Wednesday, December 26

Day 361: Blåtåget (The Blue Train)

Today is the day after the day after Christmas. I'm sitting here on a train, headed back to Stockholm. But not just any train, The Blue Train (Blåtåget), which is a train that was originally built back in the 60's. It was recently renovated and restored and current shuttles people from Stockholm and Uppsala to Gothenburg, with stops in a few other Swedish cities. My husband secretly tried to book us first class tickets round trip to Gothenburg but unfortunately they were mostly sold out and he managed to only get regular tickets for the leg of our trip home. He saved it as a surprise for today and I'm really glad that he did. He is really good with secrets and surprises. He doesn't even provide the slightest hint.

I am not so good with surprises however. I get so excited that I nearly burst with the desire to share the tiniest of hints and then sometimes I give the entire thing away in the process. When I was just a kid I "completely ruined" my mom's birthday by telling her every single gift we bought her. My dad and brother were not so impressed but I think my mom thought it was pretty cute and fun. Nowadays I find it is best if I keep my mouth shut tight until the surprise or gift is revealed naturally.

After we arrived at the train station I left my husband with the luggage while I ran around purchasing drinks and a small treat (you have to have at least one) to take on our trip, still unaware of the train surprise. When I finally made my way back to him with my purchases he said very evenly and coolly, "You are going to like this train. It is an old fashioned train from the 60's that has been restored and is now in operation again." He also explained that he especially purchased tickets for this train as opposed to the super fast SJ X2000 that we have normally taken in the past. At first I didn't understand but as we approached the train and he continued to explain that The Blue Train (Blåtåget), was run and operated separately from the other trains and they had limited trips each day, so you have to book tickets well in advance, it finally sunk in.

What a cool train! We were merely in second class seats but we had so much room you would have thought we were in first class. The train had a separate dining car where you could have a sit-down dinner and be waited on and everything. There was also a separate bar car where you could purchase assorted drinks and snacks and there was a full-size piano as well. It felt like we were straight out of an old James Bond film. We will definitely take this train again (and again). How fun and what a super neat surprise to bring our Christmas trip to a close.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that you got lots of fun gifts and not so many bags of coal and switches. ;-)

Here are a few photos from The Blue Train...

The bar car.

Sitting in our seats looking straight ahead... the wall was complete with a mirror and framed art... How very cool!

Check out the fold-down table on the back of the chair in front of us... I could barely reach it there was so much space between us and the seats in front of us... nice for our legs to stretch out.

A view of the bar and piano car from outside.

Blå Tåget (The Blue Train).

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