Week 11 – Sweden and Finland – The Europe Train Challenge Is Done!

Europe Train Challenge – 30 Countries In 11 Weeks: This week we can proudly say – WE MADE IT!!

Not only did we make it in time, we actually finished earlier than the 3-month mark – 75 days through 30 countries in Europe.

Countries This Week: Sweden, Finland

What a journey it has been – we’ve had many questions throughout the challenge, all from how we planned the trip to if we were having fun traveling at such a high pace.

It has been an experience of a lifetime, and we will make sure to share everything we have learned and our experiences from the past 2.5 months on here soon.

Helsinki was a random place to end the challenge.

Being in the far northeast corner of Europe, neighboring with Russia, we sort of ended up in the place of nowhere, with no place to go …

But first things first: Sweden.

Stockholm was as beautiful as always: the old town with its charming streets, and the islands with its fresh, nature-bound vibe.

This capital city is unlike any other capital I’ve seen.

Usually capitals are stressful, busy and polluted. In Stockholm that vibe is strictly limited to a few streets, and you can easily escape this and completely forget that you’re even in a city.

Wherever you go you’re never far from the water, and often completely surrounded by it.

Where else can you not only swim, but actually go fishing in the middle of the city?

In Stockholm it’s a common sight to see people getting off the subway with fishing rods in their hands, on their way to the parliament – to go fishing…

Looking over the amazing views over the city from Herman’s cafe in Södermalm, I felt rather proud over my country, with the beautiful nature and lovely people.

The next stop was our final destination on the Europe Train Challenge journey.

It was a strange feeling taking the ferry over to Finland.

For so long this challenge had been our certainty, and we were getting so used to it that the thought of not having it was more uncertain than anything else.

We thought we would be completely exhausted, celebrate that we made it through and stay put for a while.

But when we finally arrived in Helsinki, we felt two sided about everything.

We had no idea of what to do next, so we did what we were most used to doing: we just carried on traveling.

Helsinki was much better than I had expected.

Now I feel like I have a better idea of what this country, which for me has been a  bit of a blurry spot on the map, is really about.

We had a great time and met some people who made a big impression on us, and Suomelinna island was beautiful!

The Europe Train Challenge is over, we have succeeded in visiting every single country on the InterRail passes – but that doesn’t mean that we’ve seen every country in Europe – 50 countries aren’t there?

Estonia, for example, is a place we still haven’t seen – so next week you’ll hear from us in Tallinn!

8 Responses to Week 11 – Sweden and Finland – The Europe Train Challenge Is Done!

  1. Anonymous July 20, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Good luck guys with you next trip!
    Too bad too few videos are out, but than, the blog is also great!
    Hope to hear about your next adventures, till we meet, salut!

  2. Anonymous July 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Congrats on completing your challenge guys! It’s great to see Europe back ‘on the map’ as it is often overlooked (particularly by other Europeans) as not ‘far flung’ or ‘exotic’ enough to warrant travelling through. But as you have both found out, there are many beautiful, cultural and exciting experiences to be had throughout Europe! Looking forward to the videos on You Tube…

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

      Thanks! It’s been so much fun traveling through Europe, there is so much to explore, both in nature and culture. Personally I think that Europe is much more diverse than South East Asia.

  3. James Clark July 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Congrats! I look forward to seeing the videos over the coming months.

  4. James Clark July 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Congrats! I look forward to seeing the videos over the coming months.

  5. Erica Kuschel August 5, 2011 at 3:42 am #

    Estonia! I’ve heard it is beautiful!