Home » Fiction & Literature » Sven Anders Hedin » From Pole to Pole: A Book for Young People

February 04 , 2009

From Pole to Pole: A Book for Young People


Our journey begins at Stockholm, the capital of my native country. Leaving Stockholm by train in the evening, we travel all night in comfortable sleeping-cars and arrive next morning at the southernmost point of Sweden, the port of Trelleborg, where the sunlit waves sweep in from the Baltic Sea. Here we might expect to have done with railway travelling, and we rather look for the guard to come and open the carriage doors and ask the passengers to alight. Surely it is not intended that the train shall go on right across the sea? Yet that is actually what happens. The same train and the same carriages, which bore us out of Stockholm yesterday evening, go calmly across the Baltic Sea, and we need not get out before we arrive at Berlin. The section of the train which is to go on to Germany is run by an engine on to a great ferry-boat moored to the quay by heavy clamps and hooks of iron. The rails on Swedish ground are closely connected with those on the ferry-boat, and when the carriages are pushed on board by the engine, they are fastened with chains and hooks so that they may remain quite steady even if the vessel begins to roll. As the traveller lies dozing in his compartment, he will certainly hear whistles and the rattle of iron gear and will notice that the compartment suddenly becomes quite dark. But only when the monotonous groaning and the constant vibration of the wheels has given place to a gentle and silent heaving will he know that he is out on the Baltic Sea.
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