So here I am, seat 29, carriage 5 on the X2000- Sweden fastest train; connecting its capital city with Denmark in under five hours. After being so emotionally and physically in one place, it’s a bizarre sensation, being carried away from it so fast.
When I left Sweden and hitched down in the car, I left a barren, silent and almost dead environment.
The trees had lost all leaves and stood as mere skeletal memories of their once magnificent Summer selves. The birds had left for warmer climes- leaving only the eerie whirring of the sound of trade- big trucks trundling up and don’t Sweden’s biggest highway and on looking up, it seemed the sun could never be sure if it was coming or going as he dwindled just above the horizon.
Now as we speed through rural Sweden, passing villages with traditional Scandinavian houses and stone churches, I am presented with some much different scenery- as though I was somewhere else…in an unknown land. A thick blanket of the most pristine white has descended on the whole country and as we zoom through the farms, forests, fields and stader (traditional Swedish town); Sweden’s winter magic is so enriching and so evident now.
I have fallen in love with this country, with its openness, expanse and its simple yet diverse and deep people.
Scandinavia is not really part of the Europe I live in or the Europe millions of people holiday in each year. Instead, Scandinavia is a unique landscape, culture and way of life. Admittedly whilst many cities do share the multi-cultural similarities of London, Paris, Madrid and Amsterdam, Sweden’s countryside remains preserved, authentic and worth celebrating.
If you had asked me two years ago which country I could see myself visiting next, Sweden would not have crossed my mind- its amazing how things work out…
As the snow grows in thickness, beauty and whiteness the further we travel north; I just cant wait to step out of the train and walk through such untouched forests that we pass now and feel that ever so satisfying crunch of powder under my feet.
Some things in life are taken for granted too often, for me one has been Nature for too long now and after experiencing such megalopolis’s like London, New York, Paris etc, I know that mankind’s future needs to incorporate nature in a way never seen or used before. Sweden is a step ahead of many- take notes World.