07/05/12 0:37am, Malmö Centrale, Sweden
They say things always come in pairs. Well. It has been an uneventful day and an absolutely hectic night. I hesitate to call it memorable because I don’t exactly wish to remember it let alone repeat it. God forbid.
Since leaving Jerbanetorget Metro (Oslo Sentralstasjon) this morning, everyone was in high spirits and ready to kickstart our transEurope adventure- bring it on, 74 hours of train ride! Sleepless traveler’s nights? Psh, what do you think I’m made of? That kind of can-do attitude. So how did we end up at 00:43 in the lonely, squeaky waiting lobby of this train station plonked on the border of Sweden and Denmark?
I’d say it started 2 days ago when we bought our Eurail passes without reservations for any of the night rides. Our guidebook did say “Reservation Compulsory” but I didn’t imagine for a second that any stationmaster would ever turn us down; yes, in spite of a full train, coz you know…. What could we have done wrong to deserve such repercussion? HA.
It was all smooth sailing in the morning. We boarded a very comfy train with plush red seats from Oslo to Göteborg and left for Malmö at 17:42 exactly. While I wasn’t busy napping/trying not to succumb to napping, I spotted some wide balming views outside our fast flying by windows. Or should I say, “landscape”, since windows tend to remain fixed in the train walls. Mile up mile of five star carpet quality fields! A soft soothing expanse of green that bears an utterly neutral effect on the eyes: you could stare at these fields forever without realizing it, your thoughts long elsewhere. I saw many dairy cows grazing together, usually in herds of no more than 10, and occasionally some horses and sheep too.
With almost whimsical frequency, red pointy-roofed farmhouses would spring up among these fields, their primary colours of red and white boldly juxtaposed against the sky’s blue and the rapeseeds’ golden yellow. It was wonderfully picturesque and would no doubt make the perfect poster child for any American meat company’s packaging. Before reaching the Swedish border, we went by many large (pine?) forests with lines of incredibly straight trees framing the banks of lovely transluscent lakes. The weather was slightly overcast but I’m sure the water would’ve seemed like glass reflecting Norwegian nature’s quiet majesty on a clearer day.
As for the forest, let’s just say I half expected to see Edward Cullen leap out of a treetop; that’s what the forest looked like. It was like walking into the set of Miemi’s “Popular Musik from Vittula”. I remember passing the University of Lund, Sweden, a place I remember since I’d read brochures about UC Berkeley-Lund exchange programs. I’m not sure I’d enjoy coming here for an entire year since it’s just SUCH a small town but I’m a sucker for old towns and all-round gothic architecture so that left a positive mark on me: Lund’s architecture, quiet, sleepy…
Fast forward to arriving in Malmö in my next post!