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.





Uppsala to Malmo

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


Welcome to the latest installment in this series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden.


I had a very enjoyable time in Uppsala, as can be seen from the following posts:

Arriving in Uppsala
Uppsala University Museum
Uppsala – A Bit More Exploration Before Checking In
Sunday in Uppsala – The Botanic Gardens and Carolina Rediviva
Uppsala: The Linnaeus Museum

However, it was now time to move on, with the next destination being Malmo. Leaving the hotel I headed for the station, could not work out which train was best to take with my destination being Malmo or spot a member of staff to ask, so I boarded a train bound for Stockholm Central, reasoning that there would probably be a direct connection from there to Malmo and if not there would be staff there.


Other than having to get a later connection than I would have like to Malmo, due to the necessity of reserving a seat (Stockholm-Malmo is a route on which such is required), I got my onward train from Stockholm with no great difficulty. I did what I had done on the Inlandsbanan journey and spent the journey looking through the window, taking photographs along the way…



My train was scheduled to arrive at Malmo at 16:47, which of course it did, Malmo’s tourist information office closes at 17:00. I failed to locate it before it had closed, and the various people I asked for advice about how to get to my accommodation were unable to be of much assistance. Eventually I ascertained that by catching a bus to Davids Hall I could get close. Sadly, it was not possible to pay cash on the bus, and at Pressbyran, where the driver had said I could buy a ticket they directed me elsewhere. Unable to find the place to which I had been directed I finally resorted to a taxi. On this occasion I was booked into a six-bed dorm. This proved rather more commodious than the four-bed dorm at Uppsala. While I was still on a top bunk, this one was properly accessible.

I had seen enough in the environs of the station and on the taxi ride to suggest that Malmo would repay detailed exploration on the morrow…

Uppsala: The Linnaeus Museum

The latest in my series of posts about my Swedish holiday – today featuring the Linnaeus museum.


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden. This post is the last to focus purely on Uppsala, although there is still the account of the journey from Uppsala to Malmo to cover.


Those who read my previous post will recall that while there was plenty to see in the exhibition of treasures at Carolina Rediviva I was prevented from photographing most of it, so I was quite glad once I had finished there to get back into action, starting with these pictures…


Shortly after I had taken the above pictures I came to…


This mural, which as the information board reproduced below shows is named because of its origins, is actually four walls, the front and two side walls of which are also reproduced below (I could not get a sufficient distance behind the back wall to be able to photograph it).


We now get to the main meat of this post, starting with…


Carolus Linnaeus lived in the 18th century (he was roughly contemporary with Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of the creator of the theory of evolution by natural selection), and the house in which he lived is in central Uppsala. He was a botanist by training but is best know these days for being the creator of the system by which all living organisms are still categorized. Discoveries made since he was around have changed some categorizations and created some new ones, but the framework and methodology used are still his.

Such names as Homo sapiens (note that with these type of names the first word is always capitalized and the second word never so, even if it derives from a proper name) come from Linnaeus’ magnum opus.

He is also significant in the history of science for reversing a previous trend – whereas previous eminent scientists had taken Latin names to sound more impressive he went the other way, changing his Latin birth name (his father, a clergyman whose birth name had been Nils Ingemarsson had taken a Latin name to emphasize his education), used so far in this post, to a vernacular one, Carl Von Linne. His reasons for making this change were it must be said just as rooted in snobbery as those of folk who  Latinized – he had been given a patent of nobility and considered his new aristocratic designation  more important than his old Latin name.

Many books on the history of science cover his career in detail, my own personal recommendation being John Gribbin’s magisterial Science: A History 1543-2001.


As you approach the museum it is made suitably obvious that you are doing so…


Here is the approach to the house…


The rest of this post will be devoted the photographs I took of the objects in this remarkable museum.


Linnaeus’ most famous work.
Linnaeus on plants



Sunday in Uppsala – The Botanic Gardens and Carolina Rediviva

The latest installment in my series about my recent holiday in Sweden. This post covers the botanic gardens and Carolina Rediviva.


