NAME John Peterson, Bayview, NSW
THE TRIP Sweden & Norway
THE ITINERARY Walking in Sweden, then travelling the coast of Norway and finally enjoying the train trip from Bergen to Oslo.
We arrived in Sweden and bedded down in Gamlastan, Stockholm's old town, and visited the Vasa Museum and its 333-year-old ship. We also watched the changing of the guard at noon near the Royal Palace; it was brilliant.Then we walked the Gota Canal – which is really more suitable for cyclists than walkers – and took a boat trip on Kinda Canal for a day.
Next, we walked the Kungsleden (the King's Trail) for 120km over seven days to reach Nikkaluokta. To get to the start, we flew from Stockholm to Kiruna, then took a short bus trip to Abisko, staying at the only (and lovely) hotel. There were seven huts to stay at along the route, each with a little shop attached to buy provisions. It was priceless, to walk on Sami land through the heart of the Arctic Circle in Northern Sweden, meeting herds of reindeer and other walkers on the way.
Next came a train trip from Abisko to Narvik in Norway, then a bus to Svolvaer on the Lofoten Islands. After exploring the town, we jumped on a ferry run by Hurtigruten up to Kirkenes, near Russia, and followed the coast down to Bergen, where we caught the train for the 500km, seven-hour trip to Oslo for the flight home to Australia.
BEST BITS Walking the Kungsleden and watching the Northern Lights.
WORST BIT Going to the rest room in a snow storm (the hand basin was frozen over).
BEST TIP Get a couple of quotes for the Hurtigruten Ferry trip.
WHERE TO NEXT India (for a 600-guest wedding in Delhi).