Monday, August 08, 2005

DAY 17 - buses, planes and a suburb train

time to say goodbye - we have to get up quite early, and we're at the bus station way too soon, around 07:15. it's a perfect morning - blue sky, sunshine, and it's already warm. a shame that we have to leave on a day like this, instead of spending it hiking or doing other outdoor things.

set to go

we have a long bus trip down to luleå which we enjoy from the front seats on the top deck of the double-decker coach. i spend the time reading, napping, and enjoying the drive. we see gällivare again, and överkalix, and - to sepp's delight - svartbyn and the tractors. we also stop in morjärv, where lotta lives. sigh.

i thought we'd have a couple of hours in luleå, but we have to leave the bus station again really soon after our arrival there, because there are not many buses to the airport, and if we don't take the next one, well, then we have to take a taxi, and we don't want that. so there's no enjoying a stroll in the sunshine, instead we move on to kallax airport where there really isn't anything to do except sit inside and read a little.

our plane takes off at 4.48pm. not even the lovely views of the archipelago can comfort me - i'm really sad, i don't feel ready for the city, i could do with a little more time in the peaceful, quiet north. but - there we are, arlanda airport, stockholm, around 6pm. another bus, to stockholm central, and then a train to barkarby, a suburb, about 15 mins from stockholm central. the weather is not as nice as it was up north, and i feel a little tired and miserable, wishing i were back in lapland.

goodbye to the north!

the hotel in barkarby seems quite nice. after a delightful shower, we have dinner at a pizzeria close by. back at the hotel, i contact tobias, my swedish friend, by sending a text message. we met in new zealand in 1998 and travelled together for about 3 weeks, him and swiss olivier and me. i have not seen him since. he has just recently moved to stockholm from strängnäs, about 1 hour from stockholm, so i don't know where he lives yet, and where we should meet.

when tobias rings, he asks me where i am, and i tell him barkarby. he says "barkarby?" when i say yes, he goes: "barkarby? at the hotel?" again i say yes, then he says: "but ... that's where i live!" wow. "i can almost see the hotel from my place!" i ask for the name of the street, and find it on the map - it really is only, maybe 5 minutes from our hotel! isn't that amazing? i mean, stockholm is quite spread out, and it's such a coincidence! i realise that we were just around the corner from his place before our dinner! small world!

day 17 photos

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