Scotland to Sweden, Day one.
Early start this morning, up at 4.30 am to catch my flight to Manchester at 7am. Final Destination? Falun! Via Stockholm Arlanda airport though. This meant catching an SAS flight at 10.05am to Stockholm’s main Airport, Arlanda. After arriving in Manchester, ahead of schedule thanks to bmi Regional i might add, I had to pick up my bag then walk from Terminal 3 at Manchester to Terminal One where the SAS Check in was located. I thought it would take a lot longer than it did, flight got into Manchester just after 8am and I was all checked in and heading through security in terminal 3 less than 45mins later!
The SAS flight to Arlanda was on an MD-80, It was perhaps just over half full, and the crew were very friendly and the flight was 20mins quicker than was advertised, which is always a good thing when you still have to collect a train ticket and catch a train to my final city of the day, Falun.
After leaving the SAS flight I headed through passport control, collected my bag, went through customs, and was heading for the Arlanda C train station which is handily located in the airport, although it is a bit of a walk, maybe took me 10 minutes from customs to get to the ticket desk for the train. The llady at the counter of the SJ train desk was rather Swedish (tall, blonde, incredibly good looking, and great character!) One thing to remember when buying a train ticket in Sweden is that the Intercity Trains are cheaper than if you choose a route where you have to change trains. Also on SJ trains there are numerous discounted tickets on offer, student, senior citizen, and my favourite one, Youth, which is for people aged 18-25, they also get a reduced rate on the trains. My ticket from Arlanda C to Falun cost 156KR which is far cheaper than what the ticket machine was selling me before it broke. Another thing that’s different with trains in Sweden, is that sometimes your ticket tells you what coach, and seat is yours, so if someone is sitting in your seat your quite entitled to politely ask them to move. Swedish trains have a lot of legroom, and luggage space. My suitcase is in the rack next to the door at the end of the coach, so i hope no one has pinched it!
I will arrive in Falun in just under an hours time, with the train journey taking about two and a half hours. For one night I have booked a room at the First Grand Hotel, well I hope I did because it was very last minute at 5am this morning!
That’s it for day one on my trip to Sweden at the moment, I have a couple of things planned such as the Jussi Bjorling museum in Borlange and the Falu Copper mine, one of the deepest in the world, and the source of the paint colour which is most abundant here in Sweden.
NB. If you decide to pack a can of juice in your suitcase be sure to wrap it in a bag, I thought about wrapping mine, but I never bothered, now I have a lovely selection of irn bru soaked clothes!!
My itinerary for the day was:
BD390 – Glasgow(GLA) to Manchester(MAN) @07:00
SK2548 – Manchester(MAN) to Stockholm Arlanda(ARN)@ 10:05
SJ 24 – Arlanda C to Falun Intercity Train @ 14:04
After Arriving in Falun i walked the short distance to the Hotel Grand right in the middle of Falun. Great location and a very nice hotel it is too. The rooms are big enough and very comfy. After having a shower and a freshen up I went for walk around town to see what had changed, i saw the ‘American pizza shop’ was still there in Ahlens parkering so I decided to have a take away pizza and tour the town at the same time. I could hear some music playing from the main square so I had to investigate, and there in the corner of the square was a big stage with bands playing and a big happy crowd watching. It turns out it some kind of festival in town, good time to go, because there was even more to see and do. I sent a message to one of my friend and he came and picked me up and drove around town for a bit seeing different corners of the town i hadn’t been before and even went for a wee drive through the forests, not something you can do very easily in the UK! Later on we headed back to Ahlens Parkering where we met up with my friend who I came to stay with, from there we met up with even more people and went to a couple of flat parties, the Swedes know how to party and are very sociable! High booze prices mean that house parties are very common, staying in is the new going out in Sweden. After a lot of drinking and practising my Swedish it was time to head back to the hotel for some well earned rest, At this point I had been up for 21hours.