Sweden: Maps Special

This post ties together my series about my recent holidayy in Sweden, displaying lots of maps and functioning as an illustrated index.


Welcome to this post which ties together my series of posts about my recent (July 29 to August 13) holiday in Sweden and functions as a sort of illustrated index to the series. Please note that barring the two Lulea maps which are public display maps as I did obtain a map of that town every map you see photographed here is available free of charge (great news for a cartophile such as myself).


Maintaining chronological order for these maps we start with…


This map relates to the start of the holiday, the period of July 29th to 31st, which is covered in this post:


On Monday August 1st I set off on the second part of my trip, where I was travelling solo, my first stop being…


This small town was significant for me as being the southern terminal of Inlandsbanan. It sits close a famous lake (bodies of water are never far distant wherever you are in Sweden) and is an attractive place in its own right.


Kristinehamn features in two posts in this series:

Preparing for Inlandsbanan – Stockholm to Kristinehamn and

Kristinehamn to Mora

Before continuing our local maps we come to…


I spent two days soaking up this fabulous railway experience, coverage of which ran to eight posts in the course of this series, which led to me to create a page for easy access to the whole sub=series. I have three pictures of this large double-sided map:

The two sides of the map juxtaposed – the southern part of the route is on the left as you look, the northern on the right (a side by side view works better than one on top of the other for a long thin country).
A closer view of the southern part of the route
A closer view of the northern part of the route.

Those who followed this series will recall that my first day of travel along Inlandsbanan took me to…


I covered the section of the journey from Mora to Ostersund in two posts, using the meal stop at Asarna as a natural break point:

Inlandsbanan 2: Mora to Asarna and

Inlandsbanan 3: Asarna to Ostersund

The Ostersund map, shown below, was provided to Inlandsbanan passengers by our host for that part of the journey, Emma, who had been equipped with a block of such maps from which she peeled off individual copies:


Osttersund in its region.
The close up of central Ostersund.

The next place I was able too obtain a map was…


This town is fairly close to the arctic cirle. The post in which Arvidsjaur features was the seventh in my Inlandsbanan subseries, meaning that by the time I got to this location all the following had happened:

Inlandsbanan 4: Ostersund to Ulriksfors

Inlandsbanan 5: Ulriksfors to Vilhelmina

Inlandsbanan 6: The Meal at Vilhelmina Norra

Inlandsbanan 7: Vilhelmina Norra to the Edge of the Arctic Circle


Not very long after this came the end of the Inlandsbanan journey at…


As with the Osttersund map this one was provided for passengers by our train host, in this case Andreas, although unlike the Ostersund map it was large enough to warrant being folded, and hence could not be transported in the way that one was…


The post to which the above pictures relate was the last in my Inlandsbanan subseries:

Inlandsbanan 8: Tis Better to Travel Hopefully Than to Arrive

My next port of call was…


An attractive town that sits at the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia, Lulea was the only place I visited for any length of time that I did not get a take home map of, but I have two good pictures of public display maps:


My stay in Lulea accounted for four blog posts:

Transition Point – Lulea

Exploring Lulea -The Morning

Exploring Lulea: Icebreakers and Mythology

Exploring Lulea: The Other Side of the Tracks

From Lulea I caught on overnight train to…


The map of Uppsala tthat ii was equipped with at the tourist information office had details of various attractions printed on the back…

Both sides of the map
Close up of the Map
Close up of the list of attractions.

Uppsala provided me with six blog posts worth of material – anyone who is up for a little challenge is invited to work out how many of the attractions listed above get mentioned in the course of the series of posts:

Arriving in Uppsala

Uppsala University Museum

Uppsala – A Bit More Exploring Before Checking In

Sunday in Uppsala – The Botanic Gardens and Carolina Rediviva

Uppsala: The Linnaeus Museum

Uppsala to Malmo

As the title of the last post listed above suggests, my next port of call was…


The map of Malmo, provided by the STF Hostel in which I stayed for two nights, was A3 sized (twice as big as the Uppsala map), but had only advertising on the reverse, hence me not bothering to photograph that side…


Malmo featured in three posts in this series:

Uppsala to Malmo

Exploring Malmo

Malmo to Gothenburg

As with the Uppsala series, the title of the final post featuring Malmo gives a clue as to my next port of call…


The Gothenburg map, provided by the tourist information office, has useful information on both sides…


As well as both sides of the map, I include a close-up of the diagram of the local public transport network

I stayed only the one night in Gothenburg, en route back to Stockholm for the last two nights of my stay in Sweden, which explains why this very impressive city only features in two posts:

Malmo to Gothenburg

Gothenburg to Stockholm

Having started in the Stockholm Archipelago  we have come almost full circle, as we head to…


The map of Stockholm, which I obtained at Stockholm Central station, is a large folding map, with much of value on both sides.


