Sunday, December 4, 2022

Far, far away by train-bus-boat


Trying out the slow travel option for a conference in London, left yesterday from Kauniainen, now somewhere between Copenhagen and Hamburg. Trains, boat, couple of buses, walking … 16 legs. Two days, one night but still some opportunities for missed connections or train strikes 🙂 Pretty nice so far, sleeper cabin in the night train and some sauna relaxation on the boat. Noisy stations and choppy sea WiFi have disturbed some conference calls but still workable. Energy savings? Not sure. This is an experience or experiment though.

Update 1: On segment 11, train departed 50 mins late and predicting I will lose the connection and consequently the days last Eurostar … and then tomorrow is what, UK rail strike? Experiment seems to be producing results 🙂

Commenters were right, it is an adventure. Now the next train is even more late so I may make it. But obviously still miss the last under the channel train so … suggestions? Back to Finland and try again with the Volvo?

Update 2: Finally on segment 12 towards Brussels, resigned to not make to tonight’s channel crossing and rebooked it for the morning. But also, in addition missed the designated train to Brussels so waited an extra 90 mins for the sake of own stupidity. Oh well. Getting there eventually I hope.

Update 3: Finally able to admire the views on the channel crossing. Soon in London.

Update 4: Final 16th segment, walking to my hotel initially planned hotel. The trip was 56 hours - planned 46 - and 2200 km, 39 km/h on the average.

Summary: I made it! It was actually quite a lot of fun, despite some delays. I didn't lose luggage, get permanently stuck, or get sick. And was able to work and sleep and eat during the trip. Or even visit the sauna on the boat!

What about CO2 effects then? Using suspect and highly variable numbers as we unfortunately often do - my train trip saved around 76% of emissions but upped the trip length 8x. It also increased delay and infection risk.

Worth it? Yes definitely if one likes the trip and can work and can survive with some delays. Maybe easier and more realistic for slightly shorter trips.

Segment 1 - walking to the station (see above for a picture). Left 04:30 am from home on day 1.

Segment 2 - Kauniainen to Kirkkonummi by local train. Here are some nice lights in the Kirkkonummi station:

Segment 3 - Kirkkonummi to Turku Kupittaa by VR train, with a nice restaurant carriage, and some porridge breakfast:

Segment 4 - Kupittaa to Turku harbor, due to trains not running on this segment because of ongoing repair works:

Segment 5 - Viking Line day boat from Turku to Stockholm. What was nice was that this 32 € ferry ticket included my own cabin. And I was able to visit restaurants and a day spa with saunas (for a cost, but the costs were quite reasonable):

Segment 6 - bus from the ferry terminal to the Stockholm Centralstation:

Segment 7 - a three hour layover, which included 17 000 steps around the city center (with luggage in tow) and a nice restaurant dinner:

Segment 8 - sleeper train from Stockholm to Lund. Too short night, but nice to have my own cabin with a shower. And water... The trains were dated though.

Segment 9 - Lund to Kopenhavn C by local train:

Segment 10 - Kopenhavn C to Hamburg HBF. A nice train, but somewhat packed with people. WiFi works, carriage's are nice and modern.

Segment 11 - Hamburg HBF to Köln, but this is where the problems start. The train from Hamburg is several hours late. I have now lost the ability to connect to the last Eurostar of the day. In addition the first class train ticket I had puts me in a carriage which has no heating, no electricity, and we are told to move "somewhere else". Deutsche Bahn ...

Segment 12 - Köln to Brussels, by now there is even more delay. And the problems continue. Me and some other passengers lose even more time by missing the first train due to the unclear signage. I feel like an inexperienced tourist and want to kick myself. Not that it would help, or that this delay would matter, but still.

Segment 13 - we arrive hour plus after the last train to UK has left, so now I'm forced to camp out in a hotel in Brussels. I walk there.

Segment 14 - Finally, early next morning I manage to board the Eurostar. With a horribly expensive ticket though, as I had separate tickets for the Deutsche Bahn and Eurostar parts. I view the wonderful views from the under-crossing of the Channel :-) 

Segment 15 - tube to my hotel.

Segment 16 - walk half a kilometer to the hotel, still dragging my luggage :-)

Read the full Planetskier series at, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2022 by Jari Arkko.

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