By way of illustration of what can be achieved using modern rail travel, these pages describe a journey undertaken by us, Glyn and Jennifer Williams, in the Summer of 2001, entirely by rail, from our home in Derby, England to Göteborg, Sweden and beyond. During the course of our travels we sampled a wide variety of transport, including some of the fastest, most modern and luxurious trains in the world as well as a delightfully nostalgic trip by narrow-gauge steam train to the romantic lakeside castle ruins of Gräfsnäs.
Two major events put the idea of such a journey into our minds. One was the Rosicrucian World Convention, which was being held in Göteborg this year, and which we had decided to attend, both of us having long been Rosicrucians. The other was the opening in July, 2000 of the new bridge over the Øresund, between Denmark and Sweden, which would make such a trip possible.
From the start, we decided on a fairly leisurely progress across Europe. Although the fast trains we proposed to use would eat up the miles (or rather kilometres), we did not want long, tiring, travelling days. After some consultation of timetables (in particular, the excellent journey planner website of Die Bahn), we settled on an itinerary that would take us 3 days from Derby to Göteborg, with overnight stops in hotels. Our return journey would take even longer, as we had decided on a full day's sightseeing in a couple of major European capitals. We also decided on first class travel so that we could sample the very best of what European railways today have to offer.
At this point I must say a big thank you; although I planned the itinerary myself, putting all the arrangements in place was in large measure down to Ffestiniog Travel, who provided us with all the necessary rail tickets and reservations from London to Göteborg and back, and booked excellent and reasonably priced hotel accommodation for us in Amsterdam, Brussels, Hamburg, København, and Osnabrück.