The city of Stockholm features in three posts in this series:

Gamla Stan


Departure Time

In spite of the title of the last post shown above this post is not quite done yet, because being the keen student of public transport systems that I am I could not ignore one of the most remarkable I have yet encountered…


The heading above contains the colours of the three lines that make up Tunnelbana, with the blue line given an extra letter over the others because of its cave-like appearance. Here is a diagram of the Tunnelbana system:


Tunnelbana has a whole long post to itself, and also provided my response to one of Maria Jansson’s photographic challenges:

MJP Weekly Challenge – Frames


I hope that you enjoyed this ‘maps special’ and that some of you will find it useful as a means of accessing my series of posts about Sweden. For those who have enjoyed the maps, i draw your attention to a blog that is dedicated to maps.





Departure Time


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden. After this post there will be a ‘maps special’ which will tie the whole series together.


With my flight to Gatwick due to leave Arlanda Airport at 7:30AM there were two ways I could get to the airport early enough in the morning. I could either take a significant length walk to a ‘flygbussarna’ stop and get a bus to the airport, or I could get a tunnelbana train at 4:22AM and catch the Arlanda Express from Stockholm Central (the main station would not be open, but the Arlanda Express terminal would). I opted for the latter, borrowing an access card for the tunnelbana which I have subsequently posted back to Sweden.

I departed the flat in which I had stayed for my last two nights in Sweden at 4AM, aware that I would not be able to access Huvudsta station by way of the shopping centre, but would instead have to walk round to the official tunnelbana entrance. I arrived at T-Centralen with plenty of time to make the long interchange, purchase my Arlanda Express ticket and board the 5:05AM train.


Regular trains have a station called Arlanda Central, and you have to pay a premium to access the airport from there. The Arlanda Express calls at two stations, Arlanda South and Arlanda North, and the premium for using the airport is more than included in the cost of the fare. For my flight Arlanda North was the station, and a combination of the speed of the train and the smoothness with which I progessed through the airport means that I was seated close to the departure gate over an hour before the flight was due to take off. Here are the last photos from this holiday…

The first four pictures are at Huvudsta awaiting the train to T-Centralen


The plane I would be travelling to Gatwick in viewed from the departure gate.


Apart from a bit of a wait in the baggage hall because I had arrived there before the bags from our flight did I passed through the airport without incident, and was able to catch the 10:30 Gatwick Express to Victoria (one could do the journey changing just once from St Pancras to King’s Cross, but the slowness of the Gatwick – St Pancras service means that this costs in time terms), which in turn meant that I got to King’s Cross in time to catch the 11:45 to King’s Lynn, and was thus back at my flat before 2PM. On the Gatwick to Victoria leg of the journey I found myself playing good Samaritan to some American tourists, who knew where they were staying but not how to get there. As befits someone who runs a website about London transport I was able to advise them as to the best routes.



The latest in my series of posts on my holiday in Sweden.


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. Having covered Gamla Stan in my previous post it is now time to cover the other area where I did some exploring, Kungstragarden, the city centre terminus of the blue line on Tunnelbana.


It was obvious as soon as I had exited the station building that I had made a good call. Here are the first couple of pictures..



On entering the Kungstragarden itself the first thing I saw was this:


Beyond this is a very decorative pool…


By this stage I was thinking about lunch, and one of the various beer and burger places caught my attention. I was lured in by the ‘Nick the Greek’ burger – lamb, feta cheese, salad. I subsequently identified an impressive looking local beer, and food ordered took my place at an outside table.

Avenyn Ale – it proved by excellent.
When you place a food order you get one of these, and your food arrives is due course.
The reverse shot.

Although I was well aware that a the general expectation is that one will not eat the top half of the bun in which a burger of this nature is served I was not about to leave anything uneaten. Lunch done I resumed my explorations, looking to take a circuitous route back to the station…


My nest port of call was a park…


I was then drawn towards a waterfront (Stockholm like most Swedish cities is well supplied with water)…


There were a few more things to photograph before I got back to the station and resumed my explorations of the Tunnelbana.


