Day 4: July 31

Today was the Linköping trip. The trains in Stockholm aren't all one system—there's a commuter line (or lines) and the subway system, and you have to know where to go to change between systems. The hotel is near a commuter train station, but Nils figured it would be too much hassle for us to figure out what tickets we need to buy for everything. There's a bus stop by the hotel, too, but those weren't a good option, either, since the buses don't take cash, only pre-purchased passes. So he picked us up and brought us to the Central Station. We found the bus gate and started the 2½-hour ride to Linköping. There was lots of farmland along the way. Some fields were pastures, and others seemed to be for crops that I couldn't identify.

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In Linköping, Mom's second cousin Cecilia and her husband picked us up at the bus stop and drove us to meet the rest of the family for dinner. Cecilia's mother (and widow of my grandfather's cousin) Inga was particularly happy to see Mom, since she had missed Mom's brothers when they'd been in Sweden. When leaving the restaurant, I drilled my head on a doorway that was built for a much shorter generation, an opening probably about 6'4" high. We took a walk around Gamla ("old") Linköping after food, though things were starting to close up there before long.

We took the train instead of the bus to get back to Stockholm because the evening bus on a Sunday is way more expensive than the daytime bus. It wasn't even two bucks less than a train ticket, and the train was a significantly shorter ride, so that was the winner. By coincidence, Cecilia's sister-in-law Katharina was heading back to Stockholm on the same train, so Mom and I enjoyed talking with her in the otherwise-deserted upper deck of the train car. We also saw more farmland and some towns we couldn't see from the bus/highway, and the train passed through some of the forested areas we saw on the way over. Nice train, nice ride.

Mom and I took a cab back to the hotel and had dinner #2 there. Grilled tuna on my plate, quite good. Back in my room, I wasn't feeling well from one of the dinners and fell asleep before getting into bed. It's about 2 AM, and the northern sky is still a bit dusky. The sky is clear, so I know it's not city lights reflecting off the clouds, too. I didn't think we were quite far-enough north here to see something like that, but I guess that settles it.

Previous: July 30
Next: August 1

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Jeff Blank <jfb@mr-happy.com>