Train to Stockholm

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SAS Royal Hotel, Arne Jacobsen, 1956-60

Two Gesamtkunstwerke today in Copenhagen. The first (above) was my billet for the night, which was fairly rolling in Egg chairs. International Style to its fingertips, given that I only heard English throughout (albeit in a variety of accents). The green colour scheme was refreshing and worked well with the curved chairs and straight lines. It was interesting to note how luxury 50 or 60 years ago was less demanding than today: the bedrooms and bathrooms were perfectly adequate in size, but a glance at online reviews suggests that some modern tourists find them too small. I did wonder if my pleasant single room was originally intended as a double.

The second was Copenhagen station, designed by Heinrich Wenck and completed in 1911. The first time I arrived here I couldn’t quite believe that the hall had wooden beams and giant chandeliers . . . but it does. Sadly it’s impossible to take a photograph of it without McDonalds or Starbucks in the foreground.

Finding my way to the Stockholm train was quite intriguing: platform 26 is a little way from the station hall (15 minutes according to the signs, but I reckon that is for very slow walkers) and you are led along like Dorothy on the yellow brick road:

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And now here I am on the train to Stockholm. It was fun to dive into the Øresund Sound then surface to cling to the underside of the bridge. I was disappointed at first that my reserved seat is next to a pillar rather than a full window, but since most of the scenery is colourless flat land, thin pines and birch, and water for the next 3 hours I probably won’t bother to find another.

Copenhagen was cold. Given how much further north I am heading, I may be in for a shock. It was the sight on the platform of two young men with orange snow sledges and skis that reminded me that Ultima Thule is somewhere round here.

Update: there was snow beside the tracks, and now – an hour outside Stockholm – there is half-defrosted ice on the lake.

Major excitement: a railway cutting! And something like an undulation, only lower.

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