Having my job and my passion I simply cannot stop travelling and exploring. I have a deep restlessness and need to move. It’s somewhat kept in check thanks to yoga, running and meditation, but I still love to travel. Never the less I have promised myself to fly less, not as far and not for as long as I have before. Fortunately there are other ways to travel! As I still don’t have a drivers licence or a car (!) I’m left to travelling by busses, trains and boats.
A newfound friend (found through our dogs becoming friends!) inspired me to start cross country skiiing again. It’s good training, being in nature – and being able to bring the dog! We quickly found a few places most nearby that you could reach by trains and busses. Our choice landed on ‘Säfsen’ where there was very cute little cabins that allowed pets both in-house and in the tracks.
The first attempt failed. Sweden had what it’s called ‘snow-chaos’ which cancelled a critical train ride. I had just about walked to the bus stop when I got the news in my phone. My dog Doglas was very surprised at the gear I carried just to walk to the bus stop and back…
We made our next attempt the morning after, having chosen a even earlier train with a somewhat different route. By now there was less chaotic weather and we made a successful trip out of Gothenburg. Halfway we had a 1 hour stopover which meant dog-walking to a nearby eco-park chasing sticks in deep snow. Carrying 2 backpacks and a set of skis as well as Doglas on a leach was a good workout.
It helps having a very cute and well behaved dog. Not many people mind the little nose in the back of the knees or the hazelnut eyes looking at you. Since Doglas has been on various trains, busses and boats since he was a puppy he quickly goes to rest as soon as we’re on a new vehicle. We’re very fortunate in Sweden to have such a good public service transport system. It’s almost always in time :)
The trip was fantastic. It was so great I decided to do it all again a week later! As Säfsen was fully booked we found another place called ‘Långberget’ (long-mountain?) with a slightly longer train/bus ride. The biggest hustle was having 3 different bags. I minimized my big backpack contents to be able to fit my smaller computer/ski pack into the big one. I can hold the skis in one hand or attach them to the big bag.
For the first trip I used my Exped thunder 70L and Exped skyline 15L. I only brought dog-stuff, a minimal amount of clothes and hygiene equipment, small Olympus camera TG-5 and laptop/ipad mini for work/reading. There was a supermarket 3 km by foot away from the cabin which was a nice hike.
A few weeks later we made our next train-bus-expedition to Långberget which was slightly longer. The packing was a bare minimum which made our trasitions much easier. Doglas is used to the hustle of travelling and is calm as a old dog while staying on the vehicles. I make sure he’s had a nice walk in the morning and then he’ll rest happily on the floor.
We’re already looking forward to some hiking-travels in the spring/summer!
For finding cafe´s by railway stops in Sweden I used the site ‘TaMedHunden’ which posts places where the dog is allowed.