that food orders were taken for the official eating stop at Asarna Ski Centre…

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My food order – 1 Moose burger.

Then it was back to taking pictures from a moving train for a bit…

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We then had a station stop that was long enough for folk who were travelling on to get off and have a leg stretch…

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This map was on the train. At the end of this series of posts I will put up a special post about maps.
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The full Inlandsbanan timetable.

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Then it was back to taking pictures through the window for a little bit…

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Then we reached Asarna, where we had our scheduled food stop, and where this post ends (the moose burger and wedges made a very satisfactory meal by the way).

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The first of three hexagonal display cases full of medals awarded for ski-ing feats.

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A fine campanological display – I also have a close up of three bells in the middle of the display.

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This shot of the train at rest makes it clear why only one of the two sets of doors opened for this stop!

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Looking back at the bridge through whose metalwork I had earlier taken some shots (I have a zoomed in shot immediately following this one)

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This will feature in more detail when I do my special post about maps.

Inlandsbanan 1: Kristinehamn to Mora

The start of the story of my journey along Inlandsbanan, a sub-series within my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the start of the story of my journey along the Inlandsbanan, a sub-series within my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden.

ROUGH GUIDE TO SWEDEN FAILS

Before getting into the main meat of this post, a few brief comments about The Rough Guide to Sweden, with which I had been equipped. My relationship with this tome got off to poor start when my very first attempt to locate information, about the town of Trosa, where one of my fellow bloggers lives drew a complete blank. Thus I was already less than impressed when I scanned the index for information about Inlandsbanan to see what they made of it and for the second straight time drew a blank. Although subsequent visits to the pages of this book were less marked by failure, there was no real chance that the book would recover in my estimation and at best in reviewers terms it merits one star.

A BRIEF NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPHS

Many of the photographs you will see in this series of posts were taken through the windows of moving trains, and for both the second and third legs of the trip my seat was facing against the direction of travel. Therefore, remember when viewing these pictures that I was not able to capture by any means all of the things I wanted to.

THE JOURNEY

I was making two trips this day, first the subject of this post, and then after half an hour at Mora the journey onwards to Ostersund. The journey from Kristinehamn to Mora is part of the official Inlandsbanan route, but not run by Inlandsbanan stock – for this leg we travelled in an ordinary multi-carriage Sveriges Jarnvag train.

I settled into my very comfortable window seat (even second class on a Swedish train is quite luxurious to one used to British public transport) with my camera at the ready to take whatever pictures I could and other than my attempts to capture interesting sights the journey was uneventful until precisely at the scheduled time the train pulled into the platform at Mora to conclude its journey…

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Preparing for Inlandsbanan – Stockholm to Kristinehamn

The long-awaited resumption of my series of posts about Sweden. This one sets the scene for a number of posts about my travels on Inlandsbanan.

INTRODUCTION

It has been a long while since I last created a post, but I am now ready to go again with my accounts of my trip to beautiful Sweden. Having spent a very enjoyable few days in the company of my cousin and his fiance (see here for more details) it was time for me to make use of my one-country inter-rail pass, allowing up to eight days worth of rail travel in Sweden.

THE PROLOGUE TO INLANDSBANAN

My first journey on my inter-rail pass was a short hop of just over two hours from Stockholm to Kristinehamn where I would stay overnight before experiencing Inlandsbanan on days two and three of this part of the holiday (the distance from Kristinehman to the northern outpost of Gallivare, pronounced yell-ee-vara, is 1,364km which converts to roughly 850 miles).

At this stage I had not booked anything in advance, a mistake that I learned from after the experiences both on the train and at Kristinehamn, where I paid far more for a room than I ought to have done. Indeed one of the things I did in my room in Kristinehamn was make use of the wifi to book seats on three legs of Inlandsbanan and rooms in Ostersund fot the following night and then for two nights in Gallivare, although this latter did not work out, of which more anon.

The difficulties caused by my failure to reserve a seat on the train notwithstanding, I did get some pictures on the journey…

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KRISTINEHAMN

I did some exploring in this pretty little town once I was settled. Here are my pictures from Kristinehamn…

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Many Swedish stations feature this kind of diagram somewhere.

Having produced this little post I will start, probably tomorrow, on a succession of posts detailing the Inlandsbanan experience…

A brief update

A brief update on my Swedish holiday.

No pics today, though I have a vast and ever-growing number on my camera to edit. A combination of factors puts me in a position where the next time I will be able to be on he computer long enough for serious posting will not be before Gothenburg, where I overnight between the 10th and 11 (I am currently in Uppsala and will travel to Malmo for two night stay at a cheap hostel there tomorrow).

To look forward to you have the following:

Kristinehamn – one post

Inlandsbanan (one of the world’s great railway experiences) – multiple posts

Gallivare – the story of a night spent outside in the arctic circle

Lulea – several posts

Uppsala – several posts (pos. including a special on that city’s most famous son Carolus Linnaeus also known as Carl Von Linne)

I expect Malmo and Gothenburg to yield at least a post a piece, and my last full day in Sweden, in Stockholm to yield another.

 

Pictures From The Stockholm Archipelago

The first post about my travels in Sweden, with lots of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This is the first in what will be a series of posts about Sweden, where I am currently on holiday. If you enjoy this post I recommend that you make Anna’s blog your next port of call.

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES

Although I have only been in Sweden since Friday night, I already have a huge number of stunning pictures to share. For this first part of my stay I have been in the company of a cousin and his Swedish fiancee Ida. My cousin met me at Stockholm central bus station (Skavsta airport, where my flight landed is too far out of town for him to meet me there, so I got the Flygbussarna into town on Friday night. On Saturday we travelled to an island that has been owned by Ida’s family for some time. This journey entailed a bus to Stavsnas, a boat out to the nearest island reachable by commercial boat, and a walk across said island, on the other side of which we met Ida who rowed us across the sound to the island on which we would be staying. Here are a few pictures from this part of the stay…

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These first couple of pictures were taken through the window of an aeroplane from high above.

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The remainder were taken either from the bus to Stavsnas or the ferry.

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The Island

This Island has no flushing toilets, and save for the main house no running water. It only got electricity in the 1940s. The sea is lovely to swim in, as I can attest from personal experience. We start with the house itself…

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Here some pictures from inside the house…

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I will be looking at more detail at the insect life I have encountered in a future post, but to whet the appetite here is a rare butterfly whose English name is Apollo…

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Now, some general pictures taken while on the island…

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As a lead up to the next section, here is a map of the Stockholm Archipelago.

SAILING THE STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO IN AN OPEN BOAT

Richard and Ida had too much stuff to take back to their flat in Stockholm for the way we had reached the island to be appropriate, so we were escorted by private boat, along with Ida’s brother and his daughter. Here are some pictures from the Stockholm Archipelago…

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Lars (skipper of the boat), setting off on his return journey to the island from Stavsnas

Stavsnas to Stockholm

The last stage of the journey to the flat in which I write this, before heading off later today to catch a train to Kristinehamn, southern terminal of Inlandsbanan was by bus and tunnelbahn (the Stockholm Undergound, which I will be covering in a later post) yielded a few more pictures…

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These last six pictures feature central Stockholm, as seen from the bus as it approached Slussen.

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