Welcome to the next installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. This post deals with the start of the full day I had at my disposal in Uppsala.


Although I was booked in for a second night in my dorm room I still had to do some sorting out before setting forth to continue my explorations of Uppsala – I stowed my larger bag in a recognized storage slot and put everything else I did not wish to carry with me, including most of my books, on my bed, which as I would be using it again the cleaning staff would not need access to. Having thus ensured that the staff would be able to do their jobs with no obstruction it was time to set off. My initial target was the Linnaeus Museum,the former home of Carolus Linnaeus, but that was closed when I got there.


My next target was the…


The Botanic Gardens in Uppsala have an entrance just opposite the Carolina Rediviva which features later in this post and at their other extremity abut on to the grounds of the Evolution Museet.


If you enter the gardens (admission free) at the Carolina Rediviva end you are first greeted with a very formal looking and generously spaced garden which reveals nothing of what lies ahead.

The first two pictures were taken just before I entered the botanic gardens


The view from the entrace.



The second section of the botanic gardens offers much more by way of variation. I did not venture into the greenhouse like building that houses the tropical plants, but everything else that was there to be seen I did see. Here are some photographs from this area…


Deep within this second section of the botanic gardens is a real treasure…


I was drawn towards this subsection by the only indications of its existence to be visible at a distance – two information boards and a very distinctive sculpture. As I soon found out, these were just the tip of the iceberg…

The first two pictures show the information boards


This is the sculpture – a giant model of DNA, as revealed by the work of Watson, Crick AND Franklin (Rosalind Franklin’s work was shown to Watson & Crick without her consent even being sought, much less given, and enabled them to complete their own work, so at the time she did not receive the credit she was due).
On the ground in front of the sculpture is this mosaic showing the chemical formula.


There are also several other mosaics.


Viewed from the outside this is what this little subsection looks like.

I concluded by visit to the botanic gardens with…


Here are the last of the photos I took in the botanic gardens…



I had been looking forward to seeing what the Evolution Museum had to offer (a natural history museum in the home town of Carolus Linnaeus – surely it must be good). Unfortunately, I discovered that it was closed for renovations, so I missed out on seeing exhibits that include the largest collection of dinosaur skeletons anywhere in the Nordic countries. Making my way back towards to the town centre to visit the old home of the aforementioned Linnaeus I paid a visit to…


The Carolina Rediviva to give it its proper name is home to 5,000,000 volumes. On the ground floor is a small exhibit of its greatest treasures, the centre piece of which is the ‘Silver Bible’, a 1,500 year old bible which was captured by the Swedes from Prague in 1648. A 17th century Swedish goldsmith crafted the cover that now adorns it and gives it its name. I do not have a photograph of it because after I had taken three photographs of the exhibits I was told that photography is not allowed due to the potential damage done by flashes (I never use the flash anyway, but it was clear that I could not win the argument). However, while I fully accept the argument for banning flash photography in such a place, a blanket ban on photography seems excessive (the Uppsala University museum, which I covered in this post, takes the sensible course of banning flash photography but permitting photography without flash). Here are my photographs from the Carolina Rediviva…


These last three photos were the ones i took inside the Carolina Rediviva before being stopped from taking photographs.


Uppsala – A Bit More Exploring Before Checking In

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


Welcome to the next installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. This post picks up the story from the end of my visit to the Uppsala University Museum, which I covered here.


On leaving the museum I took a brief walk in one direction, before deciding that it lacked appeal, and on looking for alternatives I found the University Park, and headed that way. Before making that firm decision I had taken these photographs…


After taking the picture above I entered…


The University Park features runestones, a central statue, a view of the main university building (swathed in scaffolding on this occasion) and various other points of interest…

A runsetone
The explanation


If this arrangement of statues with the man on a raised pedestal looking down on the woman at ground level was this close to a UK or US university building there would likely be petitions circulating demanding its replacement on grounds of sexism!
The building itself
Close up of the name.
A close up one of the two pieces of bronze work that flank the name on the university building.
The cathedral from this vantage point
zooming in on the clockface
The crosses at the top of the twin spires, with an aeroplane in the background.


