On my first visit to Scandinavia, on an Interrail pass, I wanted to make the tour of the Baltic sea, ending up in Helsinki. I ended up in Boden, a Northern town in Sweden, from where I first took a train to Gällivare. This allowed me to peek across the Polar Circle, and see the advancing autumn although it was still August. Leaves had already changed colour, and temperatures were getting chilly - of course nothing compared to the extreme winter freeze. Furthermore, the landscape was absolutely desolated.
When I moved further North, I had to change trains twice because of the difference in width if the Swedish and Finnish railways. When I was on the train taking me across the border, I discovered that I did not have my wallet anymore, with all the money I had. I started a frantic search of the train, but to no avail. Instead of the night train to Helsinki, I ended up in the police office of Haparanda. Due to language problems I spent several hours here, and although the policemen were kind enough to call their Swedish colleagues, my wallet remained lost.
On the train, a very kind lady had given me the address of their friends, and when late that evening I was about to leave the police station without any resources, I made the policemen call the number of the mysterious friends. Within no time, I found myself in a police Saab speeding to the village where they lived, and was ushered into a flat of an extremely nice, old Finnish couple. The husband had participated in the Winter Games in 1928 and his bibs were still around the house everywhere. I spent several days here, and was even given some spare money to make my trip back home. The most incredible thing was that one week after returning home, I found my wallet, with all its content still inside, in the mailbox! This remote region of Europe, at least at that time, did not know crime or dishonest people, and it was a very unexpected surprise for me.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Swedish Lappland (Sweden). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Swedish Lappland.
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