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Monday, June 28, 2004

Aland IslandsPassing ferry near MariehamnThe Tallinn to Stockholm ferry goes via Mariehamn, the capital of the Aland Islands.

We passes hundreds of islands in the Stockholm Skärgård.


 

StockholmI get very little sleep! (No cabins were available, other than a communal lounge.) But we do arrive safely. We're in Stockholm at 10:00.
 

Stockholm, Sweden

I'm sure Stockholm is a fine place and worthy of a more fulsome report. It's not getting one as all we did there was queue up at travel agents and ticket offices. We got to know the main railway station and bus station layout pretty well.

There was no chance of an a flight home today or tomorrow. Useful internet cafes at the stations helped there.

If you ask why not use the Blackberry? We did try:

  1. DNS seemed broken on the first few times the phone registered with the network - "it got better".
  2. The Ryanair web site uses frames - the Blackberry browser doesn't support frames.
  3. We know HTML</b>! Hack to main Ryanair page. The Blackberry browser doesn't support JavaScript.
  4. Curse the Blackberry as YetAnotherProductThatsNotQuiteThereYet ™

So - no plane. All flights full, unless we wanted to pay full wack of around £500.

An agent suggested a route home via Berlin using trains, a ferry and a flight.  We rejected that offer after a few moments of disbelief.

We went with the next option: cross Sweden using the X2000 train to Malmo; get the "bridge" train to Copenhagen, cross Denmark to Esbjerg, then ferry to Harwich. We should be home on time!

With the plan in place we didn't have the time (nor, bluntly, the inclination) to took around Stockholm. We took the next high speed train (15:20) to Malmo (19:45).

We had a "quiet" carriage, inferring mobile phones were verboten. We joined 3 other sleepy travellers and a family of yelling kids. The kids were eventually gagged, and we had some sleep. I was most impressed by the train - the ride was very quiet. The tilting action was excellent - you could see the carriage was tilting but couldn't feel a thing.

The connection from Malmo (20:04) to Copenhagen (20:39) took us over the new Øresund bridge, that runs between Denmark and Sweden. (I wish we had a few more spectacular pieces of infrastructure like this back home!)
 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Tivoli GardensTivoli GardensWe find a hotel near railway station, the Astoria. (£68)

We grab fast food at the Tivoli Gardens opposite the station, finally a chance to relax. Yes, the gardens are a bit tacky, but they're fun. They're like Alton Towers on a smaller scale. Well worth a visit. Lots going on. Scary rides, live music, restaurants.

Tivoli GardensTivoli GardensAnd finally a bed on which to sleep!

"If you don't suffer mild sleep deprivation when you're on holiday, you're not doing it right." remarked Matthew.

Another packet of cigarettes gets secretly lobbed out of the window.

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