Kungstragarden well repaid the time I spent exploring it, and I would recommend anyone visiting to Stockholm to include it in their itinerary.

Gamla Stan

The latest post in my series about my holiday in Sweden.


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. Readers of my previous post will recall that I alluded briefly to a waterside walk that started and finished at Gamla Stan. This post tells the story of that walk. I also included some pictures from the city of Stockholm in the first post in this series.


Although it is on what is classed as an underground railway the station at Gamla Stan is actually slightly elevated, so that you exit it by going down to street level. It had always been in my plans to do some exploring around Gamla Stan and the sight of the waterside was enough to decide exactly what I would be doing…



I crossed the water and was delighted to find a waterside path on the other side, which I duly set off along it.


The bridge in the distance became my target – I envisaged crossing it and heading back along the other side.

Another facet of Stockholm well shown up during this walk is how many cliffs there are.


Approaching the bridge that I had marked out as my first target I found the water narrowing…


As you will see from the next set of pictures the view from the bridge gave me reason to believe that I could fulfill my plan of walking back along the other side of the water.


Although I located this path without difficulty it soon swung away from the water, and not long after that it became plain that the only waterside route was the one I had already taken, so I crossed a small pedestrian bridge to head back along that path. I paid close attention to the boats this time round, rather than picturing just a few…


I crossed one last bridge and headed back to Gamla Stan station to resume my travels, having thoroughly enjoyed my exploration of the heart of Stockholm.

How’s that for making the bridge accessible?




The latest in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden. This post covers Tunnelbana in detail, thereby providing a framework for my remaining posts about Stockholm.


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden. To set the scene for the rest of this post here is picture:



Although I made some use of the Tunnelbana at the beginning of my holiday, it was during my last full day in Stockholm at the end that I really got to know they system, having decided that in addition to exploring the city I would do some serious travelling on the system. I had seen enough even early on to realise that it was going to warrant a post.

Although I had spent little time travelling on Tunnelbana in my first spell in and around Stockholm I did get some pictures…


A Tunnelbana train – notice the articulated units, each the equivalent of three standard carriages (this train consists of two such, at busy times they sometimes have three).


The escalators at Huvudsta.


If you consult the system map included below the introduction you will note that there are three lines, coloured red, green and blue on the map. The red and green lines are older, and their tunnel sections, which make up a small minority of their length, are standard tunnels. The blue line is newer, and bar one station on the Akalla branch is in tunnel the whole way. It is the blue line that features the cave like station sections.


The only place where all three lines meet as at T-Centralen, and the interchanges between the blue line and the others are very long at that station. With only three lines meeting plus an interchange to mainline railways the arrangements here are not as labyrinthine as at the Bank-Monument complex in London which is probably the world record holder for user-unfriendly interchanges. Thus, when out on my own on that last full day I decided that I would avoid T-Centralen, making use of the interchange I had noted at Fridhelmsplan between the blue and green lines and the cross-platform interchanges available between the green and red lines at Gamla Stan and Slussen. The Fridhelmsplan interchange involves going up a travalator (it is not an escalator as it is smooth rather than stepped) but is very straightforward, unlike the multiple escalators and horizontal travalator of the T-Centralen interchange.



Having changed at Fridhelmsplan I took a green line train to Gamla Stan, where I went for a long waterside walk which will feature in another post in this series. It was after this walk the my serious explorations began.


My first target was Ropsten on the red line…


The first of four pictures taken at Ropsten.


On on-train map.


My next move once I reached a suitable interchange point was to switch to the Green line and head to one of its terminus stations. The train I boarded was headed for…


This journey was almost all open to the air, with parts of it being quite scenic.


At Farsta Strand I went for a bit of a walk to get a feel for the area.

This floor is on the way out of Farsta Strand


A mainline railway train nearby.


Four overhead shots of tunnelbana trains.


The station frontage at Farsta Strand.

From Farsta Strand I travelled to Fridhelmsplan where I changed to the blue line, having seen enough of the other two and having decided that I wished to see the whole of the blue line.


This shot has already featured in this series of posts, as a response to an MJP photo challenge.
Back on the blue line.



