Unfortunately the time to leave for England always comes around too quickly. But at least I know that in a few weeks I will be returning for longer and staying at my cabin.
As usual certain things that I took with me were never used and some did not perform as a well as expected.
The clip on my replaced shoulder strap for my Highlander pack broke once again and my felt shoes wore through with only a weeks use.
My mistake was making three pairs of thin shoes when instead I should have made one thick pair like those made by Steph Lord (see my Special Offers page).
One thing that did really impress me was the service provided to me by the train company SJ. My train left Gallivare at 18:50 Saturday evening and was due to arrive in Stockholm City at 09:15 Sunady morning. From there I had to make a twenty minute underground train journey to Arlanda airport where I had to check in before 11:00.
About three hours from Stockholm I enquired whether the train was still on time and was told that we were currently running two hours late due to heavy snow. This meant I would miss check-in for my flight. I told the staff on the train about my problem and was taken to their office in one of the carriages. Using a series of timetable books for connecting trains and buses they considered the options for dropping me at another station to connect with another train or bus that could get me to Arlanda on time. Unfortunately none of the options could achieve this.
Using their internet connection they checked whether my flight had been delayed by the snow but unfortunately not. I was about to give up and accept I would miss my flight when a member of staff told me he had spoken with his boss on the telephone and he had arranged for our train to be diverted direct to Arlanda airport which would get me there at 10:45. I was astonished that such a thing had even been considered. This would certainly not happen in the UK. The train did indeed arrive at 10:45 and I was able to make check-in before it closed.
THANK YOU TO THE STAFF AT SJ!!
And finally, my friend Marina found three videos of Jokkmokk Marknad 2009 on YouTube which give you more of a feel for what goes on. If you watch the second video carefully you will actually see me about halfway through.