Tuesday, 22 July 2008


Few words from an airline stewardess are as worrying as these:

"Don't worry, just run when you get into the arrival hall and make sure you get your connection - we'll send your luggage on to your hotel! Just file a missing baggage complaint when you get into Stockholm...".

I only have a laptop and a camera with me. I don´t have a room booked. I don't have any maps or guides to the city, I was going to buy one in the Duty Free area of Oslo airport.

Anyway, I run, and I run a good long way all the way to Gate 48 on arrival in Oslo.

I reach the gate just as it is closing, I'm the last passenger on board.

And then a miracle occurs - the captain decides to delay departure until the missing bags from Bodø are safely on board, and my bike is rammed into the remaining slot under the wing.

So arrival in Stockholm was fine, and all my bags were reunited with me within a few minutes. I took the excellent Arlanda Express train into the main city railway terminus twenty minutes later, calling the Zinkensdamm Hostel on the way as a last resort because they come at the end of the listing, so may get fewer calls. It's a pleasant, very organised hostel with 450 beds and individual lockers for food inside the fridges. It's on the island called Södermalm, about twenty minutes or less by bike from all the sites.

But best of all, the city is a fantastic place on a bike! Separate cycle lanes with proper signs for routes and their own traffic lights, few cars, and an extraordinary number of waterways, gorgeous buildings, and tree-shaded squares to gawp at.

I'm loving it!

I bought a new SIM card for Sweden today, no connection yet via the Vodafone SIM card and the laptop, so pictures will surely follow in a day or two when I have found out who to roam with.

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