Following Greta: joining the Swedes on their no-fly holidays

For a father and his two young children, taking the train – rather than the plane – from Malmö to London, meant more quality time, and fun

At Hamburg central station it felt like the whole of Sweden was taking the train to somewhere else in Europe. You could hear snatches of Swedish everywhere. When we queued up to buy water, both couples ahead of us were Swedes. An entire handball team from Gothenburg was going by rail to a tournament in Austria.

“Sweden is trend-oriented: if there’s a new trend, everyone will follow it,” said Anna Maria Hilborn, an art teacher I met when my five-year-old son started spinning around a signpost on the platform with hers.

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