The statues again



I continued my explorations a little longer, buying lunch from the Pressbyran in Stora Torget, the main square of the city and taking some more photographs. In Stora Torget I saw some heavy duty evangelising going on, a sound system having been set up to enable these individuals to preach to anyone who passed – the only such incident in over two weeks in Sweden (not a claim one would ever be able to make in the UK).

The cathedral from below.


The view from the bridge that gives access to the folk museum.


The main building in Stora Torget


Both sides of the map I was given at the tourist information office.
The Map itself
The attractions, quite a few of which I got to see.



I had booked accommodation in a four-bed dorm room at a ridiculously cheap price. The room was windowless, and I my bed was a top bunk, accessed by way of a wooden framework (to call it a ladder would overstate the case). My official review for booking.com can be seen here.

Uppsala University Museum

Continuing my account of my holiday in Sweden with a virtual tour of the Uppsala University Museum.


Welcome to the next installment of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. This post picks up where my previous one left off, heading into this building:

The outside of the University Museum


The Uppsala University Museum (students get in free), also known as the Gustavianum is housed in the oldest university building in Sweden. If you approach the museum as I did and start at the bottom and work your way up, the first exhibits you encounter are from the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans:

This object sits in the entrance hall.


It is a very minor quibble, but the red background is too strong a colour and therefore detracts somewhat from the coins themselves. Having produced images of a very large number of coins I have arrived at the conclusion that a white background, so that all the eye sees in the picture is the coin or set of coins is best.


The next two floors are taken up with items of various kinds from the more recent past…


The world’s first commercially successful portable computer – our ideas of portability have changed somewhat since then, as has the storage capacity of such machines!


This picture and the next combined to form


This picture


After these treasures it was time to see the inside of the dome – a perfectly preserved anatomy theatre…

Students would have stood in rows around the room, while the corpse that was being anatomised would be spread out on the table.


The last exhibits that I saw were those relating to the Vikings…



Arriving in Uppsala

The latest in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden, introducing Uppsala.


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden. This post sets the scene for my two night stay in Uppsala.


Those following this series will be aware that I travelled to Uppsala on an overnight train from Lulea. Apart from one moment about half an hour before Uppsala when I managed to shut myself out of my compartment and had to knock on the door to regain admission (I was only just stirring, and simply forgot to  pick my key card up) the journey was largely uneventful. By good fortune I had been assigned the bottom of three beds (the top bed hangs from the ceiling as a permanent fixture, the middle bed folds out from the wall when everybody is ready for bed and the bottom bed is created by rotating the row of seats over by means of an ingenious mechanism).

On arrival at Uppsala Central Station I noted that the was a line of hotels on one side of the tracks, so I went to investigate whether Vandrarhem Uppsala Centralstation was among them and found that it was not. Deciding that other than this little clump of hotels the other side of the tracks looked more promising I headed along the generously spaced walking and cycleway that passes under the station and after passing the bus station found myself on Kungsgatan, where I spied a Tourist Information Office. As it turned out the entrance to the building in which I was staying was just off the main road on the same side street that this office sat at the corner of.

The building in which I was staying had a hotel at the front, and the hostel type rooms in which I was staying at the back. Although it was too early to check in they did have a bag room, so I offloaded some luggage there and set off to commence my exploration of the city. I already had a few photos…


Consultation of the map with which I had been equipped at the Tourist Information Office revealed that everything of interest to me was to be found by starting in from my hotel in the opposite direction to Kungsgatan, which would serve as a very handy outer boundary marker. My initial target was the cathedral since I reckoned that a very large and prominent landmark that must be pretty much plumb in the centre of the interesting part of the city would serve as a further useful point of orientation, and I could then pick out other places. This part of Uppsala proved to be very attractive and as a bonus was pretty much pedestrianised. Almost directly underneath the cathedral I found the University Museum, and deeming the admission price acceptable decided to go in, with results that will form my next post…


The frontage of the cathedral
Immediately above the main door
A close up of that very elaborate circular window.
The outside of the University Museum
A close up of the curious onion shaped dome – as you will see in my next post what lies inside that dome is almost as curious.


