There are 2 people here who won't forget this day.
Another sunny day in scorching scandinavia. I take advantage of the buffet breakfast to sneak a cheese roll and hard boiled egg into my bag for the train trip and then head out for a quick walk around time, stopping for a hoover cake and espresso at the 'old biddies cafe' in the Haga.
Arriving at the station i realise i have no money, so i change my danish remnants for swedish so i can have another espresso while i wait and also treat myself in the buffet car as we hurtle towards Norway. It's all planned. Sally had skipped sweden to cruise from copenhagen to oslo and will have found a place to eat, the train gets in around 4.45pm, so it'll be off to the hotel, meet sally, then food and gig. Perfect.
I bump into Sabine again (we had met at breakfast) in the shop as i went in for water and snacks. A fluffy toy caught my eye and i left with a stuffed moose and three packs of Mentos. The plan was falling apart. Robyn scurried past and said to join him on the train as i headed back to get water - i actually managed to get some the second time. Then it was onto the train and some familiar faces in the second carriage. Peter and Scott were missing, but their bags were waiting.
We settled down.
Scott and Peter then rushed in, having been record and dvd shopping and we all got comfy. I unpacked the essentials, water, camera and iPod and Peter insisted on checking what i had on it as i checked out his, we were two nerdy geek guys.
12.43 one minute to go.
a really loud silence too.
the kind of silence that isn't good
"it's all gone quiet" i whispered.
Then the first announcement from the man who would be a hero and guest of honour later... we didn't understand a word of it, but a passenger translated - there'd been a power cut in the station.
We sat and waited.
Then the hero walked through the train telling people what was happening. The power should be back soon, but the aircon was off as the train had no electrics. we decided to mooch around on the platform for a bit.
More waiting. It should be about ten minutes, that was always the answer as a harassed Gurt (sp?) tried to get some information about when his train would be ready. It went from local power failure to regional... to half of swedish rail being down. It'll be longer than ten minutes.
Robyn and Bill ran off for supplies and came back with prawn salads and water. RH's most used words that day would be "does anyone want a prawn salad?". Michele started to get restless, after a bout of sunbathing and decided we needed water as it was now baking. Soon Gurt was handing out containers of water to all. People sat on the edge of playforms and had picnics and two girls, one with a parasol, walked down the tracks much to the amusement of everyone and with much camera snapping - i even jumped over the tracks to get a shot as they walked the line.
Scott conducted a telephone interview with Colchester for the upcoming gig there and Robyn restrung his guitar. No one panicked. Sabine chatted with RH and people wandered off to get food as Gurt tried to get us moving, or at least informed.
We were over an hour late now. Still nothing happened.
Two hours late. Nothing.
Over two hours. I'd ran off to get a salad as it was estimated the power would be back in ten minutes. It was being restored slowly, so as not to go again. We counted our blessing that we hadn't moved from the station as the heat was intense now and the train was sweltering without air.
Nearly three hours late and nothing was happening. Michele decided to act again and asked what she could try and get from the train people nexy. "Electricity" suggested Bill. Off she went to talk to them.
Two minutes later and there was an announcement and a cheer. The power was back, Michele had done it.
We scrambled aboard and waited as Gurt announced we'd be moving soon. A train pulled in next to us and the bedraggled passengers trudged off. We had been lucky.
We pulled away, slowly. We inched along at times and the heat grew as the train struggled to blast the cooked air from the system. I don't know when it started to cool down, or even when i fell asleep, but my ipod had stopped as the playlist had ended.
We were now running 4 hours late. There was no buffet car on the train! I sipped water and the mentos were passed around. We all chatted and joked and Gurt kept us informed and we loved him. he also kept running away from RH when he tried to get his picture. He also had a newspaper with an interview and picture of RH and Peter in it and he seemed quite surprised they were on his train.
A train had derailed in Norway. the line was blocked. They hoped it would be clear in time. It wasn't.
We heard the word 'bus' in the swedish announcement and feared the worst. Gurt told us the plan... we'd get a bus part of the way, then get another train. "it's very sad" was the end of the announcement. we all felt for him and loved him more.
The final plan was announced... we'd get a bus all the way to Oslo. There would be two routes, one for those stopping and the other for people who only wanted Oslo.
We got excited when we pulled into Ed, just for the name.
We bounced when we saw trampolines, as Scott had noted there were a few on the route and soon even Peter was pointing them out.
Then the struggle with the luggage... Michele ran ahead to blag places for us on a bus while the rest of us lugged the gear. Sabine found a quick way out of the station and we followed and loaded up the guitars, after a small panic when Robyn and I searched the carriage for a missing bag that Bill had actually walked off with.
We settled down on the back of the bus and looked for tampolines as Bill looked up the origin of the word on his laptop. We even saw the stranded, derailed train
Coming into Oslo and we realised the doors were opening.
We unloaded the stuff quickly and i scuttled off to go to my hotel as Sabine did the same.
sally wasn't there, so i had my cheese roll from breakfast and headed to the gig. I couldn't find the place, but found Scott who could. Inside and there was no Sally, so i panicked and decided to wait until 10 before really worrying as RH as texted her to say we were late and get there for 10.
Not only did she turn up, but she had a friend from england, who lives in Trondheim with her. It's a small world.
the gig??? oh yeah.
well... it was odd. far from being harassed and angry the band were quite mellow and happy. They opened with 'acid bird' and then jangled through the first part... 'flesh number 1' was in there, as was 'afterlight' and a few other quieter numbers. 'Priest' was in the encores, or certainly near the end and 'ole tarantula' wasn't even played. Scott played a new song 'world of eggs' for the M5 section and added the last line "it's very sad". Robyn then gave a long speech about Gurt and dedicated 'C, C & B' to him.
Robyn chatted a lot at the show, including a theory that trampolines were amassing on the border for an invasion from Sweden.
There was also a brilliant remark about 'afternaming' albums... where he revealed that Dylan had afternamed 'blonde on blonde' 'Sniffy' and the Beatles had called 'Revolver' 'Tiddles'. Ths caused Scott to almost fall over laughing so hard. They admitted they hadn't named the album after 'ole tarantula', let alone aftername it, nor did 'the gun album' have an aftername, yet. The set was brilliant, possibly the best of the tour, including UK dates and RH even stopped on the way off stage to sign posters for some people.
It was a brilliant end to my tour of Scandinavia. I had to get home and, frankly, Borlange was too much hassle to get to and from. From here it was the day in Oslo and a flight in the evening, a day off and then Cornbury.
Gurt was there and he was treated like a hero by the band. It was time for goodbyes as i'd probably not see them in Cornbury to chat. Peter gave me as did Rh. It was sad to say goodbye, but a brilliant end to the little trip. Train trips will never be the same again.-Laurence Arnold
You can read more of Laurence reviews in the Forums
are some amazing picturesfrom his trip.