Back on the blue line I decided that my first move would to be explore Kungstragarden. I will be putting up a whole post about Kungstragarden, because there is so much to see at the surface there. The station is practically a destination in its own right, as the following pictures will indicate…

All of the 39 pictures in this set were taken at Kungstragarden (yes there is that much on display there at the station alone)


The surface building


Having explored Kungstragarden (and had lunch there), my next move was to get a train to…


The journey to Akalla and then back as far as Vastra Skogen to change to the Hjulsta branch featured the only above ground section of the blue line, and plentiful art works some of which I was able to capture with my camera. Of course at Akalla and also at the change point of Vastra Skogen I had the advantage of not being on the train the whole time.


The first of several decorative tiling arrangements at Vastra Skogen (I do not think that when the individual pieces are this big one can fairly use the word mosaic).


My last travelling of the day was from Vastra Skogen to Hjulsta, and then back from Hjulsta to Huvudsta where I was being accommodated. I only got a few pictures from this last section of the journey.



Tunnelbana is a superbly efficient system, and the artwork which can be found everywhere on it, and especially the cave like station platform and passageway segments on the blue line boost it from the merely utilitarian (itself a level considerably above that usually attained by London Underground these days!) and make it a genuine attraction. Unless you are going to be catching a train from Stockholm Central I would recommend that you follow the approach I took on my day of exploration and avoid using T-Centralen as an interchange. I also recommend that you obtain a free Stockholm map (it includes the system diagram that appears at the top of this post). I have seen three underground systems that in different ways can claim uniqueness – London is the original, St Petersburg is further below the surface than any other, and Stockholm for reasons outlined above and (I hope) demonstrated throughout this post. I conclude by saying that I hope you have enjoyed this virtual tour of the Tunnelbana as much as I enjoyed both the real thing and creating this post.

Gothenburg to Stockholm

The latest post in my series about my recent holiday in Sweden.


Welcome to the next installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. I finished my previous post with an account of my accommodation in Gothenburg, and this post picks things up the following morning.


Since breakfast was included in the price of the room I was always going to partake. Everything about that breakfast was good, and I set off for Gothenburg Station in very good time, having booked myself on to a slow service to Stockholm. I took some photos on the walk to the station…


Having arrived at Gothenburg Station much earlier than needed I took the opportunity to take some photos there before heading for the platform a sensible 20 minutes before the train was due to depart…


One way to present a map of a long thin country (pity about the lighting which spoiled the top part of the pic.


The train I was to travel on was a double decker (yes, on some Swedish routes they run double decker trains), although I my seat was on the lower deck.


I settled in to my window seat, camera at the ready…


Arriving in Stockholm I took a time out at Stockholm Central station before purchasing a 24-hour Access Card for Tunnelbana and heading to Huvudsta, where my cousin and his fiance have their flat, where I would be staying for the last two nights of my holiday. The combination off my inter-rail pass giving me eight days travel, my own desire to do some more exploring in Stockholm and the fact that I was catching an early flight from Arlanda to Gatwick on my final morning led to me making this arrangement.


My explorations in Stockholm will account for three posts (Gamla Stan, Kungstragarden and a post specifically about Tunnelbana), my departure one small post and a final ‘maps special’ post which will also serve as a kind of index – as with each map I shall include links to the posts to which that map relates. At the latest the final post in this series will go up on Saturday, since Sunday is Heritage Open Day and therefore the signal for the start of another series of blog posts, this time set closer to home.

MJP Weekly Challenge – Frames

My response to Maria Jansson’s latest photo challeneg, ‘Frame’.


This post is my response to Maria Jansson’s latest photo challenge, which can be viewed here


In view of the fact that I am currently creating a series of blog posts about my recent holiday in Sweden and Maria’s own heritage I have looked to Sweden for my contribution to this challenge. While many of the pictures that I took during the course of travelling along Inlandsbanan , as recounted in this eight part sub-series, were framed either by train windows or by such things as parts of bridge structures, I wanted to share something I had not previously shared, so I opted for this picture of a water scene in central Stockholm, framed by the gap in the side of the Tunnelbana section where it was taken:


Those wishing to see more of what I have already produced from my visit to Sweden should click here.

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.


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.


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…



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


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.


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.


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…

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


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


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…


Here some pictures from inside the house…



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…


Now, some general pictures taken while on the island…


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


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…


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…


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