Inlandsbanan 8: Tis Better to Travel Hopefully Than to Arrive

The next installment in my series about Sweden, and the finale to the sub-series about the Inlandsbanan experience.


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my recent holiday in Sweden, and the end of the sub-series of posts about my northward journey along Inlandsbanan.


By this stage we were nearing the end of the journey from Ostersund to Gallivare, although there was still the second meal stop to come. In the brief period between restarting the trip from the edge of the arctic circle and arriving at Vaikijaur for the second meal stop we passed a place called Jokkmokk.


Vaikijaur was not especially memorable, although the food was excellent. Here are the pictures I took.

A side view of this quirky little building
The front view
The people who had produced our food.

We had no further significant stops before Gallivare although we did pass through a town called Porjus. The train pulled into the platform at Gallivare exactly as scheduled at 21:39. Here are the photos of the last part of the journey…



I had booked two nights at the Hotel Dundret i Centrum, planning then to take a morning train to Lulea on the Gulf of Bothnia and then an overnight train from Lulea to Uppsala, birthplace of Carolus Linnaeus also known as Carl Von Linne. However, while I located the establishment in question, there was no one at reception, and it turned out that to gain access my room I needed to make a call on a mobile phone (had booking.com mentioned this detail I would have booked somewhere else) and I had accidentally left mine at the flat in Stockholm where my cousin and his fiance live. I waited a few minutes in the very unimpressive communal seating area just in case but it was soon obvious that no one would show up.

While I could have sat there until the morning doing so would then involve having an argument over payment because there was no way I would pay for a night in which I had not access to my room, so I decided to cut my losses and headed back to the station to wait the night out. Before continuing this story here is the one photo I took in Gallivare (I knew the camera battery was low, and that I would not be able to charge it that night).


This sculpture is on the roundabout just opposite the station in Gallivare.

I did make a couple of attempts to get some sleep but they were unsuccessful. I was thankful that I had had the foresight to pack a long sleeved top just in case the Swedish summer weather was not quite as good as it might be, since while it does not get dark in Gallivare in August it does get quite nippy at night (as a cricket fan I would have said that the light was  never even at its least good unplayable in). Had the sky been clear I might have had a glimpse of the famous midnight sun, but as it was solidly cloudy I was denied even that small pleasure.

At 6 o’clock I was able to get inside and think about my next move. Having ascertained that train tickets could be bought at the Pressbyran next to the station, which was now open, I paid for a ticket on 7:08 train to Lulea (the full price since I did not wish to burn a whole day’s travel for a shortish journey – btw train tickets are one of the few things that are not more expensive in Sweden than in GB – the Swedes don’t have the likes of Branson coining it from failing to provide proper train services), having decided that I would get back on track with my original plans by staying overnight in Lulea and catching the sleeper as intended the following day.


I rate this as one of the finest railway experiences I have ever had. I encountered some wonderfully scenic journeys in Scotland and on my first visit to Nordic lands many years ago. More recently I experienced some very scenic journeys in Australia, including Melbourne – Adelaide.

Although I, with my Colbeckian enthusiasm for all things railwayana thoroughly enjoyed all three legs of the Inlandsbanan journey and would recommend the experience to anyone I could also see merit in missing the Kristinehamn-Mora section and doing Mora-Ostersund and Ostersund-Gallivare having found some other route to Mora. If not constrained by budget I would recommend the onward trip from Gallivare to Narvik and some exploration in Norway as well. I also mention that there are places along the route where one could stay overnight if wanted to spend many days over making the journey, but with an inter-rail pass giving me eight days of travel and a desire to see as much of Sweden as I could encompass such was not on the table for me personally.

If anyone involved in the publication of the Rough Guide to Sweden happens to see this may I suggest that you think about turning my last eight blog posts into a chapter about Inlandsbanan since it is absurd that this incredible experience is not covered in your pages.

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.